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 Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...

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nordmann
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PostSubject: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Tue 13 Mar 2012, 17:48

For those who might (understandably) have never heard of the stuff, Saloop was once a beverage which in the London of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries far outstripped tea or coffee as the non-alcoholic choice of the masses. Made normally from a mixture of ground sassafras wood, milk and sugar (variations included dogstones, orange flower and rosewater), there wasn't a major thoroughfare in the capital which did not boast at least one stall - small portable tented tables on wheels, often with large umbrellas serving as parasol-cum-rain protection - selling piping hot bowls of the stuff for three ha'pence a turn, at that time a far cheaper alternative to the other warm beverages on offer. The author Charles Lamb once reflected in an essay on the peculiar mixture of artisan, sweep, clerk and beggar who consistently thronged around these "saloopian stalls" of a morning - Saloop being regarded for one thing as being as effective a cure for a hangover as existed. He noted in particular the young penniless sweeps "hang their black heads over the ascending steams, to gratify at least one sense if possible".

And then suddenly, almost overnight, it was not only gone but to all intents completely forgotten. No explanation has yet been produced as to how or why a product, so beloved of so many, should in the early decades of the 19th century disappear from the public consciousness almost as quickly and thoroughly as it disappeared from the public streets. The relative decrease in the real price of both tea and sugar undoubtedly played a role, but yet this was a gradual decrease and by the time it had lowered to the point that the poorest could afford a "cuppa", Saloop had already long vanished, never having undergone a reciprocal gradual retreat into obsoloscence in the meantime. A decrease in trade with the Ottoman empire (Saloop was a variant of Salep/Salehb, still a popular beverage in Turkey and the surroundings) in favour of importation from new British colonies in the far east has also been suggested, though in truth London's Saloop had long ago struck out on its own with regard to cheap local ingredients and was not dependent on such trade in any case. The fact is that it vanished almost without trace, and no one is really sure why.

Which begs the question: are there other examples of seemingly inexplicable disappearances of products in our past which at one moment appeared indespensible and in the next just were not there anymore? By which I mean of course products which were not just "fashionable", and therefore as prone to disappear on a whim as they might have arrived on one, and nor do I mean products which were superseded in usefulness by new inventions. I refer only to products which to all intents and purposes could just as logically be popular today as they were then but, like Saloop, have exited stage left without as much as a goodbye and now are simply strange words encountered in antiquarian accounts.

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ferval
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Tue 13 Mar 2012, 18:33

Well lost in the case of saloop, it's carcinogenic and causes liver damage in lab animals. My father in law kept sassafras tea in his herbalist's shop up until, I think, the end of the 60s but I have no recollection of anyone ever buying any. It was banned here in the late 70s.

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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Tue 13 Mar 2012, 18:56

Be that as it may, it was not why it disappeared, which was the point of the question. I am sure many discontinued practises involved substances now known to be unhealthy (the use of pewter and lead springs to mind) but their use in tableware, cosmetics etc were discontinued on the basis of being substituted by more practical or cheaper alternatives rather than any great understanding of their lethality at the time.

Sassafras in Saloop was often substituted by dogstones, a colloquial term for orchid roots. I cannot vouch for the difference in taste this might have afforded, but dogstone-Saloop disappeared by the same token.

The question was not really so much why it disappeared, or whether it was just as well given what we now know, but if there were other hugely popular products which have disappeared equally inexplicably in the past?
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Tue 13 Mar 2012, 19:39

Negus is mentioned in several 19th century novels, including "Jane Eyre", "Wuthering Heights" and "Mansfield Park" - also in Dickens. However, I think it was not so much a *product* as a kind of hot toddy or mulled wine. You never hear the word these days.

Porter is another drink that's disappeared - I think it was a kind of beer.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Tue 13 Mar 2012, 19:45

Porter disappeared? Not in Ireland - it's still a popular bottled beer, though personally I reckon the modern version is just flat stout.
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Caro
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Tue 13 Mar 2012, 20:11

Saloop seems to be a kind of tonic, and people just don't use tonics anymore. We had some in our house (not saloop) when I was young - it was black and treacly-flavoured, I think.

I wondered about sarsaparilla, which my (teetotal) father talked about as a favourite drink but which I never saw and rarely see now. But I see it is used in root beer in America, so perhaps it was never available much here and he came across it during the war.

Snuff? It's all over the place in novels set in Georgian times.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Tue 13 Mar 2012, 20:25

But snuff is still available. It could be that it is progressively on the way out but it by no means could be described as a "sudden" phenomenon.

