Spong: A meal in a mincer

Advert for Spong mincer

I’m not really sure I understand this advert from a booklet, I just found on my bookcase, entitled “Getting Married” from 1972. Here’s what it says:

Now he’ll love your cooking, too!

He’ll really appreciate you when you become not only his wife, but a good cook too!

Easy to use — and very efficient in all it does — a SPONG mincer is as pretty as it is versatile.

A choice of attractive hard nylon coloured tops in olive green, honey, tangerine and sky blue will blend with any colour scheme.

With slicer/grater tops to add to your mincing you have at hand a complete aid to good cooking.

See the range of Spong mincers, slicer/graters, bean slicers, coffee grinders at your hardware or department store. Look for the N705 at £2.25, the N605 at £2.70 and the comprehensive 702 Kitchen Set at £4.31.

Well, first of all there’s the blatently sexist “he’ll really appreciate you when you become … a good cook!” Then there’s that part about “a SPONG mincer is as pretty as …” When have you ever heard of a mincer being described as pretty?! And just how versatile can it be? How many different ways can you find to mince something!

Do I even have to point out the sentence about its “choice of attractive hard nylon coloured tops” matching any kitchen colour scheme:

4 colour swatches
Four attractive colours that will blend with any kitchen colour scheme, from left to right: olive green, honey, tangerine and sky blue.

But what I find most baffling is the company’s byline: “Spong: A meal in a mincer”. I mean, I know for the early part of the 1970s I was mostly eating liquidized foods, but then I had an excuse: I was a baby. But, was there some kind of let’s-mince-all-our-foods craze that we’ve not been told about?!

Full marks, however, to the advertising company that managed to sex-up a mincer! Next week, if I’m brave enough, I’ll share the advert entitled “Better gifts are electric”. Or the advert for “the best ironing table in the world” that also offers a left-handed version! What, stand on the other side?!

Published by

Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 52 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Scrum master at Safeguard Global; latterly at Sky and Vision/Cegedim. Former web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and previously warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

19 thoughts on “Spong: A meal in a mincer”

  1. You can get SPONG mincer’s on eBay… and there was me wondering what to get my wife for Christmas! Now, not only will I get love an adoration for buying such a thoughful gift, but also I will start to love her cooking too… Praise the Lord that the SPONG mincer has withstood the test of time.

  2. When you view these comments do you have a little ‘e’ next to the time? eg

    November 22nd, 2005 at 2:06 pm e

    If you do, click it and you should be able to correct your own comment posts. If you don’t then consider registering on the blog, and (I’m sure) you can edit your comments.

    I may be wrong.

  3. £4.31? That’s a bargain. Does it mince sponge or not? I do like that tangerine flavour. I’m sure my mum had a rival mincer. Plain brown top to it though, so must have been the cheap rival… still it went well with the baby belling…

  4. Funny I found your blog via searching about these, as believe it or not, these are becoming popular again for those who cook ! Glad you posted the advert for them, now I’m gonna buy one LOL. Honestly a sheperds pie made with a mincer, is to die for, you’ll never be able to do it any other way, but then I guess thats a kiwi thing 😉 Love your blog though 🙂

  5. These are great, I have an original but in S.S.
    PS What is sexist about “He’ll really appreciate you when you become not only his wife, but a good cook too!” ? Get a life you girl

    1. can nobody can say anything about women and men?
      ‘He’ll really appreciate it when you … become a good cook’ is not a sexist statement, in the way you mean it.
      I’m sure she’ll appreciate it when if he does a few building jobs around the home, which she cannot imagine doing herself. And, She may resent it if He is good at everything and she does nothing, or may be she’s just fat and lazy?

  6. My mum had, indeed has, one of these in sky blue. I don’t think she uses it much anymore, but when we were little the remains of the sunday roast plus some onions got put through it in order to make pasties. Mmmm.
    Think hers was a wedding present in 1976.

  7. My mum has one of these she inherited from my gran. All with its original box and bits, one of the leaflets inside has the immortal line “You can’t go wrong with a SPONG”!!!!

  8. My Gran had a Spong Mincer, stainless steel and VERY old, she made Shepherds pie to die for, i must buy one from ebay to remind me of the good old days!

  9. We have a Mincer which is old and it has 4 suction pads which have perished, the number of the Mincer is No. 301 and it is still as good as the day we got it for a wedding present. But the 4 suction cups are perished.

  10. Fresh spongs are very expensive now due to their rarity. There are fewer wild spong than wild haggis nowadays. They have the same characteristic short legs on one side as Haggis, but are much smaller. They are also completely bald, unlike their hairy cousin.
    I bought one of these mincers recently for making kebabs and burgers from nice fresh meat. Don’t suppose you fancy scanning and e-mailing a copy of the booklet????

  11. We have a Spong Mincer No 301 which was given to us as a wedding present a good number of yearsa ado. The 4 suction pads which anchor the machein to the work top have perished. We would appreciate any help with this problem as the mincer is, otherwise, as good as new.

  12. The typeface on the headline is perfect for the period; it’s Letraset ‘Bookman Bold Italic’ – rub on lettering that was practically impossible to space perfectly (note the wobbly ‘o’s in the word ‘too’. I was a graphic design student in 1972 and put 50 pence or so towards a sheet of black ‘Bookman Bold Italic’ (also available, as here, in white). I’ve just drawn a rather attractive pea-green mincer (not a Spong, though my parents had a plain metallic Spong) for my blog; http://www.wildyorkshire.co.uk/naturediary/docs/2009/2/20.html

  13. How totally refreshing to read this article from a CHRISTIAN MAN. Being a single independent woman it really irritates me when spoken to or treated as though I’m inferior to a man because I’m female. I hope your viewpoint is one others in the church will take on board…along with all builders and mechanics in society.

  14. Just found a Spong#30 Mincer min a garage in Coombs, on Vancouver Island in B.C. Canada. I was bowled over by how well it worked when we tried it out on a freezer clean-up of waayyy old stuff for our doggie! The thing was still gleaming after who knows how many years of holding up the rotting carton! I guess I am a bit wistful and showing my age, but stuff is not made that way any more. (solid nickel castings, surface ground blades etc.) If you have one, treasure it! You won’t get on camera at the Road Show, but they sure won’t make any more of them. Rick.

  15. I have a very old Spong 90 mincing machine, but the rubber feet have perished. Where could I get a replacement.

  16. As a descendent of a Spong (my mother’s mother was one of the daughters of the Spong inventor), I was always bemused by the moral dilemma the suffragette Spong women faced 100 years ago when they all became vegetarians – somewhat in conflict with the fact that a large proportion of the income from the Company was due to the sales of mincers, mostly used for grinding meat!

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