TV Dinners (1950's) - Mortal Journey
As the story goes, after poor Thanksgiving sales left Swanson Foods with a huge surplus of turkeys, Swanson executive Gerry Thomas conceived an idea - what if they packaged the turkeys with other foods in an easy to prepare meal container, similar to what airlines in that era served passengers on domestic flights. When Swanson invented the TV dinner in 1953, they estimated production of 5,000 dinners for the first year and ramped manufacturing accordingly. By the end of the first year, Swanson had sold more than 10 million of the 98 cent turkey and dressing TV-Dinner meals.
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