Mapleine Advertisement, 1909

  • Posted 10/03/2011
  • Essay 9938

Mapleine is an imitation maple flavoring originally produced by Seattle's Crescent Manufacturing Company in 1905.  Mapleine quickly became Crescent's signature product.  The Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition (A-Y-P), held on the University of Washington campus in 1909, attracted more than three million fairgoers during its four-month run, and offered businesses like Crescent an important opportunity to showcase their products to the public  Crescent's Mapleine booth in the Manufactures  Building (along with smaller booths around the fairgrounds) touted the product and offered samples of ice cream and confections flavored with Mapleine. This full-page advertisement for Mapleine appeared in the monthly magazine The Coast: Alaska And Greater Northwest in September 1909 (pp. 203-204). Note: McCormick & Company, Inc., based in Baltimore, Maryland, currently (2011) distributes Mapleine on a limited basis.

"Fame of Mapleine Is International: Interesting Account of How an Appeal to the Palate Won International Fame

"The brewer whose claim for his brew that it made Milwaukee famous has no stronger claim upon the gratitude of his town than the fame of Seattle throughout the Western hemisphere.  No food product ever won a more rapid and universal success.  Although only four years have elapsed since the article and the name came into existence, dealers throughout the United States and Canada now find themselves compelled to carry it in stock to meet the insistent demands of their trade.

"The Crescent Manufacturing Company, the concern that has made Seattle famous -- and blessed among millions of lovers of Maple sweets -- is one of the oldest manufacturing concerns of the state.  As manufacturers of high-class food products, the company was years ago regarded as having won the full measure of success.  Crescent Egg Phosphate Baking Powder, Crescent Pure Spices and Flavoring Extracts, and the celebrated brands of fine package coffee bearing the Crescent imprint, had each attained a popularity sufficient to satisfy any reasonable ambition long before Mapleine gave the company a taste of international fame.

"To supply an acceptable substitute for maple sap had long been a problem with which many manufacturers had vainly grappled.  In this emergency, Mapleine, 'the flavor better than Maple' was put upon the market by the Crescent Manufacturing Company, and it made the doom of the maple orchard a matter of indifference to the millions with the weakness for hot cakes and maple syrup.  At last they had a substitute possessing all the richness and delicacy of flavor of the real maple syrup -- pure, clean and wholesome, and devoid of any ingredient with power to harm.  The merit of the new product was recognized at once.  In an incredibly short time Mapleine became a household word throughout the United States and Canada.

"In putting this new flavoring upon the market its makers have given the consuming public a square deal.  They have never advertised it as anything more than a substitute, frankly admitting in the label of every bottle that it contains no particle of maple, and no attempt has ever been made to deceive anybody concerning its composition.  In the controversy of the company with the government last April, which was given prominence in the press reports throughout the United States, there was no question of the purity or harmlessness of the product, but simply the propriety of the labeling of the containers.  The government agents contend that when a suffix such as 'ine' is added to the name of a food product to designate some prepared food product which contains no part of the product bearing the name to which the suffix had been added, the derivative name cannot be legally used.  At the hearing of the case before the United States district court at Chicago last May the meaning of the suffix 'ine' was the sole question at issue.  The government admitted that the preparation was harmless.  During the hearing cakes and candies made from the product were passed to the jury and eaten with relish, and the attorneys for the government admitted that the products were the equal in taste and appearance to genuine maple products, and could not distinguish from them.

"Visitors at the A-Y-P Exposition in Seattle carry away grateful recollections of Mapleine.  Attractive booths wherein Mapleine ice cream and dainties are served are placed at frequent intervals about the grounds, affording opportunity for delicious refreshment to weary sightseers during the warm days and evenings. 

"While the brilliant and unparalleled success of Mapleine has somewhat overshadowed the other products of the Crescent Manufacturing Company, their popularity is firmly established.  The company has a remarkably long list of successes in the food product line -- in fact the archives of its counting room contain no records of anything but successes, for no article has ever gone into the market with the Crescent brand and failed.  The consuming public long ago learned that this company would not place its trademark upon an impure of inferior product.

"A booklet entitled 'Mapleine Dainties,' published for gratuitous distribution by the manufacturers, contains recipes for over thirty confections, ice, cakes, etc., which proves a happy solution of the problem of providing delicious and varied light refreshments."

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