Household Memorabilia Pack (1950s)
A lovingly prepared catalogue of reproduction memorabilia from the 1950s – to aid memories or just help understand the period better. This pack contains: Ration Book, Radio Rentals brochure, Hygena Kitchen pamphlet, food booklet, Ponting’s fashion catalogue, miscellaneous ephemera and some 1950’s household names cards.
Emerging from the second world war, the light is brighter than ever before, it seems (certainly the colours). Not quite abundance, yet, but the optimism of the future and the green shoots of better things to come are obvious. A fresh start with excitement, joy and an increasingly discarded Victorian past are the order of the day.
Originally renting out radio sets (hence the name), Radio Rentals was a high-street chain store started in 1930 by Percy Perring-Thoms. Later, it expanded to rent out televisions and then video recorders. In 1968 it was bought by Thorn Electrical Industries, which became part of Thorn EMI in 1980. They were known for the 1980s advertising slogan ‘should have gone to Radio Rentals’ (the link opens in a new window):
Starting in Liverpool in 1925, Hygena started making modular kitchens in the UK after the Second World War. Originally for temporary housing, the modern European designs and new materials like Formica made them very popular and Hygena was a leading brand through the sixties and seventies. Changes in styles and manufacturing gradually weakened its market position and it became part of MFI in the 1980s.
One of the ‘big three’ department stores in the Kensington area of London, Pontings survived until 1970, when it was closed by its then-owner House of Fraser (HoF). It started as a simple drapery business and, after going bust, was bought by John Barker & Co., which became part of HoF in 1957. The name survived until 1974 - as the ‘Pontings Bargain Basement’ in the Barker’s building.