The Hang Fire Books Blog

The rantings of a bookdealer in Brooklyn, New York.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Eaton Awful Food Jigsaw Puzzles

I was going through my game closet the other day--trying to make some room--and I pulled out my collection of Eaton puzzles. I hadn't looked at these in a while so I thought I'd share.

I found my first Eaton at a yard sale ("Good Morning!"). This was a jigsaw puzzle featuring fantastically bad photography of dangerously unrefrigerated food so, of course, I bought it immediately.

Putting it together I asked myself questions like "Is this part of the gristle near to that gluey milk puddle?" or "Should I sort out all of the mushy cereal pieces and work on those first?". I have a fairly weak stomach so this was a race between my gag reflex and compulsion to finish.

After "Good Morning!" I was hooked and tracked down 9-10 more on eBay (6 of which were classics).

There's "ethnic" food via 1980s mall food court ("Oriental Chow", "Chili Today-Hot Tamale!"), quaintly obscene melted pastel confections ("Oh Fudge!"), venereal potatoes ("Stuffed Spuds"), and train wrecks of meat ("Deli Fare").

("Deli Fair" even features a handy diagram on the reverse so you can tell that the block of...what looks like the stuff they cleaned out of the wood-chipper at the end of Fargo, is actually head cheese.)

Last night Alice and I sat down with "Oh Fudge!". We choose to do it with dinner for some reason and as always it was Eatonic. I was reminded that these are actually really well-crafted puzzles, lots of texture and color variety, thick board stock, and bizarrely-shaped pieces that break up the standard grid layout.

Anyway they're great fall weather fun and (now that I have all I want) any jigsaw and/or kitsch fans out there should track them down.


Anonymous said...

I collect Eaton puzzles too, can you please tell me what the serial numbers of "Good Morning!" and "Stuffed Spuds" are, they should be 15-4??-90.

William Smith said...

Good Morning is 460
Spuds is 444

Do you have any goods ones I've missed?

Anonymous said...

Thank you. You said you have three more Eaton puzzles, what are they? Here are all the food Eaton puzzles I know of: "Temptation" - cherry cheesecake, "Melon Medley" - watermelon, cantalope, and honeydew halves filled with melon balls, "Prime Time" - ribs surrounded by garnish, "Very Berry Nice" - mixture of strawberries, blueberries and blackberries, "Banana Split", "Les Chocolates", "Vegetable Art" - a strange one, it has faces and designs made out of vegetables, "Heartful" - heart shaped candies, "Wax Impressions" - not food, but shelves full of wax museum body parts, mostly heads "Penny Candy", "Sundae & Always", "Pop Pop Popcorn" - pile of popcorn, "Tomato Harvest" - pile of tomatoes, "Tossed Delight" - salad, "Hot Diggity Dog" - hot dogs with fixings, "Peanuts, Peanuts, Peanuts" - three sections of different kinds of peanuts, "Thatsa Italian" - plate of pasta, "Say Cheese" - stacks of different kinds of cheese, "Go Bananas" - bananas, "I Scream You Scream" - ice cream cones, "Munchies" - assorted snack foods, "Strawberry Patch", "The Beginning Of Things" - seed bins, "I Heart Cheese", "Mixed Nuts", "Apples", "Mixed Fruit", "Decisions, Decisions" - donuts, "Donut Deluge", and "Staff Of Life" - breads.

William Smith said...

Sorry for late reply. This has been sitting in my inbox for a while waiting for a chance to to some googling. You've covered all the ones I've seen. Any chance you could send me a scan/photo of "Wax Impressions", "Vegetable Art", "Melon Medley", "Penny Candy" (is this the same image as the Springbok puzzle?), and "Munchies"? Of the ones I haven't seen these seem the most promising. I also found this during my image searching: "Neptunes Treasures","All American Fun" (Cracker Jack), "Sebastian Miniatures". Not all food but definitely in the Eaton spirit.

Anonymous said...

I can't, but I can tell you that "Penny Candy" is different than the Springbok puzzle, it looks very similar to Springbok's "Visions of Sugarplums". In "Melon Medley", the melons have nasty looking brown patches on them. "Munchies" is assorted candy sort of like Springbok's "Between Meals Puzzle".

Matttt said...

I see the comments are all pretty old, but I thought I'd chime in since I've been collecting Eaton puzzles too.

This is the best source I've seen for Eaton puzzles, listing a ton (but not all):

Does anyone know the relationship of Eaton and Bershire Stationary? It looks like the latter perhaps purchased Eaton mid-eighties.