1918 Newspaper Ad for Theroz Mess Kit
This an advertisement for a Theroz Mess Kit whose target audience is people in the U.S. with loved ones who are soldiers fighting in World War I. The text emphasizes how this product will offer a bit of comfort in such distressing circumstances.
Made of aluminum, this small stove is lightweight. It can warm several items in layers. Highlighted sellers include several sporting stores, including Abercrombie & Fitch. The small aside placed underneath the picture of the product emphasizes how everyday people pursuing outdoor activities should take advantage of this item.
Generally, this ad pulled on the heartstrings of people with loved ones fighting in the military. Understanding the gender disparity—with most women in the States and many men enlisted—the target home audience would be women. The most overt evidence for the idea that this ad particularly targets women is the mention, "Theroz provides the perfect safe way for heating babies' milk...."
SubjectTrail Food Equipment
FormatBlack and white image
The main text states,
"Theroz Mess Kit PatentedMarch 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.