Monday, November 2, 2015

The Oysterette man

[Illustration from the article “What about Present Cracker Advertising? An Interview with the Advertising Manager of the N. B. C.” The Cracker Baker (March 1918).]

I somehow thought of Nabisco Oysterettes and went looking for the Oysterette man. He is hard to find, these days. He was never a spokesman, and certainly never a mascot. He sat, silent, on a box on the side of the box, head down, all wrinkled and patched, shucking oysters. No one at the wharf has seen him. (What wharf?)

The Oysterette man makes a fleeting full-color appearance on eBay now and then. But I found him living a more settled life in grey. “When the N. B. C. let me go,” he told me, “I didn’t know what to think. I thought I had a job for life. But what are you gonna do?” The answer: shuck oysters. It’s what he knows. He is down to his last box of crackers.

[The National Biscuit Company began using the name “Oysterettes” in 1900 or 1901. The trademark lapsed in 2003. The Oysterette man on eBay: here, for instance.]

comments: 2

Elaine said...

My dad, born in 1912 and named Nathaniel Bivings Hilburn, recounted being teased in early boyhood: "N.B.? What does that stand for? National Biscuit?" (Such wit!)
He more often went by 'June,' as he was named for his father (despite being the 5th of 6 boys.)

Michael Leddy said...

Oy. You can imagine the good clean fun that the name Leddy led to (for my dad, and for his children, but not for his grandchildren).