expo 67 lounge

Mid-century fashion, vintage pop culture and retro cool... from Expo 67 and beyond.

3 May 2010

Kentucky Fried Chicken Catalog, 1974

A spectacular revolving bucket sign, with flashing arrow.

The first Kentucky Fried Chicken opened in 1952, in South Salt Lake, Utah.

Harland Sanders had been serving his fried chicken since 1930 at a gas station he owned in North Corbin, Kentucky. Named Sanders Court & Café, the dining room was so successful that in 1936, the Kentucky Governor at the time granted Sanders the title of honorary Kentucky Colonel.

In the 1950s, upon the success of Sanders Court & Café, the Colonel began franchising his recipe, travelling across the U.S. from restaurant to restaurant cooking batches of chicken. By the early 1960s, Kentucky Fried Chicken was sold in over 600 franchised outlets in both the United States and Canada.

Throughout the 60's and 70's, franchising remained the foundation of Kentucky Fried Chicken's business. For an initial $3,000 fee, a franchisee went to KFC University to learn all the basics.

While typical costs for a complete Kentucky Fried Chicken start-up ran close to $65,000, some franchisees quickly became millionaires. Tying together a national image, KFC began developing pre-fabricated red-and-white striped buildings to appeal to tourists and residents in the United States.

The images presented here are from a 1974 catalog destined to franchisees. Owners could order food packaging, equipment and supplies, recipe ingredients; everything from fryers to freezers... as well as the aforementioned pre-fabricated restaurant!

Regular or Jumbo?

The classic bucket with side-order containers.

Interesting to note, Kentucky Fried Chicken's ubiquitous paper bucket was originally created by Wendy's founder Dave Thomas. Thomas was a Kentucky Fried Chicken franchisee in the early days, operating several outlets in the Columbus, Ohio, before going on to open his own fast food chain in 1969. Thomas' reasoning behind using paper packaging was that it helped keep the chicken crispy by wicking away excess moisture.

During the 60's, Dave Thomas worked with Colonel Sanders on many projects to make KFC more profitable and to give it brand recognition. It was Thomas that suggested that Sanders himself appear in Kentucky Fried Chicken commercials. He was also responsible for the creation of the famous rotating bucket sign that came to be the symbol of Kentucky Fried Chicken...

Styrofoam salad containers.

Hot and cold beverage containers.

Male employees wore paper caps, while the ladies donned fab KFC tiaras...!

Sales Hostess Fashions were available in up to size 22... Yowsah!

Boost your restaurant's sales by ordering... an entire new building!

images: personal collection



Anonymous Pluche said...

I felt my arteries clogging just watching the commercial. Great article Jason.

8:46 am  
Blogger Jason Stockl said...

I seem to have a "thing" for greasy chicken...! ;-)

6:12 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unbelievable! You've done it again Jason- I am back in Ville St-Laurent circa 1977 with my favorite stretchy plaid pants on listening to the Bee Gees. Thanks for this whole blog...

12:33 pm  
Blogger NativePride said...

Just came across your blog and thought it was a long time since I saw a sign with the full words. Now all you see is KFC!! So is it really chicken people are getting? LOL

8:16 pm  
Anonymous Jennifah Jones said...

Jas...i have one comment to make about the 1st pic: Best damn breakfast in town, Congratulations Dan and Christina ! lmao...you are quite the researcher, i can't believe all this vintage ad shizz...great article!

7:29 pm  

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