82 years ago: SPAM introduced to the market

SPAM is a brand of canned cooked pork made by Hormel Foods Corporation, based out of Minnesota. Introduced this day in 1937, it gained popularity worldwide after its use during World War II. By 2003, Spam was sold in 41 countries on six continents and trademarked in over 100 countries (but not in the Middle East).

By the early 1970s the name "spam" had become a generic trademark used to describe any canned meat product containing pork, such as pork luncheon meat. With an expansion in communications technology, it became the subject of urban legends about mystery meat and made other appearances in pop culture. The most notable was a Monty Python sketch which led to its name being borrowed for unsolicited electronic messages, especially email.

As a consequence of World War II rationing and the Lend-Lease Act, Spam also gained prominence in the United Kingdom. British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher later referred to it as a "wartime delicacy". In addition to increasing production for the U.K., Hormel expanded Spam output as part of Allied aid to the similarly beleaguered Soviet Union. Nikita Khrushchev declared: "Without Spam we wouldn't have been able to feed our army". Throughout the war, countries ravaged by the conflict and faced with strict food rations came to appreciate Spam.

The SPAM Museum shown in the photo is in Austin, Minnesota.

The video title errs in citing July 7th; correct date of introduction was July 5th.


By: Vyky (4734.10)

Tags: SPAM, canned meat, WWII history, Hormel

Location: Austin, MN 55912, USA