Swanson TV Dinner Tray

The TV dinner represented a change in the way Americans were thinking about food. Introduced in 1954 by Swanson & Sons, of Omaha, Nebraska, it offered women--more and more of whom were working outside the home but still assumed to be responsible for cooking--an alternative to time-consuming meal preparations. The prepackaged TV dinner appealed to busy families because it required little time or effort and yet provided a well-balanced, nutritious meal.
Object Name
TV dinner tray
Swanson Company
Physical Description
aluminum (overall material)
overall: 7 in x 9 in x 3/4 in; 17.78 cm x 22.86 cm x 1.905 cm
United States: Nebraska, Omaha
United States: Nebraska
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
National Treasures exhibit
See more items in
Work and Industry: Food Technology
National Treasures exhibit
Food: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Campbell Soup Company
Related Publication
Kendrick, Kathleen M. and Peter C. Liebhold. Smithsonian Treasures of American History
Publication title
Treasures of American History online exhibition
Publication author
National Museum of American History
Publication URL

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