Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Bond Bread Broadcasts

That sticker was on the cover of a 1933 copy of the Bond Bread cookbook. Bond bread is no longer baked, but 75 years ago it was more popular than Wonderbread.

Bond bread was first baked in 1915 by company-founder William Deininger in Rochester N.Y. It was marketed as an alternative to cheap loaves made of processed filler. The production of bread, sold under the trade name of "Bond Bread," accounted for over 90 percent of its sales and production averaged nearly 1.5 million loaves per day. It survived the great depression and by 1954 it was being sold in 26 states almost a national brand. 
But still competition drove it out of business. A Canadian firm, Denison Mines, Ltd bought it out in 1963, in turn selling it to Goldfield Corp. In 1965. The new owners changed the name to general Host, and managed to get into serious trouble by 1968.   In of that year a federal grand jury indicted them and other baking companies on charges of illegally conspiring to fix bread prices in the Philadelphia metro.  they got caught red-handed again in 1972, that time in New York. The company got out of baking the the Bond division was shut down.

Bond Bread spent a very short time involved with radio. The Bond Bread broadcasts only ran from 1934 to 1936. It aired on the CBS network on Sunday nights at 5:30 PM. The 30 minute program was a variety show featuring family-friendly artists like Crumit & Sanderson.  They sponsored other schmaltzy programs by Guy Lombardo and inexplicably the Lone Ranger in 1940. It was a short-lived marginal program heard on stations like WABC, WNAB and others.

In the 1940s Bond moved into advertising on kids Western TV shows. They also sponsored Bond Bread Newscasts on WDAS hosted by Nathan Fleisher, a Yiddish news commentator. The last time Bond Bread made big radio news was in 1949. A set of protracted bread and beer strikes in New York forced Bond and other bread companies such as Tasty to cut back their radio advertising. WMCA copped to losing $10k in weekly billings, and WNEW for $4k.