Austrian Vintage Scientific Advertising Poster
Diagram of Cow as a Machine for Making Butter, c. 1930
Thea Margarine Poster: Von Der Pflanze Zum Nährfett
Production of margarine Production of butter
Production of margarine diagram Thea Milch-Margarine emblem
Thea Margarine Poster: Von Der Pflanze Zum Nährfett
[From Plant into Fat Nutrient]

Kunerolwerke, Vienna: c. 1930
Color-process poster
26.25 x 38.5 inches
$875

An interesting scientific poster produced by an Austrian company to promote Thea brand margarine, with a cow portrayed as a food processing machine. In the center is a coconut palm and grass, converting energy from the sun into carbon, oxygen and protein. On either side are two cow silhouettes, the left one representing how coconut is processed directly "from the plant, straight through the machine," the right one showing how plants go "on a detour through the animal," ending up as milk. The bottom section of the diagram shows some of the milk being processed into butter and the rest being added to the margarine product. The underlying message seems to be that this factory-made product is both scientifically sound and reassuringly natural, by depicting the cow as a machine for making milk and the machine as analogous to a cow.

Thea margarine was the first brand of margarine manufactured in Austria, introduced in 1923. It was manufactured until the outbreak of World War II, and production was resumed after the war. The brand still exists and is now part of Unilever.

Captions below title: Auf Geradem Wege Durch Die Maschine (left)
[From the plant, straight through the machine]. Auf dem Umwege Durch Das Tier [On a detour through the animal].

Lower center: Für den Anschauungsunterricht gewidmet von der Kunerolwerke A.G. der Erzeugerin der bekannten Thea Milch-Margarine. [Instructional graphic provided by Kunerolwerke AG the producer of the famous Thea Dairy-Margarine.]

Reference:

"Die Geschichte der Thea." Thea Online. http://www.thea.at/index.php?show=geschichte (7 April 2011).