Saturday 9 February 2013

Whatever Happened To...? 20

“Go placidly…” posters

Books by “Dr” somebody advocating folksy cures like cod-liver oil or apple cider vinegar

box rooms for keeping trunks

eggboxes for sound insulation

gown shops called Madame Somebody (their style lives on in catalogues, and there's a shop called "Madam's" in Mansfield)

May Queens, Easter Bonnets, horn dances and other folk customs revived by earnest middle-class types in the 20s and earlier (They died out again.)

cigar cutters

classic cashmere jumpers (Hogg of Hawick have had an unfortunate makeover)

cocoanut matting

communal changing rooms (They were the future, but so loathed that they quickly turned back into cubicles.)

complaining that you can’t use the word “gay” to mean “happy” any more

domestic science lessons


flannel sheets


letter racks

marquetry pictures


nylon sheets

red setters

rubber dresses
(brief vogue in 80s)

school trunks

slop basins (They came as part of a teaset – haven’t seen one used since the 50s.)

tele-working with a huge computer on a desk (Those futuristic articles of the 80s never predicted laptops and cafés. Or wifi.)

those New Zealand flatworms that were going to displace our earthworms

tights containing microbeads of coffee to slim your legs (etc)

tobacconists (in tiny kiosks)

umbrella/stick stands

utopian communities in Essex (They dissolved in acrimony or went bust about 1920. And then as hippies in the 60s/70s we went through exactly the same cycle: experiments in communal living, high-mindedness, exploitation, faddy food, folk music, handicrafts, free love, mysticism…)

WI cookery demonstrations

More here, and links to the rest.

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