Forgotten History

eburacum

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I didn't know margarine has been around for so long, I'd always assumed it was a '70's invention what with the 'is this butter or margarine?' TV adverts in the '70's.
Margarine (often pronounced with a hard 'g') has been around since Victorian times, and was often coloured white to distinguish it from butter.
Dairy firms, especially in Wisconsin, became alarmed at the potential threat to their business and by 1902, succeeded in getting legislation passed to prohibit the coloring of the stark white product. In response, the margarine companies distributed the margarine together with a packet of yellow food coloring.[2] The product was placed in a bowl and the coloring mixed in manually. This took some time and effort, and it was not unusual for the final product to be served as a light and dark yellow, or even white, striped product. During World War II, there was a shortage of butter in the United States, and "oleomargarine" became popular.[2] In 1951, the W.E. Dennison Company received U.S. Patent 2,553,513 for a method to place a capsule of yellow dye inside a plastic package of margarine. After purchase, the capsule was broken inside the package, and then the package was kneaded to distribute the dye. Around 1955, the artificial coloring laws were repealed, and margarine could once again be sold colored like butter.[2]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margarine#Color_debate
 

TangletwigsDeux

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Any idea what, 'BATHBRICK', 'BLACKING' and "BLACKLEAD' might have been?

[Edited to add 'BATHBRICK']
Blacking and blacklead both refer to the blocks (of graphite i think), used to "black" fireplace grates and other such iron work.

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/nymans/features/protecting-our-historic-fireplaces-

The bath brick (also known as Patent Scouring or Flanders bricks),[1] patented in 1823 by William Champion and John Browne, was a predecessor of the scouring pad used for cleaning and polishing.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath_brick
 

EnolaGaia

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The bath brick (also known as Patent Scouring or Flanders bricks),[1] patented in 1823 by William Champion and John Browne, was a predecessor of the scouring pad used for cleaning and polishing.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bath_brick

In the late 18th and early 19th century many forms of shoe polish became available, yet were rarely referred to as shoe polish or boot polish. Instead, they were often called blacking, especially when mixed with lampblack, or still were referred to as dubbin.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoe_polish#Before_the_twentieth_century

Blacklead = graphite.
 

Comfortably Numb

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{From link}
In the late 18th and early 19th century many forms of shoe polish became available, yet were rarely referred to as shoe polish or boot polish. Instead, they were often called blacking, especially when mixed with lampblack, or still were referred to as dubbin.
Oh goodness sakes, I wondered if it might relate to shoe polish!

My late mother had a 'shoe box', which had been passed down the generations!

I'm just trying to find out if any of my relatives still have it!
 

eburacum

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I assume that blacking was for shoes, and blacklead for grates and ranges. The range was a set of ovens and other appliances arranged around a fire that was used for cooking; adding blacklead to such objects was almost certainly a health hazard.
 

eburacum

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'Thank you,' said Alice, 'it's very interesting. I never knew so much about a whiting before.'
'I can tell you more than that, if you like,' said the Gryphon. 'Do you know why it's called a whiting?'
'I never thought about it,' said Alice. 'Why?'
'IT DOES THE BOOTS AND SHOES.' the Gryphon replied very solemnly.
Alice was thoroughly puzzled. 'Does the boots and shoes!' she repeated in a wondering tone.
'Why, what are YOUR shoes done with?' said the Gryphon. 'I mean, what makes them so shiny?'
Alice looked down at them, and considered a little before she gave her answer. 'They're done with blacking, I believe.'
'Boots and shoes under the sea,' the Gryphon went on in a deep voice, 'are done with a whiting. Now you know.'
 

Comfortably Numb

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I'm just trying to find out if any of my relatives still have it...
Following some phone calls, we have a family dispute about who had the box last and what happened thereafter.

I would have sworn it was in my possession and I fear was simply thrown out having become cupboard clutter.

Daughter and son say no, as they would have remembered same.

Ah well... However, I have come across this, which helps to further explain:

BOOT POLISH HISTORY
A brief history
Shoe polish – Before the 20th century

https://www.blancoandbull.com/boot-cleaning/boot-polish-history/
 

Krepostnoi

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'Thank you,' said Alice, 'it's very interesting. I never knew so much about a whiting before.'
'I can tell you more than that, if you like,' said the Gryphon. 'Do you know why it's called a whiting?'
'I never thought about it,' said Alice. 'Why?'
'IT DOES THE BOOTS AND SHOES.' the Gryphon replied very solemnly.
Alice was thoroughly puzzled. 'Does the boots and shoes!' she repeated in a wondering tone.
'Why, what are YOUR shoes done with?' said the Gryphon. 'I mean, what makes them so shiny?'
Alice looked down at them, and considered a little before she gave her answer. 'They're done with blacking, I believe.'
'Boots and shoes under the sea,' the Gryphon went on in a deep voice, 'are done with a whiting. Now you know.'
No mention of soles?
 

hunck

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Details of this venture are disappointingly sparse. He seems to have been well ahead of his time, in serving curries, though it appears to have been an adjunct to his coffee-shop business.

