September 1935: Roland C. Casad scratches words onto the skin of an immature banana squash. When grown, the squash becomes an advertising sign.
This squash now proclaims:
“You may not like everything about a person, even so about a newspaper, but if you want to read a real newspaper, read the Los Angeles Times, Roland C Casad.”
This stand-alone photo was published in the Sept. 16, 1935, Los Angeles Times.
On four different occasions, Casad’s squash advertising was featured in The Times. For example, an article accompanied by a different photo in the Oct. 18, 1933, Times reported:
If the railway mail service is gentle in its handling of the parcel post package interested to its care yesterday by Roland C. Casad, orchardist of Covina, President Roosevelt will enjoy at his Thanksgiving Day dinner a huge green banana squash, grown especially for his table.
On the squash, which weighs eighteen pounds and is twenty-one inches long, the President will find a message addressed to himself and the citizenry at large, reading as follows:
“When the people show as much interest in the solution of this depression as our President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, does, this depression will soon be over. This is the people’s problem as much as his.”
When the squash was about six weeks old, Mr. Casad, using an ice pick, scratched the message on the vegetable. The scar tissue caused the inscribed letters to stand out as though they were embossed.
After displaying the gift to Postmaster O’Brien, U.S. Atty. Hall and United States Marshal Clark, the grower had it prepared for the parcel post service.
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