“Bacon and eggs” is one of the most popular breakfast dishes in America. The United States got this breakfast tradition from England, where “bacon and eggs” as a breakfast dish has been cited in print since at least the early 1700s.
Edward Bernays (1891-1995)—often called the father of public relations—was hired by Beech-Nut in the 1920s to help sell its line of bacon. Bernays got doctors to recommend eating a full breakfast—including bacon and eggs. (See the 1922 citation, below.) Bernays is often credited with either inventing or popularizing “bacon and eggs” as a breakfast dish, but the dish had long been popular. Beech-Nut had advertised bacon and eggs for breakfast in 1913—years before the 1922 physicians’ report.
Wikipedia: Full breakfast
A full breakfast is a meal that consists of several courses, traditionally a starter (fruit juice, prunes, grapefruit), cereal, a main course, tea with milk, toast and (in England) marmalade. Variations are possible in an unlimited number.
“Full breakfast” also refers to the main course, a traditional cooked dish, typically and originally eaten at breakfast, though now often served at other times during the day. Common alternative names for the dish include bacon and eggs, or the fry-up.
The full breakfast traditionally comprises several fried foods, usually including bacon and eggs, and is popular throughout the British Isles and other parts of the English-speaking world. The name “Bacon and eggs” was popularised by Edward Bernays in the 1920s. To promote sales of bacon, he conducted a survey of physicians and reported their recommendations that people eat hearty breakfasts. He sent the results of the survey to 5,000 physicians, along with publicity touting bacon and eggs as a hearty breakfast.
Wikipedia: Edward Bernays
Edward Louis Bernays (November 22, 1891 – March 9, 1995), was an American pioneer in the field of public relations and propaganda along with Ivy Lee, referred to in his obituary as “the father of public relations”. Combining the ideas of Gustave Le Bon and Wilfred Trotter on crowd psychology with the psychoanalytical ideas of his uncle, Dr. Sigmund Freud, Bernays was one of the first to attempt to manipulate public opinion using the subconscious.
He felt this manipulation was necessary in society, which he regarded as irrational and dangerous as a result of the ‘herd instinct’ that Trotter had described. Adam Curtis’s award-winning 2002 documentary for the BBC, The Century of the Self, pinpoints Bernays as the originator of modern public relations, and Bernays was named one of the 100 most influential Americans of the 20th century by Life magazine.
One of Bernays’ favorite techniques for manipulating public opinion was the indirect use of “third party authorities” to plead his clients’ causes. “If you can influence the leaders, either with or without their conscious cooperation, you automatically influence the group which they sway”, he said. In order to promote sales of bacon, for example, he conducted a survey of physicians and reported their recommendation that people eat heavy breakfasts. He sent the results of the survey to 5,000 physicians, along with publicity touting bacon and eggs as a heavy breakfast.
A New French Grammar
By Abel Boyer
Rotterdam: by John Daniel Beman
You promised us Bacon and Eggs
Miscellanies in prose and verse by the Honourable Lady Margaret Pennyman. Containing, I. Her late journey to Paris, ... II. Poems on several occasions, ... Published from her original manuscripts. To which are annexed, some other curious pieces.
By Lady Margaret Pennyman
London : printed for E. Curll
Pg. 4 (A Journey to Paris):
...chose a Dish for her Breakfast which I had never seen before, so cannot omit putting it down, fryed Flownders; though the whole Company was as humorous, some eat Bacon and Eggs, some Toast and Cream, some Butter and Cheese, with Wine in abundance,...
19 May 1821, Ladies’ Literary Cabinet, pg. 10, col. 1:
After family worship, Mrs. Southerland got breakfast ready, which consisted of some bacon and eggs, mid a basin of good rich milk.
October 1838, North American Review, pg. 387:
Some diet, no doubt, is better, and some worse ; but safer, we insist, to a well man, is a hearty, old-fashioned New England breakfast, including bacon and eggs, custards, cucumbers, cheese, plumb cake, hard cider, and the rest, with no thought about the matter, than a sipping of gruel with a Grahamite’s speculations and solicitudes.
Homes and Haunts of the Wise and Good: or, Visits to remarkable places in English history and literature
By Jonathan Greenleaf Whittier, et al.
