There is a dollar store on Herald Square dumping short dated 8 ounce bottles of IGA (house brand of IGA supermarkets) French Dressing at 3 for 99 cents. The copyright date on the label is 2000. This dressing has a vinegary tang to it, but close to the of the French dressings I remember getting in restaurants back in the day. But there is something missing from it that Kraft had. Here is the list:
Vinegar (tastes like white vinegar)
Contains less than 2%:
Whey (from milk)
Xanthan gum with sorbic acid and calcium disodium EDTA as preservatives
Propylene glycol alginate
Yellow 6 (dye)
Xanthan gum was approved for use in food in 1968.
I note this recipe is fairly close to the Pfeiffer one I linked to on page 1: http://www.marzetti.com/products/pfeiffer/detail.php?bc=20&cid=1&pid=213
From Dawn's list of ingredients taken from old institutional containers of dressings and the lists we have compiled here, it sounds like the old formulation was basically soybean oil, water, vinegar, salt, sugar, paprika, some sort of garlic , some sort of mustard, and a few spices. Even with a detailed recipe, if you purchase retail versions of the ingredients, you will get a different flavor than if you used the brands and types purchased by food manufacturers.