Veeraswamy is usually credited as the practical start of the wave of interest in "Indian" cuisine in the UK.

I have a 1950s cookery-book, half-and-half Indian and Chinese cuisine - turn it upside-down for one or the other - in which Veeraswamy is cited as the only UK source (mail-order) of many of the ingredients! :dinner:
I have an old & yellowing Veerasawmy cook book I found in a charity shop, not sure of date but the 1st publishing is given as 1936. Foreword is by Lt.-Gen Sir George Macmunn, K.C.B., K.C.S.I., D.S.O. who writes:

Indian Pilaus & curries can be a joy to the most fastidious, & they can be, especially the false curry, abomination of abominations.

Some of the best shooting lunches I have had have been the shooting lunches of Rajas, whose cooks are nearly as good as Veerasawmy.
 

Comfortably Numb

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I have an old & yellowing Veerasawmy cook book I found in a charity shop, not sure of date but the 1st publishing is given as 1936. Foreword is by Lt.-Gen Sir George Macmunn, K.C.B., K.C.S.I., D.S.O. who writes:
Without reading any further, would this possibility be related to a British military, colonial environment, where billiards were of paramount significance, gin was on a cultural parallel and the regimental graveyard mainly consisted of those who had passed the port askew?

To continue:

"Some of the best shooting lunches I have had have been the shooting lunches of Rajas, whose cooks are nearly as good as Veerasawmy".

This is such an interesting find and what say our written source of such pertinent culinary history had a notable career - some brief research indeed identifying:

He served in Upper Burma on the Irrawaddy Column, 1892; at the defence of Sadon he was slightly wounded and mentioned in despatches; recommended for the Victoria Cross; awarded the DSO (medal with clasp) 1892, for services during the recent operations in connection with the defence of Sadon; Sima column, 1893 (clasp); Kohat Field Force, 1897 (medal and clasp); Tirah Expedition, 1897-1898; in command of Imperial Service mountain battery (2 clasps); South Africa with Artillery and on Staff, 1899-1902, he was slightly wounded and twice mentioned in despatches (Queen's medal with three clasps and King's medal with two clasps); placed on the list of 'Officers considered qualified for Staff employment, in consequence of services on the Staff in the field'.

[...]

For his services in the European War at the Dardanelles and in Mesopotamia, 1914-1918, he was mentioned in despatches 10 times; created a CB in 1916; a CSI in 1918; a KCB in 1917, and a KCSI in 1919; was made Officer, Legion of Honour 4th Class. He was one of three signatories on the November 16, 1915 outline of a plan for the evacuation of the whole army from the Gallipoli Peninsula. He retired in 1925 and was Colonel Commandant of the Royal Artillery, 1927 to 1939; Comr, The Royal Hospital, Chelsea, 1932-1938; served in the Home Guard, 1940-1942.

He was awarded the Royal Artillery Institution Duncan essay silver (1896) and gold (1900) medals, and the gold medal of the United Service Institution of India (1904).
[End]

https://www.unsw.adfa.edu.au/librar... Sir George Fletcher,Sussex on 23 August 1952.

Would we have expected anything less...

Further achievements reportly include:

"He was one of the founders of the Kipling Society and their Honorary Treasurer for a number of years".

:bdown:
 

escargot

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Pataks curry sauces take the credit for 'Why Britain Loves Curry' -

(safe YouTube link)

Pataks Curry TV advert

Apparently filmed on Chapel street, Macclesfield Cheshire. I could cycle there.
Hey @Comfortably Numb -

I showed Techy and yup, we have indeed already cycled there when roaming round Macc.
(Nobody local says 'Macclesfield' every time.)
He knows it better than I do.

Here's the view on Google -
Chapel Street, Macc

Oh yes, it's all coming back to me. Macc is very hilly. :chuckle:

A lovely place though, well worth a visit when things are safer.
 

Yithian

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Here's a capsule from 1986. Perhaps some of you recall this story, but I certainly don't.

Rest in peace, Karl.

