“California Cold Process” – Real or Swindle?

This is an actual advertisement in the May 1904 issue of Women’s Home Journal, recently published on the Get Rich Slowly blog. I was intrigued by the “California Cold Process” for canning, so I did a google search. I came up with another article on Google Books from a periodical called “Gleanings from Bee Culture,” published in eight years earlier, in 1896. It says :

Your California cold process Is an out and out swindle; and the most shameful part of It Is, that various journals will accept this kind of advertisements and put them right In their reading-notices, without any caution or warning to their readers. I do not know whether the editors are stupid or Ignorant, or whether they are so lacking In conscience that they do not care how much their readers lose, providing they get the money for inserting the advertisement. Just one single point should be proof enough to anybody: This man Casey says he can put up a bushel of fruit In ten minutes. If this is true, why do men invest thousands of  dollars In putting up expensive canning-factories for canning peaches, vegetables, and other produce, when for 18 two-cent stamps they could learn how to put up fruit so that It will keep a year without spoiling, at the rate of a bushel In ten minutes? I do not know whether Francis Casey sends any samples of fruit or not. You can find out by investing 18 two-cent stamps. The thing was exposed years ago by the Rumi New Yorker and other periodicals. There is no process known for keeping fruit better than the ordinary well-known methods of canning. It is possible to put up sweet corn in your own home so it will keep; but it Is a difficult and laborious operation unless you have appropriate machinery. I know It would be a grand thing for each family to put up Its surplus stuff right at home; but the regular process by cauning Is the only safe and wholesome method. Rhubarb for pies, and some other garden products, may be kept In tolerable condition without heating, so I am told; but. If I am correct, It is an uncertain and risky business at the best.

P. S. — I will send the stamps for thn process and give it to you all In next Issue, if I get any thing.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find any records of what the California Cold Process actually involves. I’ll keep looking, though.