A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from January 20, 2011
“Slice and dice” ("Slices and dices")

"Slice and dice” (to cut into small cubes) are rhyming words that have been cited in print since at least 1912. The term “slice and dice” has also been used in computer science to mean smaller packets of information.

The Veg-O-Matic debuted in 1963, invented by Samuel J. Popeil and sold by his son, Ron Popeil. Print ads in 1965 and 1966 declared that the Veg-O-Matic “slices and dices.” Ron Popeil’s television ads for the Veg-O-Matic in the 1960s announced that “It slices! It dices!” “Slice and dice” is a culinary term that now has a jocular use because of the ubiquitous Popeil television advertisements.


Wikipedia: Veg-O-Matic
Veg-O-Matic was the name of one of the first food-processing appliances to gain widespread use in the United States. It was invented by Samuel J. Popeil and later sold by his son, Ron Popeil, and Ronco, making its début in 1963 at the International Housewares Show in Chicago, Illinois.

Made famous by saturation television advertising in the mid- and late 1960s, Veg-O-Matic was a manually-operated slicer, primarily made of injection-molded plastic, which held two sets of parallel cutting blades. The Veg-O-Matic was shaped approximately like a capital letter “H” and had an integral operating handle. The item to be cut, such as a potato, was placed on the top set of blades, and then would be pushed vertically down through the blades by the handle, while the user’s hands were kept safely away from the cutter by the shape of the handle.

The steel cutting blades were contained in a circular, cast-metal holder several inches in diameter. By rotating the top holder, the blades could cut flat slices or square strips, such as for French fries. By putting the slices through the machine a second time, they would be diced into small cubes. In the ads, Popeil would rapidly demonstrate this, while boasting “It slices! It dices!”

Sales were nearly exclusively via direct marketing, and Veg-O-Matic was one of the first products (if not the first) to bear the red-and-white “As Seen On TV” logo on the box.

The ads for Veg-O-Matic inspired comedian Gallagher to create his trademark “Sledge-O-Matic” act, as well as Dan Aykroyd as a fast talking commercial pitchman in sketches on Saturday Night Live, especially the famous “Super Bass-O-Matic 76” during the 1970’s.

Wikipedia: Ron Popeil
Ronald M. Popeil (born May 3, 1935 in New York City; pronounced /poʊˈpiːl/) is an American inventor and marketing personality, best known for his direct response marketing company Ronco. He is well known for his appearances in infomercials for the Showtime Rotisserie ("Set it, and forget it!") and for using the phrase, “But wait, there’s more!” on television as early as the mid-1950s.

Personal life and careerrPopeil learned his trade from his father, Samuel, who was also an inventor and carny salesman of kitchen-related gadgets such as the Chop-O-Matic and the Veg-O-Matic. The Chop-O-Matic retailed for US$3.98 and sold over two million units. The invention of the Chop-O-Matic caused a problem that marked the entrance of Ron Popeil into television. It turned out that the Chop-O-Matic was so efficient at chopping vegetables, that it was impractical for salesmen to carry the vegetables they needed to chop. The solution was to tape the demonstration. Once the demonstration was taped, it was a short step to broadcasting the demonstration as a commercial.
(...)
In popular music, Popeil and his products have been an inspiration for lyrics in works by Alice Cooper, The Beastie Boys and “Weird Al” Yankovic.*

*In the style parody entitled “Mr. Popeil” on his second studio album, “Weird Al” Yankovic in 3-D. The verses are structured as pitches for unnamed but easily recognizable Ronco products, and draws upon all the catchphrases associated with the Ronco infomercials, including the phrases “It slices! It dices!”, “Take advantage of this amazing TV offer!”, and Ed Valenti’s more commonly heard phrase “Now how much would you pay?”. This song is actually a tribute to Samuel Popeil, Ron Popeil’s father, who was in the same business of inventing and selling products. according to “Weird Al” Yankovic: The Ask Al Archive, Ron Popeil used this song in some of his infomercials.

WhatIs.com
slice and dice
To slice and dice is to break a body of information down into smaller parts or to examine it from different viewpoints so that you can understand it better. In cooking, you can slice a vegetable or other food or you can dice it (which means to break it down into small cubes). One approach to dicing is to first slice and then cut the slices up into dices. In data analysis, the term generally implies a systematic reduction of a body of data into smaller parts or views that will yield more information. The term is also used to mean the presentation of information in a variety of different and useful ways.

Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Definition of DICE
transitive verb
a : to cut into small cubes “diced onions”
b : to ornament with square markings “diced leather”

(Oxford English Dictionary)
trans. to slice and dice.
(a) To cut up (food) finely or thoroughly, esp. into cubes; (hence) to attack (a person) viciously with a sharp weapon, to mutilate. Also intr.
1941 Times 20 Jan. 7/6 Cook two or three good sized potatoes.‥ Slice and dice neatly.
1981 Washington Post (Nexis) 26 Dec. d5 Cole slices and dices with a sword, bow and arrow, sharp stars, caltrops and tegakis (don’t worry what they mean—they hurt).
1991 Dec. 133/2 You just have to be tired of seeing scantily or even entirely unclad bimbos sliced and diced, flayed, bloodied, beheaded, chewed up, shot, stabbed, punctured, etc., by guys.
2002 N.Y. Times 20 Oct. f3/1 An onion is nature’s idea of a tear-gas grenade.‥ Once it is sliced and diced, cell walls are broken, and chemicals mix to form a real tear-jerker of a compound.
(b) With non-material object: to divide up or rearrange the component elements of; to analyse on a very detailed basis or in a number of different ways.
1983 InfoWorld 28 Nov. 186 The personal-computer market, sliced and diced by no less than a dozen market-research companies, is supposed to grow at better than 40% a year.

Google Books
How to Cook in Casserole Dishes
By Marion Harris Neil
Philadelphia, PA: D. McKay
1912
Pg. 181:
Wash and prepare the vegetables, slice and dice them.

26 March 1914, Gettysburg (PA) Times, pg. 3, col. 1:
Hashed Brown Potatoes.
Pare, slice and dice eight medium raw potatoes and cover with cold water.

3 November 1918, Oakland (CA) Tribune, pg. 3, col. 1:
Slice and dice two small tart apples.

29 March 1963, Trenton (NJ) Evening Times, pg. 17, col. 1 photo caption:
This machine in the kitchen of the Eastern State School and Hospital cuts, slices and dices vegetables.

22 December 1965, Oregonian (Portland, OR), pg. 2FM ad:
Vegematic
$7.77
Slices and dices fruits and vegetables quickly and easily...ideal for salads, french fries or for diced beets.
(Fred Meyer stores —ed.)

5 May 1966, New Orleans (LA) Times-Picayune, sec. 3, pg. 3 ad:
As Seen on TV…
VEG-O-MATIC
Slices and Dices Fast!
Produces 120 tomato slices, or 1150 shoestrings in one minute flat...many more things, too!
(Walgreens stores—ed.)

(Trademark)
Word Mark SLICE ‘N DICE
Goods and Services (EXPIRED) IC 021. US 023. G & S: PORTABLE CUTTING SURFACES AND COUNTER TOPS MADE OF HIGHLY TEMPERED GLASS. FIRST USE: 19710803. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19710805
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 72426908
Filing Date June 9, 1972
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Registration Number 0990774
Registration Date August 13, 1974
Owner (REGISTRANT) VANCE INDUSTRIES, INC. CORPORATION DELAWARE 7401 W. WILSON CHICAGO ILLINOIS 60656
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Affidavit Text SECT 15. SECT 8 (6-YR).
Live/Dead Indicator DEAD

(Trademark)
Word Mark SLICE & DICE
Goods and Services (CANCELLED) IC 031. US 046. G & S: FRESH PROCESSED PRODUCE. FIRST USE: 19770214. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19780826
Mark Drawing Code (3) DESIGN PLUS WORDS, LETTERS, AND/OR NUMBERS
Design Search Code 11.07.25 - Butcher knives; Carving knives (kitchen), non-electric; Cleaver; Knives, folding; Knives, kitchen (with pointed ends); Knives, pocket; Meat choppers and grinders, meat choppers (knives); Paring knives; Pocket knives; Scalpels; Switchblade
Serial Number 73198362
Filing Date December 28, 1978
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Registration Number 1138324
Registration Date July 29, 1980
Owner (REGISTRANT) PAN-AMERICAN PRODUCE CORPORATION DBA SLICE & DICE CORPORATION ARIZONA 236 E. PIMA PHOENIX ARIZONA 85004
Attorney of Record CAHILL, SUTTON & THOMAS
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Affidavit Text SECT 15. SECT 8 (6-YR).
Live/Dead Indicator DEAD
Cancellation Date August 4, 2001

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • (0) Comments • Thursday, January 20, 2011 • Permalink