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The Triumph of the Egg

  • Susanne E. Freidberg (a1)

On 11 December 1912, Philadelphians encountered an extraordinary sight in their city's streets. Groups of prominent society women—“famous beauties and matrons … known all over the continent”—were selling eggs all over town. These eggs differed from those we buy today in that most had been in storage since April. Housewives nonetheless flocked to buy them, because they cost only 24 cents a dozen, much less than other April eggs. The sellers, themselves members of the Housekeepers' League, claimed they would not make money off the “hen fruit” that they had bought by the carload, but neither would they lose it. Rather, they aimed to break a commercial corner on eggs that, they claimed, fostered unfair and deceptive trade practices. In particular, they wanted to stop merchants from charging “strictly fresh” prices for what were in fact refrigerated eggs.

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Comparative Studies in Society and History
  • ISSN: 0010-4175
  • EISSN: 1475-2999
  • URL: /core/journals/comparative-studies-in-society-and-history
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