Saturday, January 3, 2009
Remember drinking Kool-Aid? The sweet fruity drink that dyed your teeth and tongue, and your mom got upset when you spilled it on your clothes?
According to Wikipedia:
"Kool-Aid was invented by Edwin Perkins and his wife Kitty in Hastings, Nebraska, USA. Its predecessor was a liquid concentrate called Fruit Smack. (smack?) To reduce shipping costs, in 1927, Perkins discovered a way to remove the liquid from Fruit Smack, leaving only a powder. This powder was named Kool-Ade. A few years later, it was renamed 'Kool-Aid', due to a change in U.S. government regulations regarding the need for fruit juice in products using the suffix "-ade"[dubious – discuss]. Perkins moved his production to Chicago in 1931 and Kool-Aid was sold to General Foods in 1953.
Hastings still celebrates a yearly summer festival called Kool-Aid Dayson the second weekend in August, in honor of their city's claim to fame.
Advertising and promotion
The mascot of Kool-Aid, Kool-Aid Man (aka The Big Man), is a large anthropomorphic frosty pitcher filled with Kool-Aid (usually cherry, though other flavors have been used). He was introduced in Kool-Aid advertising shortly after General Foods acquired the brand. In TV and print ads, Kool-Aid Man was known for bursting suddenly through walls, seemingly summoned by the making and imbibing of Kool-Aid by children. His catch phrase is "Oh, yeah!" For many years, the Kool-Aid Man was portrayed by a live-action actor in a giant pitcher suit; starting in the mid-1990s, the character was computer-generated. The most recent Kool-Aid commercial, however, features a new actor in a whole-new pitcher costume."
Originally, Kool-Aid sold for 10 cents a packet, but during the depression, Perkins cut the price in half to 5 cents so families could afford it.
This sweet drink has left a legacy in our culture. Did you know that because of the Jonestown massacre and cyanide laced grape Kool-Aid being the drink of choice, coined the saying, "Don't drink the Kool-Aid." That basically means, don't trust any group of people that you think tend to be a little kooky.
Other than drinking the stuff, Kool-Aid has a variety of uses:
Fabric dyes, great for tie dying tee shirts.
Frosting's, just add Cool Whip.
Fruity lip gloss, add to petroleum jelly and heat.
Lemonade flavor to remove iron stains from the bath tub.
Orange flavor to run through the dishwasher as a cleaner.
Water color paints.
The list is endless and to think we drank it and stained our insides a variety of psychedelic colors.
Most importantly, don't forget Ken Keasy's Kool-Aid acid test presented by his Merry Pranksters.