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Hormel Historic Home: Intern helps put house in order

A project that I have been trying to get to for many months has finally been addressed, thanks to our summer intern.

Diana, a high school senior, is with us thanks to funding from Mayo Clinic Heath System — Austin.

We have stacks and stacks of Hormel News Magazines dating to 1934 in the Historic Home library, and they are now all in chronological order and ready for you to look through. Diana completed the project in about 2 weeks.

According to "In Quest of Quality," by Richard Dougherty, the first Hormel companywide communication publication was known as The Dairy Advocate. Two issues of this magazine were produced in 1914 and distributed to approximately 400 employees. On June 15, 1916 another publication, called The Squeal, was launched and distributed until December 1924.

In 1934, the magazine was revived based on a decision by Jay C. Hormel that the company had grown to the point where a "regular and authoritative communications link between management and all other company people" was necessary. There were just more than 3,700 employees with the company when the first publication of the newest Squeal came out on Feb. 1, 1934.


That first 1934 edition is where the collection at the Hormel Historic Home begins. The inside front cover included a "To The Editor" section. Many people expressed their interest in and excitement for the magazine.

"Sir: We are very glad to learn that the SQUEAL is to be revived. We are looking forward with a great deal of pleasure to receiving the first copy." Mgr. Chattanooga, Tenn.

Other sections of the magazine were entitled "Company News of the Month," "Hormelites," "The Packing House," "At The Plant," and "Athletics." The focus of the magazine seemed to be on sharing what was going on within the company and with the people who worked there.

In the 1950s, the name of the periodical was changed to the Hormel News Magazine and is now published as Inside Hormel. The collection at the Hormel Historic Home does not include every issue, but we do have hundreds of copies. If you would like to look at a particular date or year please give us a call. We may have what you are looking for.

I am grateful that Diana has organized this wonderful collection of history for us all to enjoy.

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