Little Bits of History

“Oh-oh! SpaghettiOs!”

Posted in History by patriciahysell on May 16, 2010

Yummy SpaghettiOs

May 16, 1965: SpaghettiOs are introduced by Franco-American food company. The circular shaped pasta was swaddled in a tomato sauce and could have cheese, meatballs, or sliced hotdogs too! The round shape was made for easy and less messy eating by children. The low cost and ease of preparation made the product a hit with cash-strapped college kids, as well.

Franco-American  was founded by Alphonse Biardot, a Frenchman who immigrated to the US in 1880. He and his two sons opened his business in 1886, featuring foods from France. It became a subsidiary of Campbell’s Soup Company in 1915 and was discontinued in 2004. Campbell’s now markets the pasta solely and has five versions of the circular treat – Original, Meatballs, Plus Calcium, RavioliOs, and Sliced Franks. There are five more versions that have oddly shaped pasta, such as letters and other “fun shapes.”

Campbell’s Soup Company was founded in 1869 by Joseph A. Campbell and Abraham Anderson. It was originally called Joseph A. Campbell Preserve Company and produced a variety of canned goods including tomatoes, vegetables, jellies, condiments, minced meats, and soups. In 1897, a year after Anderson left the concern, Campbell reorganized and rebranded the company, assisted by his nephew. The new company, Joseph Campbell & Co., hired John T. Dorrance who was a chemist who figured out how to make condensed soup, by halving the amount of water. The trademark red and white cans were adopted in 1898.

Ralph Miller, creator of the childhood staple, was working as an organic chemist for Campbell’s Franco-American line when he realized that pasta did not have to be cooked prior to the canning procedure. There are four different sizes of “Os” in the spaghetti swimming in a mild sauce. SpaghettiOs were the first of many convenience foods marketed toward children. Bon appetit!

“Those who forget the pasta are condemned to reheat it.” – unknown

“As a child my family’s menu consisted of two choices:  take it or leave it.” – Buddy Hackett

“Hunger is the best sauce in the world.” – Cervantes

“If we’re not willing to settle for junk living, we certainly shouldn’t settle for junk food.” – Sally Edwards

“What is patriotism but the love of the food one ate as a child?” – Lin Yutang

Also on this day:
In 1918 the US Congress passed the
Sedition Act of 1918.
In 1905
Henry Fonda was born.


3 Responses

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  1. Sherry said, on February 28, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    Guilty pleasure. I love canned pasta!

  2. Kristi8209 said, on December 8, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    Reading this while eating spaghettios and looking at the 50th anniversary can. This stuff was a large part of my childhood diet. I was a very picky eater.

  3. On this Day: May 16 – Time Rewind said, on May 16, 2019 at 1:33 am

    […] 1965 – The Franco-American food company revolutionizes the way American kids eat when it intro… […]

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