Monday, April 10, 2023


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Byter and friend Steve M sent me an email with a stack of photographs of bygone items, past lifestyle moments and images of a world that has moved on. It was captioned “Remember These?”

I do remember most of them and the photographs are posted below, along with my comments.

Readers may wish to send me their further comments.

Thanks, Steve.

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I used to have a kaleidoscope collection and still have a number somewhere, they are magic to look through. Kaleidoscopes are many and varied, as are the images obtaining by looking through and rotating.

It was invented by Sir David Brewster about 1816 and although sold usually as a toy, it also has value for the pattern designer. The kaleidoscope illustrates the image-forming properties of combined, inclined mirrors.

Are these foot measuring devices still in use in shoe shops? I believe so.

It actually has a name, Brannock Device, after its inventor Charles Branncok, and was invented in 1925.

Do people still go to shoe shops or just to K Mart, sports shops and buy online?

If you are old enough, you may recall making up your own rubber stamps with name, address, messages etc by adding rubber letters to a mould.

You can still buy Wagon Wheels, I know because I buy them at my local servo but they are a lot smaller these days.

According to Wikipedia wagon Wheels consist of two biscuits that form a sandwich with a marshmallow filling with jam, and they are covered with a chocolate-flavoured coating. They were invented in 1948 by a UK based canadian and are now made in Australia by Arnotts. They are also sold in the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, India and Ireland.

The name relates to the shape of the biscuits and capitalised on the Wild West, which was popular in mass media at the time.

Larger shops such as Woolworths used to have open display counters rather than stand up shelves. One selected what one wanted to buy and took it to the cash register counter (no check out or scanners then).

On 14 February 1966 Australia converted to decimal currency. Previously the currency consisted of pounds, shillings and pence. 20 pounds, three shillings and 9 pence was written as £20/3/9, pronounced as 20 pounds, three and nine. Conversion meant that one pound became two dollars, one shilling became 10 cents.

In the old currency, 12 pennies made one shilling, 20 shillings made one pound. Two shillings and sixpence was written as 2/6, stated as two and six, as in the pic above. The 5/- and 3/- mean 5 shillings and 3 shillings.

At school we had maths lessons such as: An item costs £3/7/6. You buy 8. How much change will you receive from two £20 notes? No calculators either, all done on paper.

Teachers used blackboards and chalk for lessons for the class, which was removed with dusters, shown above.

Some teachers were reputed to throw blackboard dusters at troublesome students, but I never saw it.

I believe that compasses are also still in use for manually drawing circles. Are circles still manually drawn in schools?

Aren’t they still called times tables? Are they still taught in an age of calculators, computers and mobile phones with calculators?

These were the main washing powder brands when I was a youngster. They may well have been the only ones, my recollections of other brands came later in time.

Rinso was developed in England by Robert Hudson and originally branded Hudson's Soap, which was sold to Lever Brothers, England, in 1908. It was introduced in the United States by Lever Brothers Company in 1918 and was one of the first mass-marketed soap powders.

The Lux brand was founded by Lever Brothers, now known as Unilever, in 1899 and was introduced to America in 1925. It was a white soap packaged in pastel colours designed to be comparable to the finer French soaps, but more affordable.

1935 Lux ad

1968 Rinso Australian ad

Back when I was a kid, fish and chips was sold wrapped in newspaper. Today fish and chips purchased comes in Styrofoam containers and there is no bottle of vinegar on the counter anymore. It may be my imagination or I might be thinking back through memories tinted by nostalgia but it seems to me that the fish and chips tasted better back then in newspaper.

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