Hello?  It’s Jell-O calling.  ISU Library Special Collections collects ephemera — mostly in the form of small, pamphlet-style recipe books — from over 100 manufacturers, including Quaker Oats, Rumford Baking Powder, and “America’s Most Famous Dessert,” Jell-O.


Frankly, I’m in awe of the prolific PR department at Jell-O.   Dozens of these brightly illustrated, lithographically printed Jell-O recipe pamphlets (circa 1905-1930)  have been coming through the Conservation Lab in recent weeks.  Jell-O is alternately portrayed as an appetizing panacea for invalids, an elegant dessert fit even for a wedding feast, and the answer to all dinnertime dilemmas.

The Conservation Lab’s answer to the Jell-O recipe books’ woes is to remove rusty staples and rebind with a simple 3-hole pamphlet stitch, and then house each item in a CoLibri pocket with a 20-pt. Bristol board support piece — a quick, workable solution as dainty and practical as Jell-O itself.

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