FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000

Pits to Patios (page 2)

Shirt, about 1965

In the 1950s and 1960s, grillers often favored the newly chic barbecue shirts and aprons, often worn over their plaid Bermuda shorts. While some clothing joked about the wearer’s presumed interest in alcohol and women, others boasted about his cooking accomplishments, proclaiming him a “Grill Master” or cool “Daddio of the Patio.” (Also see matching hat.) Gift of Nanci Edwards.

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Snapshot, 1968

Snapshot, 1968

John Bernat in his “Hail to the Chef” grilling gear in Shreveport, Louisiana

Courtesy of Cory Bernat

Charmglow gas grill ad, 1970

Charmglow gas grill ad, 1970

This ad in the April 24, 1970 Life magazine, a rare acknowledgment of a female “grill master,” extols the advantages of grilling without messy charcoal.

Barbecue themed tray, about 1965

One of a set of four, this tray pictures all the ingredients for a backyard barbecue. Gift of Beth Richwine.

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Barbecue tool set, about 1970

This Mr. Cheftender “Ranger” four-piece set—carving knife, spatula, fork, and grill scraper—represents the basic tools for barbecuers. As the market expanded, grill masters could enhance their tool kit with tongs, skewers, basting brushes, grill lighters, carrying cases, and other gadgets.

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Aluminum tumbler set, 1960s

These popular tumblers were unbreakable, rust-resistant, and colorful—perfect for outdoor gatherings. Gift of Theda Perdue.

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