Appalachian Trail Histories


"The Frontier

Where the Blazed Trail Crosses the Boulevard

CHRISTMAS, with its childhood memories and beautiful legends, carries us above the roofs of the city and out into the forests. 

With every gift which we select we hear the tinkle of the reindeers' bells—that wonderful make-believe which keeps our friendships warm and our own hearts young.

We think of the snow and the ice outdoors and the cozy fire within—of the woods and the woods animals and the hunter dragging in his deer—of the frozen ponds and the village skaters. 

Christmas and its Holiday are a season of rosy-cheeked sport, when we gather 'round the hearth in the evening discussing the sporting achievements of the days just passed and our hopes for the months to come.

So the gift with a genuine sporting flavor has a special significance and a special place in the esteem of the one who gets it. The real Christmas tree, to the sportsman, is the lonesome pine on its native hill, sparkling with snow in the moonlight. It stands on the frontier between the nerve-racking realities of his business life and his enjoyment of a glorious vacation.

The Abercrombie & Fitch store stands out today with the same glittering distinctness—a stalwart sentinel on the Frontier of Christmas, with every one of its thousands of gifts, for man or woman, boy or gir, away from the humdrum—a thing that awakens fond memories and pleasant anticipations."

Please note: This transcription reflects the main body of text on the advertisement and there is more text to read on the attached image.

1919 newspaper ad inThe Sunfor Abercrombie & Fitch

The main text states,

"Theroz Mess Kit Patented

March 26th, 1918

All of the army men who have seen a Theroz Mess Kit in action praise it enthusiastically. They know what it means to a wet and hungry soldier to have warm food and hot fresh coffee instead of cold. Plucky boys out in the trenches and often far away from the camp kitchen laugh and joke about their cold stew—'slum' they call it. But cold strew is no joke.

There is no reason why your boy or any boy that you are interested in should be compelled to eat cold food if you will get a Theroz Mess Kit for him.

The war department does not permit a soldier to carry an ounce of useless baggage, but every military authority who has seen the Theroz Mess Kit demonstrated has endorsed its adoption for all branches of the service. The Government has ordered Theroz Mess Kits as a part of the necessary equipment for Transport lifeboats.

Typically American, it meets a great emergency need. In just seven minutes the triple decker Theroz Mess Kit furnishes piping hot soup, pork and beans and coffee enough for two hungry men. In another minute, the Kit fryer can be put into action by inverting the cover of one of the boilers. Crispy bacon, toasted cheese, or tinned sausage browned to a turn will be ready in a jiffy.

Think for a moment what it means to have a stimulating hot drink in the long trench nights! It saves many a chill and may prevent serious illness. In the morning it means hot water for shaving.

When stiff and worn from exposure, when chilled to the bone from trench mud, when completely done from long hours of fighting, something hot to eat and drink will put new life into the soldier, and with Theroz there is no waiting. At the scratch of a match you will have the full intense heat."

Quotes from military men on the ad:

"Army Men Say

Lieut. Col. Holcomb, Q.M.C., who made the official tests for the General Staff, U.S. Army, writes: 'It would be invaluable not only to soldiers but to civilians as well. The device should by all means become part of the equipment of every soldier.'

George W. Pratt, Capt. Ord. R.V., writes: 'Has been shown to Col. E.D. Anderson of the General Staff and Ge. Babbitt of Ordnance Dept. Equipment Div., and Maj. Murlin of the Surgeon General's office, all of whom have examined the utensil in actual operation and have commended it.'"

A re-printed letter from Arthur Guy Empey:

"My dear Mr. Adams:—

In answer to your letter in reference to the Theroz Mess Kit, I believe that every soldier in the service, whether doing duty in the United States or in the tranches of France, should have one.

I have carefully examined and tested this kit and think it a wonder. I know if I could (would) have had one during my service in the trenches, it would have been a God-send to me. Our soldiers, especially at this time, receive so many useless presents,—things that are of absolutely no use to them,—that I would advise anyone who wishes to send a really useful and helpful article to a soldier, to send one of these kits.

It is very generous of you to send a Theroz Mess Kit to each of the fifty stars in your service flag, and I also appreciate your kindness in offering to send Kits to my friends in the service. I will surely take you up on it. 

Your very truly,

Arthur Guy Empey"

Please note, there is further text on this advertisement image. The transcription of Empey's letter has "could (would)" as an interpretation of the handwritten strike of "would" and handwritten "could" placed above.

1918 full page newspaper ad in the New-York Tribunefor a Theroz Mess Kit

The American Folding Kampkook Stove

Adds to camping and all outdoor life a comfort and concenience which is otherwise lacking. It enables the campter, automobile tourist, or sportsman to prepare a hot, tasty meal or lunch anywhere and at any time. Has two powerful burners, burns common gasoline. Nothing to screw together or assemble; set up and ready for business in a jiffy. Folds compact in steel case which protects against loss or breakage. Size folded 14 1/2 x 8 x 3 1/2 inches. 

Supplied with KAMPOVEN if desired. Does all ordinary baking perfectly. An ideal tent heater.

Ask your sporting goods dealer for the KAMPKOOK. Large Folder in colors sent on request.

American Gas Machine
778 Clark St., Albert Lea, Minn.  

Outdoor Life excerpt with an ad for Kampkook, a camping stove

This page from Abercrombie & Fitch's 1916 catalog shows modified foodstuffs that make it easier to carry whether camping or hiking.

Excerpt of 1916 Abercrombie & Fitch Catalog about foodstuffs