Back in the mid 50's there was a marriage of two things that dramatically changed people's lifestyle.

Television: TV was finally coming of age, and everyone had to have one in the living room.

T.V. Dinners: The latest rage, enjoy your dinner while watching television.

Mom and Dad and their two kids Johnny and Mary could now sit on the living room couch and enjoy a TV dinner while watching their favorite television program. They were easy and fast for Mom to prepare after a busy day, and inexpensive too.

TV dinners actually started with chicken pot pies. One Thanksgiving, Swanson overestimated the demand for frozen turkeys and were left with over 500,000 pounds of turkey which was stored in refrigerated rail cars. Big problem..what to do with it. About this time, a salesman, Gerry Thomas was boarding a Pan Am flight, and noticed the aluminum foil trays Pan Am was testing to keep food warm on their flights. Gerry borrowed one, figured out a way to add dividers to the tray, and sold the idea to the Swanson marketing department. They even came up with the idea of putting a TV on the packaging, and the TV dinner was born.

They went on sale in the mid fifties for 98 cents. Customers got turkey, buttered peas, sweet potato and stuffing. Swanson originally sold 5000, but within 10 months, they had sold over ten million, and by the end of the year sold 25 million. Enjoy the video..Z Z Top and "TV Dinners"