it’s about PACKAGING

The Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising
detail from a pack showing beckoning woman

Recommended by a friend of mine, I’ve been to the The Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising. Its location is around the corner of the Portabello.

It showcased the world famous Robert Opie Collection. Decade by decade, different products of daily life revealed their transition through the museum’s time tunnel.

It related all the packaging and branding changes with social change and cultural influence. I remembered back when I was in History class in school mainly we were taught about the World Wars and Cold War. But they were rather macroscopic. I came to realise all the little bit of the influence caused by social changes.

You know our city is suffocated by different kinds of products—sweets, washing powder, food, fashions,toys… We can just see a massive display of commercial products if you just walk down any isle in Tesco.

When did all these start? We’ll have to then trace back to the Victorian in 1800s. Everything happened thanks to the Industrial Revolution. Transport, factories and economy were staggeringly developed. So, inventions varied during the Victorian reign. A lot of new things came to live.For example, electricity were definitely a new wonder form them. Different cleaning products were brought to markets due to the outbreak of cholera/typhoid. People became more aweared of the infections.

The brands themselves then began the birth of grocers’ shops. Canned food varied. But biscuits were still in large thins. This pic below showed some of the ” fancy biscuits” by Huntley & Palmer. 

The very old Cadbury choco… a real classic!!

How the World Wars have influenced products and their packaging appealed to me a lot.  I have never thought about this aspact but in time of a war, people really needed to save raw materials. say, Bourneville and Cadbury’s chocolate adopted card packets instand of tin.  Whatever things people put forward, think about the utility!!!

At the start of the WWI, tins were decorated with Allied flags & Army leaders…

”Campaign Assorted Biscuits”…?? What!!!?

And then comes the WWII. ‘Waste Not, Want Not’,  ‘Make do and mend’ …these were message sent off to encourage people’s mind to economise on raw smaterials,energy and commodities. Just be rational!

War time pack…Ration Book …(I saw a war time cook book ;D If I’ll go for a diet I may follow their recipes.)

Another things about the war time period was the ”War Time Humor”. To keep the British smiling, there were endless humorous and joke booklets….

The country also used women’s magazines to promote how a glamorous life of a woman in uniform.

And finally….

I am sure the all the little bit of the war time influence has a lot to do with society and culture right now. All aspects of daily life—food, travel, souvenirs, fashion and design are significantly links to our social history. This collection of the Museum of packaging is really a clear picture to the remarkable journey people of all ages have come through!!!!!!

To my surprise, Alice Temperley’s store is just right next to the museum…!!!


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