Monday, 9 August 2010

Tin of the Week: No. 2 - Oxo

Oxo's beginings start in 1847 with a German chemist, Baron Justus von Liebig, who devised a method of extracting and concentrating beef 'essence'. Originally sold in liquid form under the brand of 'Leibig's Meat Extract', the name was changed in 1899 to Oxo and in 1910 the solid cube was launched in an attempt to make it more accessible to the public.


One of the biggest promotional tools used for the brand was the construction of the Oxo Tower on the south bank of the River Thames in London during the late 1920s. Forbidden from erecting luminated advertising signs on the building, Liebig decided that 'OXO' would be spelt out using bricks; thus resulting in one of the capital's famous landmarks.

The humble Oxo cube has played an important role in military history. Florence Nightingale used it to nurse the injured during the Crimean War and cubes were sent out to the Tommies in the First World War, providing much needed warmth and nourishment amidst the horrific conditions of trench warfare.

During the Second World War, Oxo helped eke out the rations for the Home Front housewife and no doubt many a cube was crumbled into the mix for Woolton Pie.


Throughout the decades, Oxo has become a staple in many kitchens (and campsites). It also has a place in the archives of tv advertising in the form of the 'Oxo Family', who graced our screens between episodes of Coronation Street from 1983 to 1999.

6 comments :

  1. Thanks for this post I love social history.
    my husband bought me a marmite tin last week I will have to look it up
    Cate x

    ReplyDelete
  2. Another very interesting blog. I really enjoyed reading the history of OXO. It always seems a part of everyones life, it always seems to be in everyones cupboard. I cannot wait to see what other tins you talk about.
    Julie xxxxxxxx

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a lovely post! I never knew those facts about OXO and love the iconic design of the tin. xxx

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love this post!
    I have an old Oxo tin, which takes pride of place in my kitchen.
    I love the old Stork books too...and the Trex cookery books!

    ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Love the OXO tin post, and have to say OXO is a far catchier name than 'Leibig's Meat Extract'...
    Tamzin X

    ReplyDelete
  6. THANKS FOR SHARING!
    NOW I KNOW MORE ABOUT OXO TINS!
    THE PROBLEM NOW IS THAT AFTER READING YOUR INSTERESTING POST I WANT ONE!LOL
    HUGS,

    DEBBIE MOSS

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment on my blog; I do enjoy reading each one.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...