…and you do not have to bend down…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s pencil sharpener is the one shaped like an alluring glance across a crowded bar.

Do you like gadgets? Everybody likes gadgets – they’re great! Especially now, but they were pretty good in the 1950s, but back then you had to make them yourself out of wood, bits of bent plastic, and string on the little workshop bench at the back of your garage, or out in the little shed in your garden.
Yes, it’s that fusty old junk shop book The 1954 Gadgets Annual again, containing items carefully selected by good old W. N. Shaw from that year’s issues of the Gadgets Magazine.

DSCN3900This is a picture of the title page, the book itself is not really worth a photograph, it has just a plain red and cream cloth cover. There are two or three items on each page; let’s just quickly thumb through and pick a few titles as random to get a feel of the style:
A Coil Winding Hint, Rubber Strip Waterproof Beading, How to Renovate Car bodywork, Camper’s Matches – they are always dry!, Home-Made Xmas Logs, A Plastic Toast Rack, &c.
Shall we zoom in on page 92?…

‘Yes Albert?’
‘I put my copy of Gadgets down somewhere, I can’t seem to find it…’
‘It’s over there, with the Radio Times, on top of the wireless.’
‘Ah, thank you dear.’
‘And what are you messing about with today? You know, we should really stop getting that silly magazine Albert, it is a waste of money.’
‘It’s not a silly magazine my dear, it’s full of useful, and money-saving ideas.’
‘Such as?’
‘Well, I don’t suppose you’ve ever wondered what the best way is to hold an oilstone in a vice, have you Madge?’
‘Well no Albert, not actually having an oilstone, I haven’t… Anyway, what were you banging around and muttering at out there this morning?’
‘Oh, just a quickly made, but useful item for the garden.’
‘Oh really? Let me have a look… Oh…’
‘Yes, it’s a ‘novel gardening carryall’ Madge. You see, all you have to do is put things in the…’
‘Yes, yes, I see… Albert….’
‘Yes my dear?’
‘It’s marvellous! It will be very useful!’
‘Yes, I will use it this very afternoon, my petunias are about ready for putting in…’

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
This entry was posted in books, brain, conversation, design, history, humour, information, instruction, reading, serendipity, surrealism and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to …and you do not have to bend down…

  1. Oh now I do like this! You could carry a few of them in one hand if you had a variety of plants/seeds to put in. It really does save carrying an unwieldy box around the garden!

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