Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Vintage Chef String Holder

Submitted by Allee Willis November 12th, 2009

Before the proliferation of plastic bags, these vintage string holders covered the landscapes of more bakeries and butcher shops then linoleum did. All the rage in the 1940s and 50s, anyone who worked in these kinds of establishments tugged on these things to pull out long pieces of string to wrap around boxes of chocolate cakes and cheese danishes, wax paper bundled T-bones and salmons and anything else that couldn’t magically seal itself.

Made of plaster and easily breakable, many of the string holders were human faces, chefs being among the most popular, to identify with the businesses on whose walls they were mounted. Tucked in back in the cavity of the big bulging face was a big ball of string that fed through a hole in the mouth so these guys always looked like like they were drooling. The wads of string had to be replaced several times a day so with all that handling, it’s a miracle that this chef has survived only in need of a good facial.


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