“Beef in Brief” – 100 Years of Oxo Cube Ads

Posted on October 08, 2016 by UNITED PHOTO PRESS MAGAZINE


In 1840 a German chemist called Baron Justus von Liebig invented meat extract. It wasn’t properly commercialised until 26 years later when the Liebig’s Extract of Meat Company (Lemco) was formed. In 1899 the company brought out Oxo a cheaper version of the extract. 

The name is derived from Ox. The famous Oxo cubes came out in 1910 when the company developed a solid version that could be sold for just one penny. Already the company had sponsored the 1908 Olympic Games in London (along with Odol mouthwash and Indian Foot Powder).

The sponsorship deals and the relatively cheapness of the product meant that during World War 1 – Oxo cubes were extremely popular and it has been estimated that 100 million Oxo cubes were provided to the armed services.


Bring them up on Oxo – 1919

1959 Oxo ad Ragout of Beef

1959 Oxo ad Brisket Roundabout recipe

Oxo ad from 1916. It’s been estimated that 100 million cubes were consumed during WW1.

“A perfect nightcap” Oxo with Hot Milk – 1930

“Beef in Brief” – ad from 1933



Be Perky! Plump! Protected! Ad from 1938

Sooner or later you’ll hear it said… ad from 1953

Where there’s cooking there’s OXO ad from 1954

Ad from 1954

“Your bed-time beverage” ad from 1955.

“You don’t cook like Mother did…” Oxo gives a meal man-appeal! Ad from 1959

Kiddies need the extra warmth of OXO – ad from 1946 (Punch magazine).

From Woman and Home magazine, March 1943

OXO ad from Punch – October 23rd 1944

OXO Punch – January 18th 1950

Oxo makes cooking SO easy – ad from 1952

OXO ad from Womens Pictorial magazine – March 31st 1951

OXO Punch – November 17th 1941

“Oh John I like to make mine last…” OXO Punch – October 19th 1942

1959 Oxo ad Oven Beef Loaf

Ready and Reliable – Oxo Cube ad WW2