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TV Dinners - The first commercially successful TV dinner was introduced by L.A. Swanson Food Company in 1953.

Swanson Brand Frozen Dinners - Print Ad

For the cost of $1.00, the 12 ounce TV dinner included sliced turkey, gravy, buttered peas, whipped sweet potatoes, and cranberry sauce. The carton's front cover displayed a picture of a TV set.

With the microwave oven becoming so commonplace in the 1980s, manufacturers of instant dinners began replacing the classic aluminum metal trays with those made of plastic, cardboard, and Styrofoam materials.

Actually the first frozen dinners were made for the US Navy in 1944. The process of quick freezing food was invented in 1911 by Clarence Birdseye, a former government surveyor. His discovery was inspired by watching the Eskimos in Labrador preserve their food by freezing the food in the arctic air.


Mother: [At the dinner table] "Guess well have to send daddy to the store every time.
Father: Huh?
Mother: This turkey is delicious and the slices are bigger. Why you brought home the best frozen dinner we ever had.
Father: Well, I guess I cant take all the credit. You see when I was down at the store today. [Flashback to store] "So darn many frozen dinners."
Store Clerk: Trust Swanson that what most folks do. They're the ones. No comparison."
Father: [Cut to dinner table] So, I took Swanson
Mother: So from know on we'll always take Swanson.
Announcer: Yes, trust Swanson every time. There's is the turkey that's so tender and juicy with bigger slices on corn bread dressing.  Swanson dinners just taste better and who else gives you 11 kinds to choose from. That's why so many folks... 
Store Clerk: Trust Swanson. They're the ones.
Announcer: They are, indeed. No comparison.

--Text from a 1953 Swanson TV Dinner Commercial



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