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Party at the Potato Chip Place

Source of picture: Florida State Archives

Here’s holiday cheer at the H. W. Lay potato chip company, a forerunner to Frito-Lay. This picture comes from December 24, 1948. These African American employees worked at Lay’s Jacksonville operation, located in Springfield at 1402-26 E. 8th Street.

Under the Christmas tree sits an enticing bundle of presents. What surprises may’ve been waiting to be unwrapped? Some packages might have contained Tupperware, hugely popularized by the first Tupperware parties in 1948. Other presents could’ve included items that were first made or invented that year: “Scrabble” games, Adidas shoes, electric guitars, food processors, Duncan Hines prepackaged cake mixes, and Lionel Santa Fe Diesel Toy Trains. Bic ballpoint pens also replaced leaky fountain pens.

No doubt the gift of music became more wondrous in 1948. Columbia Records introduced the 33 1/3 LP record. “LP” stood for “Long Playing.” These disks allowed listeners to enjoy an unprecedented 25 minutes of music per side. This was compared to the four minutes per side of the standard 78 rpm record.

-written by Glenn Emery

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