Blog: Reference box

From the reference box #24

How gorgeous are these ice cream containers? I'm guessing they're from the 50's, but have never been used, so apart from a little discolouring they're in tip top condition!

For more fab packaging have a look here and here.

#24 a new addition - 1950's ice cream containers

From the reference box #23

More wonderful matchbook covers! To see more of my collection click here.

#23 - More matchbook covers

Fri 26 Sep 2008

Posted under: Design , Reference box , Inspiration


From the reference box #22

This is a new addition to the reference box, but a very worthy one. A 1954 copy of The Highway Code. The diagrams are great - I like the cross shading and the stopping distance graphic. It's so much nicer than the modern booklets.

#22 - The Highway Code, 1954

Wed 17 Sep 2008

Posted under: Design , Reference box , Inspiration


From the reference #21

One of 'The Practical Motorist, Care & Safety Check Charts', my favourite movable chart. It was presumably a free gift with The Practical Motorist, I'm guessing in the late 50's or early 60's.

It's double sided and gives helpful 'remedies' for minor car 'symptoms'; lining up the arrow on the symptom, gives you the suggested 'remedy' for steering, light or braking issues. For example, the front (above left) shows 'wheel Tramp' as the symptom and 'Balance wheels; renew faulty hydraulic dampers; equalise tyre pressures' as the remedy. There is also a cool stopping distance chart/graphic on the reverse.

#21 - The Practical Motorist, Care & Safety Charts

Tue 09 Sep 2008

Posted under: Design , Ephemera , Reference box


From the reference box #20

This is a copy of, 'The Racing Pigeon: The British Pigeon Racing Weekly', 22 April 1967. A funny little newspaper devoted totally to racing pigeons and absolutely packed with information, adverts, stories and articles. Pigeon racing must have been very popular back then to get this much content week after week.

Here are some of the adverts and pictures that made me chuckle, and did you know the term, 'squeaker' refers to a young racing pigeon? See you learn something new everyday!

#20 - The Racing Pigeon, 22 April 1967

Thu 28 Aug 2008

Posted under: Reference box , Magazine


From the reference box #19

I'm not exactly sure what this is - I think it's a sales tag that would have been attached to purchased typewriters, but I love the 'Low's' type it's great. The red disc is weighted and engraved on it's metal centre with, '3 in 1 velus quality. The world over. Made in England. N0.100' on both sides. There is a postage stamp on the reverse with a date of 15.06.35 so I'm guessing it originates around that time.

So, #19 - Typewriter sales tag. Circa 1935.

From the reference box #18

This is a Gleem Toothpaste sample pack from the 50's. I didn't know much about Gleem when I bought it, I just like the print and the overlapping to get the brown/dark red colour - very simple, but effective.

I have since found out (through the fountain of knowledge that is Wikipedia) that Gleem was made by Procter & Gamble and was first introduced in 1952 (in the packaging above). 'Compton Advertising Inc.' (now part of Saatchi & Saatchi NY) co-ordinated the advertising for the first Gleem campaign (Ads 1 + 2 below) which was included in the 'League Against Obnoxious TV Commercials' list of 'terrible 10' in May 1963. Needless to say by 1969 the brand was flagging, so the advertising account was moved to 'Wells, Rich, Greene' (Ad 3 below) where it remained until 1976 when it was transferred to 'Leo Burnett', Chicago (Ad 4 below).

As far as I am aware Gleem is still available from some stores in the US, but it never seemed to really hold a big share of the toothpaste market, which is a shame because it packaging at least was great. Below is another sample pack found on Flickr (I think from the 60's) along with the packaging as it stands today.

#18 - 1950's Gleem toothpaste sample pack

Wed 06 Aug 2008

Posted under: Advertising , Design , Reference box


From the reference box #17

The Practical Householder, January 1961. This is great publication, packed full of adverts, and I mean packed full - the first article starts on page 25, before that it is just pages of mainly mono ads selling anything from sheds to chandeliers.

There is a 'test report' for a fast-boiling kettle - 'the latest edition to the housewife's time-saving equipment', a heat controlled iron and a multi-purpose tool for house and garden.

