Elsie and Elmer Borden: A Lesson In Dairy Dysfunction

December 19, 1949 LIFE
December 19, 1949 LIFE

The First Couple of Borden’s Milk products always seemed to be arguing, as they graced the pages of LIFE magazine throughout the 1940s and 50s.


Elmer was controlling.

Elsie was passive aggressive. But, dear…

The ad continues for nearly a DOZEN paragraphs, nothing for which today’s reader would have time. The dialog eventually addresses the product of Christmas. None Such Mince Meat.


Can you imagine an ad today making reference to Cabbages and Kings? Would most readers understand a reference to the 1904 O. Henry novel, itself a reference to Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass? I shant believe it.

Not only have I never tasted None Such Mince Meat, I have never seen hide nor hair of it. The main ingredients include raisins, molasses, dried apples, beef and spices. Not what I think of when I think of pie.


And what about you? Have you ever put a forkful of this into your gullet?

Later, Elmer asks, “Didn’t they punish nagging wives in the public square?” To which Elsie responds, “What a silly idea! Who’d make the mince meat pie while the wife was in the square?” Yikes! Better make sure that eggnog is spiked for tonight’s meal.

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