VINTAGE GOOD HOUSEKEEPING BOOKS…

Before 1800, housekeeping books tended to be handwritten collections of recipes and instructions tried and tested by the household cook. By the 1850’s they were developed into books for ‘adult women’, in particular for your brides who were setting up home.

They were intended as work manuals, they were without lavish photography or even set in fine bindings but if you can get hold of one from a book shop they will amaze you. They tell us about the lives of the women in the past from where you can see social change and the disappearance of domestic servants.

Mrs. Breton’s Book of Household Management, which was published in 1861 was a huge success and sold 60,000 copies in its first year and two million by 1868. Of course with no television at that time these books were inspirational.

By the time Helen Simpson wrote ‘The Happy Housewife’ in 1934 modern appliances were starting to pop up everywhere, not only helping with the housework but also removing the servants of that time.

In ‘Keeping House’ with Elizabeth Craig (Collins 1936) she said ‘ I have no use for elaborately decorated or furnished homes or for elaborate meals. The simpler the home, the simpler the housekeeping.

Some of these vintage home books can now fetch a lot of money at auction. A book published in 1687 ‘The Accomplished Ladies Rich Closit of Rarities’, by John Shirley sold at Sotheby’s for £1,625. So, if your great aunt or grandma is still alive and has some old cookery books make sure they don’t end up at the tip.

Even the National Trust ‘Manual of Housekeeping of 2006’ sold 10,000 copies in 2006 !!!!!!!

VINTAGE GROCERY BRANDS, FIFTIES STYLE…

The hardware shops of the fifties were where you could get most of your household goods as supermarkets were not up and running then. It was home for household items like balls of string, cook’s matches, mothballs, toilet blocks and nails. You could also purchase crockery, cutlery and cooking equipment.

Some of the traditional cleaning products survived the war and are still around today. Those who have changed little in their design including Brasso (in the can), Lux Soap Flakes, Tide Washing Powder and Ajax Scouring Powder. Other popular brands include Harpic, Flash and Surf. Of course, laundry detergents were quite different with optical brighteners like Reckitts Blue which would be added to the final rinsing water to ensure the linen was whiter than white.

Even some of the old breakfast cereals are still going strong, Kellogg’s Cornflakes and Frosted Flakes (now known as Frosties) Shreddies, Quaker Puffed Wheat, and Scotts Porridge Oats.

Although the fast food was not happening until the middle of the 1950’s there was plenty of canned foods around like, soup, luncheon meat, corned beef and tinned fruit and vegetables. Frozen foods were also starting to become popular with fish fingers being one of the first ones on the market.

Of course, there are still a number of stock cupboard items still going strong now including Marmite, Oxo, Bisto, Colemans Mustard Powder and Atora Suet. Diet drinks were not available at that time but Tizer, Lucozade, Kia Oran Pepsi and Coca-cola topped the list of favourites.

If you still love some of your oldies then try the British Corner Shop below.

The British Corner Shop is a unique online supermarket for expats around the world. Whether you miss Marmite or crave Warburtons crumpets, they can deliver your British favourites straight to your door.

Their website stocks over 10,000 products from Britain’s most loved brands, meaning you can enjoy the British food you miss, wherever you are in the world.

Customer service is at the heart of their business. Since their humble beginnings in 1999, they have refined and developed British Corner Shop, building on the wants and needs of their loyal customers.

From purchasing your shopping through to the delivery, they want their customers to have total confidence when ordering with them.

You don’t have to be a British expat to use the service. If you have friends or relatives overseas who may be missing the taste of home, why not order them a box of British happiness? Their service is perfect for sending parcels of British food to Brits in the Armed Forces and others working abroad.

DO YOU REMEMBER ‘LUK’ SUNLIGHT FLAKES FOR ALL YOUR HAND WASHING?…

lux soap

A bit of vintage memorabilia…

‘Lux Sunlight Flakes’, which was a pure soap in flake form, shaped like tiny flat diamonds. It was introduced in the US in 1899 and was perfect for washing delicate fabrics, silk and woolens and it had no additives whatsoever.

By 1924, Lux became a mass market toilet soap throughout the world endorsed by many celebrities.

In 1943, rather than risk lowering the high quality of Lux, the makers withdrew it from the market altogether. Then in November 1947 they announced that by Christmas of that year the blue packets of ‘Lux Sunlight Flakes’ would be back on the shelves again.

I had a box which seem to last me years and years. I only used it for hand washing but used to love the smell it left on my clothes. Now, you never see it around although Ebay and Amazon  have ‘Soap Flakes‘ you can buy.

During the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s they used many famous stars to endorse Lux soap including Sandra Dee and Diana Rigg and in the 70’s and 80’s the famous faces were Brigitte Bardot, Natalie Wood, Sophie Loren and Raquel Welch.

Now you can buy posters of the adverts for ‘Lux Sunlight Flakes’ and even a Jigsaw of the adverts on Ebay or Amazon.