Sunday, June 20, 2010
We soon learned to associate these colours, especially the much-coveted royal blue, with toxic products as it was indeed very much the practice to store them in bottles that could be easily differentiated from other, less harmful household substances. Whilst illiteracy was rife, poor lighting afflicted all classes and so careful packaging could avoid lethal accidents. As a consequence, the shape and texture of bottles containing dangerous chemicals was changed too and so embossed glass, 'quilted' surfaces, ridges and grooves all
helped people see and feel the difference between bottles.
Today I love just looking at the colours and wondering about the past lives of all these containers.
The big stoneware containers I didn't unearth, but the one from Birmingham used to act as a hot-water bottle for my mum as a child!