The world is full of the likes of ‘you’ll be amazed by these simple household tips’. And variations thereon. ‘101 uses for vinegar’ (other than shaking the bottle over your chips*). ‘Amazing uses for Epsom salts’ (if you can actually find a shop that sells them: bubble bath probably not being a great substitute).
There’s nothing new under the sun. People have been sharing ‘amazing’ household tips for centuries. Some of them haven’t entirely stood the test of time!
Thank you, Woman’s Illustrated
I don’t know the date the following household tips were shared, but I’m guessing it was not long after the end of the Second World War. The cutting is from a magazine called Woman’s Illustrated. According to a site about magazines called Magforum, it seems to have run from 1936-1961.
“Woman’s Illustrated came out every Friday and followed the weekly pattern of colour cover and centre spread in the 1950s. Sales peaked at about 800,000 in 1960.”
And the second prize was?
I found the cutting in the back of an old family recipe book.
Headed ‘Brainwaves,’ the tips were sent in by readers, for a chance to win prizes.
Top prize that week was a Lemonade Set. With the promise of a canvas beach bag the following week.
There were also consolation prizes for the ‘next-best hints’, but no clue as to what they were.
Anyway, on with the amazing Brainwaves…
Make novel buttons
– by placing small, bright buttons on top of plain, large black ones, and stitching together through the holes.
That won the Lemonade Set (for lucky, lucky Mrs Baines of Leicester). Which (depending on what the consolation prize was) may have had Miss Powell of Ely grinding her teeth. She was a runner-up with:
– can be made by sewing coloured wool several times through the holes of ordinary linen shirt buttons.
Meanwhile, if you didn’t own a fridge…
To keep milk fresh
– make a closely fitting jacket from a piece of old blanket, keep it wet, slip it over the bottle and stand in the shade.
Food will keep fresh
– if covered with large earthenware plant pots which have been soaked in cold water.
Decidedly dated advice
And for amazing/amusing household tip number five, one that for sure dates the cutting: Household Milk was dried milk, produced during the Second World War when fresh milk was rationed. Rationing only fully ended in 1954, but the ‘new tins’ suggests this was earlier.
A lid from a one-pound jam jar
– makes a perfectly fitting cover for the new Household Milk tins.
*chips as in British chips. Aka French fries.