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June 16, 2020

Johnny Garneau: Smorgasbords & Sneeze Guards

If you grew up in Western Pennsylvania from the 1950s to ’80s, Johnny Garneau’s Smorgasbords were the name in buffet restaurants. The challenge—then and now—is that customers can be careless with good hygiene around all that food. More than 60 years ago, Garneau took a big step to resolve that when he patented a sneeze guard, the angled plate of glass or plexiglass that shields your food from others’ airborne germs.

April 28, 2020

All-Out for Victory Gardens!

Confronting shelter-in-place rules and economic uncertainty at a time when visiting the grocery store is a scary proposition, Americans are turning again to home gardens. As seeds and garden supplies fly off virtual store shelves, we recall the “Victory Gardens” of World War I and World War II. How do the experiences of those events compare with our current situation?

April 23, 2020

Bootleg Beef and Smuggled Sirloin: Black Market Meat During World War II

Today, the coronavirus pandemic has closed meat processing plants across the nation, including two in Pennsylvania. The closures raise new concerns about the nation’s meat supply as grocery store customers already confront empty shelves. As we face this latest chato contemplate a change in eating habits. Why was black market meat such a problem during World War II, and what prompted Ray Sprigle to wade into the fray?llenge to the American dinner plate, it is useful to reflect upon what happened 75 years ago, when a different set of circumstances forced people