If you’ve ever suspected that food has a significant effect and influence on our lives, here’s yet another example that it is very true.
TV dinners were first created in 1952 when the people at Swanson realized they had 520,000 extra pounds of turkey after Thanksgiving.
A Swanson employee named Gerry Thomas came up with the concept for TV dinners after he saw the metal trays airlines were using to keep meals warm. In 1954, the company released its new line of frozen meals.
Technological advancements in home refrigeration meant massive changes for Americans. By 1944, 85% of homes had a refrigerator and later in that decade home freezers became a very common sight.
These advances especially meant big changes for American women.
Before refrigerators and freezers were the norms in households, women used a lot of their time making sure that food was ready to go for their families: this meant growing food, preserving it, and going to the store to ensure that food was fresh and would be eaten before it went foul.
All of that went out the window with modern refrigerators that had freezers. And this meant American women had much more free time to pursue other activities and interests, including jobs.
And TV dinners suggested that a lot of time spent making meals wasn’t needed all the time anymore, either, freeing up even more of women’s time.