Thursday, July 21, 2005

Consumer: Creator of TV dinner passes away

Gerry Thomas, often credited as the inventor of the TV dinner has died aged 83 after a long bout with cancer.

Many credit him with creating not only the concept of the TV dinner but also the trademark name and the design of the three-compartment aluminium tray when working as a salesman for C.A. Swanson & Son in 1953.

However, there are differing versions surrounding the creation of the TV Dinner.

Betty Cronin, who at the time worked as a bacteriologist for the Swanson brothers, claims that it was the Swanson brothers themselves, Gilbert and Clarke Swanson, who came up with the concept of the TV dinner, while their marketing and advertising teams developed the name and design of the product.

Another claimant is Maxson Food Systems, Inc. who manufactured the earliest complete frozen meal in 1945 - meals that were reheated on planes for military and civilian airplane passengers.