So today I swung by Naper Settlement and checked out their latest exhibit …And it Makes a Great Christmas Gift. This is a super fun exhibition of the kitschy world of early As-Seen-On-TV products from Popeil and Ronco. Oh my goodness it is super fun and really takes you back to your childhood when you thought you would just die if you didn’t get a pocket fisherman or a Mr. Microphone for Christmas. I can remember vividly thinking that I couldn’t possibly continue to listen to my albums anymore unless I had a record vac. Funnily enough my parents didn’t seem to think I needed one.
Speaking of records what about all those amazing Ronco compilation albums (but wait there’s more….)
And It Makes a Great Christmas Gift: The History of Popeil and Ronco is at Naper Settlement through December 24th. It really is a great Chicago story of the brothers who brought us some awesome products, many that were ahead of their time (hello Chop-OMatic!) Also there is this ….
On Dec. 9, in conjunction with the exhibit, the program History Speaks: Popeil & Ronco Chop’d Challenge will merge the history of these companies with a taste of reality TV. Three local chefs will battle to create delicious dishes using popular 1970s kitchen gadgets from the Popeil and Ronco companies.
Zac Rogers from Elements, Eddie Sweeney from Catch 35, and Val Insignares from Midici will go head to head in front of an audience to craft the best dish utilizing as many products as possible.
Distinguished judges, including Pamela Popeil, the daughter of Popeil company founder Samuel Popeil, will determine the winner of the coveted Golden Veg-O-Matic trophy.
Definitely go and check it out if you get a chance …who knows maybe you can get a ride from some seventies kids in a convertible who will say into their Mr. Microphone… “Hey baby we’ll be back to pick you up later.”