The illustrations, typography and graphics are fantastic reference, but the best things about this magazine are the many 'DIY/How to' pages. In this issue alone there are instructions on 'how to make'; a table for occasions (see above), a perspex fruit trough, a veneered light (see above), pelmets & curtains, a stow-away top for table tennis, a fold-away linen bin, a selection of children's wooden toys, a storm door, a cocktail bar, a wrought iron balustrade, lattice steps 'for the housewife', a birdcage suspension bar and a nursery chair. As well as how to re-cover a three-piece suite, prevent condensation, hide a waterpipe and hang a kitchen cupboard!

Did a 1960's man really have enough spare time in a month to make all those things? If so. where did all the time go, I don't think I have time to make even one of those things in a month - or is it a case of the women doing so much that the men really didn't have anything to do except play at DIY?

So quite a packed #17 - The Practical Householder, January 1961

From the reference box #16

"Tour Holland by motor car" is a wonderful 1950's leaflet about touring this 'land of broad horizons'. It gives you the legal requirements for driving in their country, a low down of the road signs, a brief highway code, parking & car washing charges, touring routes, hotel & tourist information contacts and best of all it opens out into a map of the countries 2 main roads, in a kind of tube map style.

The map shows the towns and villages like tube stops along a simplified road and has places of interest; windmills, galleries, museums etc... marked on with simple icons. It's a superb piece of design and still looks really modern over 50 years later - the true test of good design!

#16 - 1950's travel leaflet - Holland.

Thu 24 Jul 2008

Posted under: Design , Ephemera , Reference box , Map

1 Comment

From the reference box #15

Picked up this little beauty yesterday, a single Oxo cube box - I have only ever seen the Oxo tins before, but this little box is great.

So then, #15 - Oxo Cube packaging

Fri 18 Jul 2008

Posted under: Ephemera , Reference box


From the reference box #14

Lots of photography based ephemera from the 30s', 40's & 50's. The second red 'Kodak' one had images in it marked 1938 on the back, but I would say the first 2 are much older than that one. The last one is a really tiny, holiday souvenir photo card form 'Margate' - this is my personal favourite.

So quite a few items for #14 - Photograph/enlargement wallets and cards.

Sat 12 Jul 2008

Posted under: Photography , Ephemera , Reference box


From the reference box #13

Another little bit of ephemera fresh from the reference box are these 'Sorry we missed you' cards from a 1950/60's Dry Cleaners in Leamington Spa. I love the 'vanman' character on the pink one - he really is sad that they're not in!

# 13 - Dry cleaning, calling cards. 1950/60.

From the reference box #12

Another new item in the reference box (actually it's on the shelf, but it's still reference) is 'A Book of Lettering' published by A&C Black Ltd. in 1929. It's only 18 pages, but it has some great typefaces that were all hand drawn by Albert Field. Each typeface has with it a description and it's ideal usage, ie. for posters, embroidery, appliqúe, everyday use, woodwork, leather work, carving or printing.

The best thing about this book though, is that it had a couple of hidden extras folded away inside; a hand drawn map of the world showing exports and British colonies and a tea cosy design/pattern - how random!

#12 - A Book of Lettering, 1929.

Thu 26 Jun 2008

Posted under: Design , Typography , Reference box

1 Comment

From the reference box #11

New to the reference box is this collection of matchbook covers. A great carboot find at the weekend and a snip at £3! After discovering Grain Edit's Flickr group last week I decided to keep a look-out for some of my own, but never expected to find so many and so soon.

They are fantastic and from all over the world, someone has obviously spent a lot of time on this collection and I intend to keep it growing.

So, a new addition, #11 - Collection of Matchbook Covers

Wed 18 Jun 2008

Posted under: Design , Ephemera , Reference box


From the reference box #10

These are a couple of carboot finds - July and September 1956 issues of an Italian science magazine, 'Scienza e Vita'. The covers are great and really graphic as you can see, but the layout inside is a bit disappointing apart from the quirky diagrams, and the great photographs (some of which are very funny). Of course, I have no idea what any of the text says, but that makes the images all the more amusing.

#10 in the reference box - Italian Science Publications


Welcome to the Delicious Industries blog. We're an independent design studio based in Brighton, UK and this is our scrapbook packed full of design, illustration, photography & typography inspiration. Check out our work here.

Blog archive