Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Horror of Horrors

It started so well. Rumaging through a box of children's adventures stories and encyclopaedias, I found this:

Ah yes, the good old days. Before mass-produced artificial fibres, sweatshops and corporate franchises, when people still knew how to make things. A time when quality was valued over quatity.

But then I opened the sheet and it revealed this:

On reflection, I think I'll stick to Playmobil.


depesando said...

I have a friend who collects this sort of stuff, from the rather alarming early print and ephemera from a less enlightened age - to the tacky, gaudy 1950's decorative homewear of smiling 'picinninis' with wobbling heads and goggle eyes. He is, himself, black - and thinks that they are hilarious - most of the stuff he gets from traders and retro shops he knows and it has to be kept under the counter, they look out for stuff and keep it for him - but would never put it in the window as they tend to get abused.

He is quite a smart bloke and can put most of it in context (works for the BBC) - but some of it is really quite chilling. He once showed me a book from the 1950's called 'Animals in the Zoo' - you know the kind of thing, illustration of a cage with 'mommy bear and daddy bear have a baby called a cub' - and so on, as a learning tool. The final page is a sofa in a cage with a caricature couple and child 'Mammy and Sambo have a baby called a picininni' - I still find it pretty shocking - partly because of the zoo animal reference - but mostly because it was an English book from as late as the 1950's.

JRSM said...

Or you could make something from this: http://tinyurl.com/cbe8d4

Steerforth said...

The weird thing is, my youngest son would probably love the paper box furniture book. Sometimes I worry about him.

Richard - it's certainly shocking that these books were as late as the 1950s, but Wanker Davidson was doing his "Chalky" impression on mainstream television as late as the early 80s.