Historic Unedited Photos They Don't Want You To See
Publication: Historical Archives. Posted by
Historic Unedited Photos They Don't Want You To See
More than a decade before the McDonald brothers revolutionized fast food, an unnamed worker is pictured here tending to some good old-fashioned hamburgers.
There was a time before fast food hamburgers became a thing that you had to make them the old fashioned way, even if you were trying to run a business and do things as quickly as possible. These days, hamburgers account for three out of every four burgers produced around the world. Even McDonald’s alone creates over 10 percent of the world’s hamburgers, meaning that they’re churning out 75 every second. Obviously, that number is much higher than it used to be back in the period of time shown in this picture.
This photo is taken from 1938, in a time where hamburgers were created in a much less factory-esque way. It comes from the national Rice Festival in Crowley, Louisiana, with his man making his hamburgers at a concession stand. This picture perfectly encapsulates life in the first half of 20th century America, before a lot of things became automated. Even when it comes to hamburgers, a good portion of the process of getting them onto the bun doesn’t carry a lot of human element.
In that time, you needed a hot griddle to cook your hamburgers, and you had to flip them over with care. People were using the eye test instead of an operations manual with a timer that tells you exactly what and when to do what you need to do. It’s hard to say if they made the hamburgers taste better back then than they are today (since not many of us were around), the process has obviously been streamlined to take just mere moments. Back then, it’s likely there also weren’t a lot of preservatives in these hamburgers, meaning that you were likely to be getting some very fresh beef.
So how are fast food hamburgers made these days compared to the early 20th century days of the concession stand and mom and pop restaurants that you hardly see anymore? Let’s take McDonald’s for example. Currently, the company relies heavily on a processor called the OSI Group that was founded in Chicago in 1909 and currently employs more than 20,000 people. Back when it started, the group had only operated in the Chicago area, supplying meat to local grocery stores and restaurants. It was a successful business, but hadn’t yet reached its potential.
That time would come when OSI teamed up with Ray Kroc, who had recently taken over McDonald’s. When he opened his first Illinois restaurant, OSI was put in charge of supplying all of the beef to the restaurant for their hamburgers, which would be one of the very few items that were on the initial menu. This allowed OSI to expand rapidly in its operations, soon becoming a nationwide business with massive volumes. Though other suppliers would also join the McDonald’s family, OSI was still the original and continues their work today. Now, OSi operates on an international scale and provides for other fast food chains such as Pizza Hut and Subway.
In the time of this young entrepreneur, you likely had to go down to your local meat market since these concession stands don’t tend to have major contracts with meat processors like McDonald’s would land. Instead, you had to buy large chunks of ground beef and press down the patties yourself. These days, there are machines that will create patties that are packaged and ready to ship out to stores and restaurants around the world. Over a half ton of ground beef can be processed into patties all at the same time with just one machine from OSi, which would’ve made this man’s job much easier.
It just really goes to show you how much things can change in the world, even when it comes to simple preparation for hamburgers. If you want to take a little trip back in time to this type of hamburger and get away from the fast food a bit, though, the festival where this man was preparing his burgers is still going on in Crowley. The event started in 1937, so this photo was taken during the second annual National Rice Festival (of course, there’s also rice to be eaten).
Shortly after this, the event was put on hiatus as World War II had broken out, but resumed in 1946, coming with a slight change in the name as it became the International Rice Festival. The event takes place every October in celebration of Louisiana’s finest export, holding a pair of parades and plenty of cooking contests. There’s plenty to do there with arts and crafts displays, but make sure to come hungry as there’s a ton of food available and you’re going to want to try it all.
Another interesting aspect of the picture that you might notice is the advertising for soda along the wall of where the food is being prepared. Coca-Cola doesn’t seem to have changed much of their advertising at all in the past century, as their logo has become nothing short of iconic. 7-Up remains identifiable despite switching up their colors, but then there’s the case of Royal Crown Cola, or what many just called RC.
Many younger people seem to think that RC Cola just went by the wayside over the years, but they’re still very much in business today. The company started back in 1905, and were an established brand by the time this photograph was taken. When they began operations, RC was actually a ginger ale, which was also followed up by strawberry and root beer sodas. It wasn’t until the early 1930s that they had what was a bit of a Coca-Cola type of drink, and by the 1950s had been right up there with their competitor as one of the most popular sodas in the United States.
Though their popularity waned in the decades that followed, the original RC Cola is still kicking with a lot of variations that include diet sodas and a variety of flavors. These days, RC is owned by the company that also operated Keurig coffee, Dr. Pepper and Snapple. Even 7-Up, which had been its own company at the beginning, falls in the same umbrella. While there’s a lot that’s changed since this photo, you can definitely tell that this photo was taken in the United States with some familiar foods and brands.