During World War One, we worried that New York would enter a food crisis. While we didn't fear a famine, we grew concerned at the high expense of food. Families needed money for medical supplies, and as women could earn more working in factories than by staying home, more and more former housewives were using the time spent in the kitchen to find jobs. With men at war and women at work, who would cook? One company proposed a solution: dinners for delivery. Containers, which resembled milk cans at the time, would organize hot courses in six layers, while a three-layered container would hold cold components, like salad. Priced at fifty cents, these pails of food weren't much more expensive than the raw ingredients for a homecooked meal.
Read the full story in "A Corporation That Cooks For You"