Karl Edwards: The 'bronzed Aussie' who knew life was for living
By Johnny O'Shea​
BBC News​
As they walk down a stone stairwell to the sands of the English seaside resort of Newquay, thousands of beach-goers pass - but do not notice - a plaque reading "Karl's Steps".
Even for the observant and curious, the details are difficult to find. As an internet search term, it brings up no relevant results.​
There are, however, a few people in the Cornish town who remember a 22-year-old lifeguard who had only been there for six weeks. Who remember a spirited and popular Australian with a sense of wanderlust. Who remember 1986 and the freak accident and the unlucky death. Who remember Karl Edwards.​
[...]​
The previous night, their 22-year-old son Karl - the oldest of their five children - had been out with some of the friends he'd made while working as a lifeguard in Newquay.​
He was on the dance floor of a nightclub, jumping around and lifting people up in the air as he sang along to his favourite song, Spirit in the Sky:​
When I die and they lay me to rest
Gonna go to the place that's the best
When I lay me down to die
Goin' up to the spirit in the sky
Earlier in the evening, the young lifeguard had been talking to his friend Brenda McCallum, telling her his bank card had been stolen and that his radio had been taken as he gave a girl first aid on the beach.​
She reassured him, "Well at least things can't get any worse for you, Karl".​
The following afternoon, on what would have been a day off had he not volunteered for an extra shift, Karl was in the small lifeguard hut on Towan Beach when 40 tonnes of sliding cliff fell on top of it.​
Full Article:​
 

Kondoru

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Ouch.

I just spent six years near Newquay and studying local history and I hadn't heard that one.
 

ramonmercado

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Appalling, these men should have their names cleared and be awarded medals posthumously.

During the German occupation of their island, a group of Guernsey policemen were deported to brutal labour camps in Nazi-occupied Europe after appearing before a British court. Their crime? Stealing food from the Germans to stop civilians from going hungry.

Not all of them survived. Some of those who did return home at the end of World War Two were suffering with debilitating diseases and had life-changing injuries, yet they were treated as criminals and denied their pensions. Decades after what the men's families believe to be a dreadful injustice, some of them made one last attempt to clear their fathers' names.

Cambridge University academic Dr Gilly Carr, who has spent years researching the five-year occupation of the Channel Islands, points out that the indignity of this time was in some ways even worse for the police than for civilians.

"Policemen were required to salute passing German officers, which they found hard to stomach," she said.

Constables Kingston Bailey and Frank Tuck began their first acts of resistance against the occupying forces by putting sand in the petrol tanks of their cars and painting "V for victory" signs around the island. ...

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-guernsey-54106579
 

Carl Grove

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JamesWhitehead

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I also had a chemistry set
Mine contained both a Bunsen burner and a spirit burner, for meths!

Did any homes contain the sort of laboratory gas-tap you needed for the Bunsen?

I made do with the meths one, saving our industrial-strength gas-poker connection for my dramatic experiments in Marlovian literature. :evil:
 

balding13

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Appalling, these men should have their names cleared and be awarded medals posthumously.

During the German occupation of their island, a group of Guernsey policemen were deported to brutal labour camps in Nazi-occupied Europe after appearing before a British court. Their crime? Stealing food from the Germans to stop civilians from going hungry.

Not all of them survived. Some of those who did return home at the end of World War Two were suffering with debilitating diseases and had life-changing injuries, yet they were treated as criminals and denied their pensions. Decades after what the men's families believe to be a dreadful injustice, some of them made one last attempt to clear their fathers' names.

Cambridge University academic Dr Gilly Carr, who has spent years researching the five-year occupation of the Channel Islands, points out that the indignity of this time was in some ways even worse for the police than for civilians.

"Policemen were required to salute passing German officers, which they found hard to stomach," she said.

Constables Kingston Bailey and Frank Tuck began their first acts of resistance against the occupying forces by putting sand in the petrol tanks of their cars and painting "V for victory" signs around the island. ...

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-guernsey-54106579

I believe that Churchill's speech in Jersey, after the war, was used to sweep it all away.
 

AgProv

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Following through ideas and links and assocations out of a genuine interest - discovered that despite the weight of evidence that North Korea is not a nice place to live, and the general availability of this evidence in the West, and the way it all stacks up in a way no reasonable person could ignore (unless they really, really, make an effort not to) - that you still get a devoted hard-core of people outside NK who truly believe the DPRK to be a workers' paradise where everybody is happy, content, well-fed, well-housed under the benign and fatherly wing of the Dearly Beloved Great Leader. In the past I had just enough of an association with far left politics in Britain to be aware of the existence of a grouping even other people on the revolutionary Left thought were odd and strange. "Tankies", so-called because they believed the workers' revolution needed to go into places like Hungary and Czechoslovakia with lots of tanks, so as to reinforce the dialectic arguments in a very forceful way, and root out anti-social and counter-revolutionary elements by force for necessary re-education. "Tankies" were also the dwindling hard-core whose only criticism of Joseph Stalin was that he could get a bit squishy-soft and compassionate. After Stalin's demise, the need for a Great Leader transferred to Enver Hoxha , Ceaucescu, Jaroslawski, et c.

