1948 Olympics, Brands Museum, jigsaw, Ladbroke Grove, London tube map, Louis Wain, Museum of Brands, Notting Hill, typewriter, washing frock
Or to give it its full title, the Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising.
I was in London again last week, for about 30 hours. (My train arriving 17 minutes late, I could, I learned, claim 25% of my ticket back, but I shan’t – I thought the deal I got – £16 single from mid-Somerset – was just too good to justify that.) The main purpose of my visit was to visit the Cézanne exhibition the following day with my friend Mary, but I had learnt of this museum from an article in my newspaper about a temporary exhibition there of shopping lists. The subject had also made BBC Radio 4.
The museum opened in Gloucester in 1984, moving to London in 2002, and to its present site in Notting Hill (three minutes’ walk from Ladbroke Grove tube) in 2015. Its main feature is a Time Tunnel, a labyrinth (though one you can’t get lost in), covering Victorian times, which is pretty well when the museum’s subject matter started) until the 2010s.
The museum’s website describes it. ‘Our Time Tunnel explores the remarkable story of how our consumer society has evolved since Victorian times. It’s a journey of discovery that puts our favourite brands into their historical context, along with royal coronations, two world wars, man landing on the moon and right up to the digital age. Laid out chronologically, the Time Tunnel reflects how daily life has been transformed by the invention of the railway, the motor car, and the aeroplane. Also, how the entertainment has been enlivened by the arrival of cinema, radio and television. Memories arise from toys and games that, since the 1950s, have reflected the most popular television programmes.’
This post takes us up the the end of WWII (which just conveniently happens to be when I can on the scene) and to the end of the 1940s. There were thousands and thousands of exhibits, and as usual I took hundreds of photos. Here is a selection.
As a prelude to the Time Tunnel, there is a very small window with some archaeological exhibits, showing how ‘packaging’ was done before brands came along. I particularly liked this little toy, just some 5 cm, 2.5 inches, long.
Next came Edwardian. Jigsaw puzzles featured a great deal throughout the early decades of the Time Tunnel.
Came World War I.
And the 1920s.
The 1930s. This next around the time of the Abdication. I don’t think this is a good likeness of the man whom I shall have to stop thinking of as ‘the King’
And so to the 1940s. Free orange juice (of a sort) and cod liver oil, issued to all children. I remember that, enjoying one and detesting the other!
The next post completes the tunnel, and covers the temporary exhibitions – including those shopping lists.