Another strange and excessively complicated competition from Eagle, dated (top right) 2 July 1960. The Modern Cooking Promotional Committee (i.e. a consortium of British cooker manufacturers) went to the very limits of creative and lateral thinking when they came up with this competition that requires adolescent boys to identify nine cookers. Thrilling. I never met a twelve year old who’d willingly spend an hour naming cookers, and I doubt a boy of 1960 was much different. Of course the boys don’t win a cooker– boys don’t cook, silly. The cooker’s obviously for mother. The competition pragmatically acknowledges that the gender roles of the time mean that a boy is unlikely to know or care anything about ovens or cooking (“ask mother to help you”), and yet still they plough on regardless with asking him to hang around in electricity showrooms checking out hobs, and to opine on his top four most sought after features in a modern automatic electric cooker. My top four–in order of importance– are Cooking Results, Safety, Large Grill and Oven Light. See, it’s fun, cookers are exciting.
It’s also a bit mind boggling to think that there were at least nine manufacturers making cookers in the UK, i.e. that the UK was a thriving industrial economy at the time. Even the decaying hulks of old industrial buildings in cities throughout the country still don’t quite drive home that fact in quite the same way this silly competition does. You may also have noticed that one of the cooker companies is Falco.
Sometimes a fellow just wants to wear a massive wig and hang out with bikers. Nothing wrong with that. But nearly a quarter of a century has still not weathered this one hit wonder into anything other than the third worst thing to come out of Austria in the 20th century after (#2) Arnold Schwarzenegger and (#1) Adolf Hitler.