I just came across a blog detailing the horrors Weight Watchers' earlier days. I laughed until I cried.
Contrary to what some might think, this was not a gentler more civilized time, but was instead an era dominated by a food culture that was (in the words of the author) "unspeakably grim...and yet also, completely insane".
With recipes such as "Frankfurter Spectacular", "Jellied Tomato Refresher", "Chilled Celery Log" and "Fluffy Mackerel Pudding", there's something for everyone! The author insightfully notes that "there's a certain serve-it-at-your-next-key-party freakiness to a lot of these dishes" -- and with so much of it served in a delectable dome of gelatin, why not?!?
Also of interest are the artifacts that were carefully selected to highlight these culinary delights in each photo. Here we see the truly avant-garde stylings of a prop department that was "clearly out of control". Truly, they were taking their craft to the limits of moral and culturally acceptable art. If you doubt this, just check out the menacing menagerie camped out around the Mexican Shrimp-Orange Salad. Or the piggy bank next to the jellied liver pate. Or the overuse of what can only be shower curtains in the backdrops....
Oh, heck, you just have to see it for yourself!
Insane Weight Watchers recipe cards from 1974 | SANCTE PATER
Edit: Upon further review, I've found out that the text in the blog is actually an excerpt of a full book (!!) by Wendy McClure, entitled The Amazing Mackerel Pudding Plan (the blogger just puts it into one easy-to-navigate format). Since I cited the blog first, I feel obligated to include the link to the original author's site http://www.candyboots.com/book.html
. Let the fun continue!