"My sort of odd and tangential claim to fame here is that my great-great-great uncle, by marriage, Orator Francis Woodward, bought the patent to Jell-O from its inventor in 1899 for $450 and then sold it for 67 million in 1920s," says Allie Rowbottom.
That $67 million in the 1920s is the equivalent of about a billion dollars today. Which makes Allie an heir to the Jell-O fortune.
Lately, Allie’s become obsessed with Jell-O-how all that money shaped her family -- and America.
Jell-O money has funded generations of women in Allie's family.
But it's also been a shadow they couldn’t escape -- a twisted metaphor for all the bad things that happened in their lives. At some point Allie and her mom Mary (above together) started to wonder: Are we cursed?
"The first time I really remember my mom talking about the curse was when I was quite young," Allie explains. "I think I was probably five or six."
This week on The Sporkful, we explore one family’s very complicated relationship Jell-O.
It's a story that comes to us from a new podcast called Household Name. (Check it out! We especially like their episodes about TGI Friday's and Charles Shaw Wine, aka "Two Buck Chuck.")
- Go to BobsRedMill.com to explore their huge range of products and recipes
- Go to SweeTango.com/Sporkful to find a grocer near you
Interstitial music in this episode from Black Label Music:
- "Hang Tight" by Hayley Briasco
- "Asphalt Gods" by Kenneth J. Brahmstedt
- "Private Detective" by Cullen Fitzpatrick
- "Hot Night" by Calvin Dashielle
- "Legend" by Erick Anderson
Photos: FlickrCC/Rakesh Rocky and courtesy Allie Rowbottom