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With Trademarkology declaring this to be "Pork Week," it's nostalgic for me to salute Fischer Packing Company, a 20th Century icon here in Louisville, Kentucky which is integrally a part of my family history.
After a four year stint in the United States Air Force during the Korean Conflict which interfered with my father's college education, he returned the family to Kentucky, my mother, my older brother and me. (My sister joined the scene after the war and following the family return to Kentucky).
Upon his return, Dad returned to college, enrolling at the University of KentuckyâI know, hard to imagine since I'm an alumnus of its arch-rival, the University of Louisville. (More on that later). In 1957, Dad received his decree in Agriculture and relocated the family 70 miles west of the University of Kentucky in Lexington to Louisville, where he took a management level job with the Fischer Packing Company. He was a "lifer" there, working this career the rest of his life until his untimely death in 1975, when I was in college. My parents blessed me with a fully funded college and law school education, so it can be said: Fischer Packing Company indirectly funded making me what I am.
Fischer Packing Company
was founded in Louisville, Kentucky in 1904. It originally was named, Henry Fischer Packing Company. Henry was a part of the large German population immigration to Louisville in the late 1800s. One of his descendants founded the company and named it in honor of Henry. For the next hundred years or so the company was a full service meat packing facility, butchering and processing beef and pork.
Fischer's beef products we
re typically marketed in bulk to butcher shop and grocers. So ultimate consumers were not necessarily familiar with the Fischer's brand in relation to beef products. As for pork though, and what the company was, and remains best known for is its packaged processed meats such as hams, bacon, lunchmeats, hot dogs, and various other sausages. The company continues to offer its products through retail food outlets in Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Alabama, and North Carolina.
Its registered house mark is shown here, along with a colorful commercial version of the mark as it is encountered in the marketplace.
The Fischer family ultimately sold the business to the Wilson Foods Company in the late 1960s, if I recall correctly, and ownership of the brand has passed from time to time to other companies, but each continued the meat packing endeavors in Louisville until the early 2000s. The brand is now owned by Specialty Foods Group of Owensboro, Kentucky.
I do not believe Fischer's is still involved with butchering beef and providing bulk beef products to butcher shops and grocers, but it remains well known for its packaged process pork products such as this grocery display I photographed last week â
Fischer's has been, and remains well known for various marks and slogans it uses to market its products. For instance, to emphasize the tender quality of its whole ham products, it adopted the mark QUIK CUT, Reg. No. 2,532, 184. But the marks Fischer's is perhaps best known for are its slogans which are used in catchy radio and television commercial jingles, slogans such as THE BACON-MAKIN PEOPLE, Reg. No. 1,052,534, SMILE MAKIN' PEOPLE, Reg. No. 2,759.595, and BACON MAKIN' BOLOGNA MAKIN' SMILE MAKIN' PEOPLE, Reg. No, 2,759,595.
So what does all of t
his have to do with the University of Louisville? It's this: the University Louisville has been and remains the preeminent college football power in Kentucky and is well known for the pre-game tailgating spirit of its fans. At our tailgate gatherings, I'm typically grilling up and serving Fischer's hot dogs and sausages. But what my friends especially like are the Noon football games which means, as we affectionately call it, "Breakfast Tailgate!" in which the fare is Fried BolognaâFischer's brand of courseâand egg sandwiches.
(Please, no comments about how the cook's physique suggests he has consumed a fair amount of pork.)