It seems as if today, the Tankie mentality only really has one place left to go, as there is a dearth of far-left dictators... the world ain't what it was, hey?

Enter the Korean Friendship Association, whose British wing seeks to dispel all those fascist and capitalist slurs on the Workers' Paradise and the Beloved Leader.

https://www.nknews.org/2019/05/leaving-the-british-friends-of-north-korea-eight-years-in-the-uk-kfa/

Anyway. via - indirectly via - the KFA, I found myself looking at some of the things North Korea alleges about the Korean War of 1950 - 54. A lot of them are either batshit crazy or have grown in the telling, for instance. When I got as far as war crimes and alleged mass murders carried out, with slavering glee, by the United Nations coalition, with inhuman American fascists giving the orders, I was poised to dismiss this a a load of invented bollocks too.

Only to discover that in one case, the North Koreans do not appear to have been making it up. The history at this distance is confused and it is entirely possible the NK side is milking it for everything it can get, but something appears to have happened at Sinchon in 1950, as the American/South Korean armies retreated back to the 38th Parallel. (This is the same US Army that also did raw things at places like My Lai, 18 years later, its army tending to have dismissive ideas about "gooks".)

Big question.... how many war crimes were commited by American and Allied troops in Korea in 1950 - 54? Not something taught in our history classes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinchon_Massacre
 
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Kondoru

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Oh why are we so not surprised?

All utopias are unpleasant. Yet, maybe we should strive towards them.

(Does that even make sense?)
 

balding13

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Following through ideas and links and assocations out of a genuine interest - discovered that despite the weight of evidence that North Korea is not a nice place to live, and the general availability of this evidence in the West, and the way it all stacks up in a way no reasonable person could ignore (unless they really, really, make an effort not to) - that you still get a devoted hard-core of people outside NK who truly believe the DPRK to be a workers' paradise where everybody is happy, content, well-fed, well-housed under the benign and fatherly wing of the Dearly Beloved Great Leader. In the past I had just enough of an association with far left politics in Britain to be aware of the existence of a grouping even other people on the revolutionary Left thought were odd and strange. "Tankies", so-called because they believed the workers' revolution needed to go into places like Hungary and Czechoslovakia with lots of tanks, so as to reinforce the dialectic arguments in a very forceful way, and root out anti-social and revolutionary elements by force for necessary re-education. "Tankies" were also the dwindling hard-core whose only criticism of Joseph Stalin was that he could get a bit squishy-soft and compassionate. After Stalin's demise, the need for a Great Leader transferred to Enver Hoxha , Ceaucescu, Jaroslawski, et c.

It seems as if today, the Tankie mentality only really has one place left to go, as there is a dearth of far-left dictators... the world ain't what it was, hey?

Enter the Korean Friendship Association, whose British wing seeks to dispel all those fascist and capitalist slurs on the Workers' Paradise and the Beloved Leader.

https://www.nknews.org/2019/05/leaving-the-british-friends-of-north-korea-eight-years-in-the-uk-kfa/

Anyway. via - indirectly via - the KFA, I found myself looking at some of the things North Korea alleges about the Korean War of 1950 - 54. A lot of them are either batshit crazy or have grown in the telling, for instance. When I got as far as war crimes and alleged mass murders carried out, with slavering glee, by the United Nations coalition, with inhuman American fascists giving the orders, I was poised to dismiss this a a load of invented bollocks too.

Only to discover that in one case, the North Koreans do not appear to have been making it up. The history at this distance is confused and it is entirely possible the NK side is milking it for everything it can get, but something appears to have happened at Sinchon in 1950, as the American/South Korean armies retreated back to the 38th Parallel. (This is the same US Army that also did raw things at places like My Lai, 18 years later, its army tending to have dismissive ideas about "gooks".)

Big question.... how many war crimes were commited by American and Allied troops in Korea in 1950 - 54? Not something taught in our history classes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinchon_Massacre
There were definitely massacres committed by western forces. The BBC series by Max Hastings detailed some of them. Out of interest, the US MIA/POW lobby was influential, even in Hollywood, despite the numbers 'only' being about 4000 cases. For context, allied forces MIA in Korea were about 50,000. Of course Vietnamese civilian casualties were up to 3 million and Korean ones were over a million.
 

balding13

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Also BBC iplayer has an amazing film about an unemployed Danish baker who became the number two person in the world KFA, in order to expose just how depraved the regime is. It's beyond parody.
 

AgProv

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Also BBC iplayer has an amazing film about an unemployed Danish baker who became the number two person in the world KFA, in order to expose just how depraved the regime is. It's beyond parody.
Related to this sort of thing?
 
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