Philadelphia, PA: W.P. Hazard
Pg. 272 (“Reminiscences of Hannah More” by Grattan):
Here a breakfast, consisting of tea, coffee, rashers of bacon and eggs, and rich clotted Somersetshire cream, was laid, and we all sat down to it, including a very plain stiff looking body, whom Hannah More introduced as Miss Frowd, and said, “She is my right hand.”
May 1863, The Farmer’s Magazine, pg. 426, col. 1:
But Time will not tarry at any farmer’s door, and so old rules must be left behind; and who knows but that our breakfast bacon and eggs may follow the fate of porridge and milk in the race of progress?
By Ellen Wood
London; Richard Bentley
Has his breakfast (bacon and eggs), and goes to the Nisi Prius Court.
Handbook for the Breakfast Table:
Varied and economical dishes
By Mary Hooper
London: Griffith & Farran
Now the number of dishes used for breakfast is, in the majority of English families, very limited. Bacon and eggs are the staple, the former generally unsatisfactory, being either over or under cured, too salt or too new; it is besides expensive, a large portion of it running to fat.
21 August 1885, Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, WI), “Summer Breakfast and Lunch,” pg. 1:
Toast, fried bacon and eggs, prepared in the style most agreeable to the family; potatoes left over from dinner, if not mashed, may be sliced and fried brown in butter, and are a welcome change from toast; good coffee is always in order.
23 January 1886, Good Housekeeping, pg. 156, col. 1:
THE ENGLISH BREAKFAST
The English, from whom we derive our substantial breakfast, break their fast with plenty and elaboration. The hissing urn stands in solid prosperity at on end of the board, the tea (always made upon the table) distills its most fragrant essence within the ugly but useful “cosy” at its feet); coffee or chocolate steams in a shining silver pot. Two or three hot dishes, among them the inevitable bacon and eggs, announce themselves in tempting odors from beneath their burnished covers.
September 1900, The American Kitchen Magazine, pg. 219:
Bacon and Eggs.
December 1904, Boston Cooking-School Magazine, pg. 277, col. 1:
Breakfast.—Bacon and eggs, .28; oatmeal and coffee, .17 ... .45
4 March 1913, Philadelphia (PA) Inquirer, pg. 5 ad:
The Beech-Nut flavor cannot be described with mere words. You will never realize just how extremely delicious bacon can be until you have eaten Beech-Nut. Suppose you try it for breakfast tomorrow. Bacon and eggs taste mighty good these crisp mornings, and it would be hard to find anything more nourishing.
12 July 1919, Bridgeport (CT) Standard Telegram, pg. 15, col. 4:
USES OF BACON.
Bacon has long been the most popular breakfast meat in England and France, as well as America.
When sliced thin, broiled crisp and served hot, quality bacon tempts even the most delicate appetite. For this reason, it is one of the first meals allowed the convalescent.
For breakfast, crisp bacon with fried mush is a favorable substantial dish. For variety chop the bacon and use as omelet filling or serve it with cream sauce on toast.
The pre-war breakfast of bacon and eggs is popular once more, for we may now eat whatever we find in the market.
Google News Archive
28 August 1922, Providence (RI) Evening Tribune, pg. 5, col. 5:
Doctors in 46 States Agree That
Brain Workers Should
New York. Aug. 28.—Brain workers and persons in sedentary occupations should eat a substantial breakfast but a light lunch, according to physicians in forty-six States whose opinions were obtained by The Medical Review of Reviews. Seventy three per cent. of the physicians favored a hearty breakfast, 13 per cent. opposed it and 14 per cent. were neutral.
“I think it is far better to start the day with a substantial breakfast of fruit, cereals, bacon and eggs, toast or, as we of the South prefer, hot biscuits,” said Dr. J. H. Riffe of Covington, Ky.
OCLC WorldCat record
Bacon and Eggs - that’s us
Author: Michael Eisemann; Percival Mackey
Edition/Format: Musical score : English
OCLC WorldCat record
Bacon and Eggs for Breakfast
Author: Colin Clark
Edition/Format: Article : English
Publication: The Australian Quarterly, Dec., 1937, vol. 9, no. 4, p. 24-31
Biography of an Idea:
Memoirs of public relations counsel
By Edward L. Bernays
New York, NY: Simon and Schuster
Research showed that Beechnut bacon sales went up when people ate heavy breakfasts.
Beechnut favored breakfast habits of a century before, when people started their day with bacon and eggs, doughnuts, pie and coffee.