In the 1930’s we were recycling and we didn’t even know it!
Many children attending country schools in those days came to school carrying shiny lunch pails. During those depression days, Karo white syrup came in a large size tin pail. It even had a heavy wire handle on it, so you could carry it. When emptied, this pail was just the right size for a couple of sandwiches, an apple or orange and a cookie. The label and paper covering was torn from it and it ended up as a handy and shiny container, just right size for school lunches.
Now, you wonder, what did people do with all the thick white syrup that was inside? At our house, our Mother always added some maple extract flavoring to it and we used it on French toast and pancakes. And at our house, the favorite snack in those days was not peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but peanut butter and thick maple-flavored syrup on a slice of bread. My brothers, coming home from school, loved to fix these for an afternoon lunch.
In those days, buying a pail of Karo syrup gave a double usage. You made do with what you had. As money became more plentiful, these syrup lunch pails were discarded and store-bought regular lunch buckets were used.
But there was nothing wrong with those old syrup lunch pails! They filled the bill!
By Doris Stensland – December, 2013