Blitz Burner - Burning your trash the modern way.

Okay. In 1955, Climate Change / Global Warming were not really things that science was worried about... or even had names for. People commonly burned garbage in their yards. As far as anyone knew, the soot and smoke simply went up into the sky and just kept on going, up into space. There was no way that human activity could possibly have a cumulative effect on the entire planet, so far as anybody knew.

Leaving environmental responsibility aside, there are still some eyebrow-raising things about this ad for the Blitz Burner.

Back in '55, your average backyard incinerator was a concrete affair with a rusty wrought-iron grating somewhere on it to let the smoke out, and keep woodland varmints from getting in or something. I don't think anybody ever had the notion to use the thing as a grill.

Sure, the possibility was obvious. A thing with fire in it and a metal rack on top, at pretty much perfect grilling height, no less. Who wouldn't have thought of using it to cook food? Anyone who came within a few yards of it, that's who. Burning trash stinks, and the smell of it, and the general effluvium, tended to marry itself eternally to the very structure of whatever it was burned in.

People burned pretty much any kind of household garbage that was even vaguely flammable in their backyard incinerators. Old rotten food, and especially unpleasant diapers that were irretrievably filthy. Anything that was awful enough that you wanted to kill with fire went into the family incinerator. That was the point.

But the clever folks at Montamower Distributing Co. weren't squeamish about using the same thing you burn garbage in to cook food. Let's assume that you wouldn't be using a trash fire to cook burgers. Montamower probably intended its customers to toss in a few mesquite logs or something. Still... wow.

There's a reason this idea never caught on. But maybe, in the Blitz Burner's defense, since the unit was all metal, you could concievably hose it out, fresh and clean, every time you used it, making it hunky-dory for cooking food with. ...Mmmmmaybe.

Still, no way.

And then there's the name. In 1955, World War 2 was just ten years into memory. America was enjoying a booming economy and the invention of the suburbs was making it possible for loads of (usually white) people to enjoy a little bit of the American Dream.

In London, however, they were still smarting from having most of their city bombed into gravel after a little thing called "the Blitz", courtesy of the Third Reich. So, to name your new product the Blitz Burner has all the tact of marketing... say.... a bug spray, calling it "The 9/11 of hornets". It's kind of hard to imagine that nobody asked the boss if they was sure about that idea.

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cyclotronboy said...

It's the overly enthusiastic housewife that really makes it for me.

lrf said...

I've, uh, heard that she makes it for lots of guys. Her incinerator is always hot.

Michelle_Randy said...

I don't think I'm that old and we burned our trash when we were growing up. Old metal 50 gallon drum. Gawd, I hate that job. You always had to trudge through the snow, the wind would always blow the match out, gah.

My husband is completely horrified by the ideas (as am I, now).

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