I don't think Saloop was regarded as a tonic, though I am sure, like tea, it was described as such by many who promoted its sale. Its principal selling point however was that it was warm and it was cheap. Its heyday in London coincided with the infamous period when cheap gin took the city by storm and ruined the lives of so many over several generations, a seemingly unstoppable and self-inflicted malady of plague proportions. So bad did the gin situation become that it eventually took extremely draconian measures combined with extremely revolutionary social engineering on several fronts over a long period by the authorities before it was removed as a social scourge. Yet it never "disappeared", it just became "normal" and returned to moderate usage. Saloop, which had never been the subject of any law to restrict its manufacture or use, simply "stopped" one day.
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ferval
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Tue 13 Mar 2012, 20:28

Would that have been black strap molasses Caro? It used to be a popular iron tonic and, I think, taken with sulphur in some form in the spring to set you up!

Cod liver oil and malt was the preferred nostrum in our house along with syrup of figs. Does castor oil still exist?

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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Tue 13 Mar 2012, 22:15

Cod liver oil is still going strong, Ferval, but usually in tasteless capsules nowadays.

My Dad used to drink something called 'Ale-Plant', a strange concoction that 'grew' in a big glass sweetie-jar, and had to be 'fed' with sugar and stuff. It was a kind of ginger ale, I think, and was a a big thing in the 1950s. Never seen it since!
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normanhurst
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Wed 14 Mar 2012, 00:06

I remember drinking sarsaparilla as a kid. I liked it, and then I didn’t see it again until 2 year ago in a Tesco store. They don’t have it all the time but when it’s available I get a couple in store. Still got one left.

Malt extract… can you still get that, and a cough medicine called ‘Galloways’ the only medicine I really liked, a bit like a liquid ‘fishermans friend’… guaranteed to clear a cold, unblock a bunged up nose, even if it meant by blowing ya adenoids out. Wish I could have a dose of that.
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Islanddawn
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Wed 14 Mar 2012, 05:51

Milk of Magnesia was something always kept in our cupboard alongside the Castor Oil and Cod Livier Oil, I was surprised not so long ago to see that MM was still available at the chemists.

There used to be castor beans growning in gardens quite a bit when we were kids, and we were always told that they were poisonous and warned never to put them in our mouths. Haven't seen the plant for years now. Arum lillies and Rhododendrons were another we were warned about as poisonous, come to think of it.

But MM, CO and CLO are all medicinal, people certainly didn't drink any for enjoyment.
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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Wed 14 Mar 2012, 07:24

Pink boned and laced corsets have gone out, I think? (black and lacy still around and not up for discussion.)

As have Liberty bodices in which no war time child went out without until Msy was out. Swaddling bands? Rabbit skins for baby buntings? Crinaline hoops - and bustles? There must be many items of fashion long gone that were once de rigeur, so what of further back in time? Or have I corrupted the original intent of this thread?
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Wed 14 Mar 2012, 10:50

Indeed - the point of the thread was to identify things which were once popular but now are not, but for no apparently logical or attributable reason.

Fashion however should not be dismissed out of hand as off-topic. If by fashion one means attire then there have been several instances of costumes and accessories, for example, which were once deemed not only fashionable (an ephemeral quality in any case) but sensible in the circumstances and which "modern" fashion sense has arbitrarily deemed unwearable. The cod-piece is probably one such example. It originated at a time when horse-riding was an everyday function engaged in by many and was refined over the years to be a lightweight but effective protection for the testicles against impact injury. During the 16th century further refinements with the introduction of cheaper and more varied materials meant that it could retain these qualities while becoming much more comfortable to wear. At the height of this refinement, and puzzlingly in an era when horse-riding was being engaged in by ever more people as an everyday activity, it too also "disappeared", almost overnight. Even fashion tastes, which we know to be fickle and apparently completely arbitrary when it comes to logic, cannot really account for the cod-piece's so sudden demise.

The logic of the device is still understood and acknowledged, though now chiefly restricted to certain sports, and if Association Football's adoption of the modern version of the codpiece is anything to go by, the frequency of its proven ineffectiveness shows that we even then fail to emulate the standard once attained five or more centuries ago. Yet as any man who has inadvertently walked into the projecting corner of a table can testify (testiclefy?) the inclusion of cod-piece technology in modern underpants could only be considered an eminently logical - however fashionably astute - piece of (under)hardware!
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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Wed 14 Mar 2012, 11:24

I am not sure that I needed to know any of that. However, now I know.
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Wed 14 Mar 2012, 16:36

@Islanddawn wrote:
Milk of Magnesia was something always kept in our cupboard alongside the Castor Oil and Cod Livier Oil, I was surprised not so long ago to see that MM was still available at the chemists.

There used to be castor beans growning in gardens quite a bit when we were kids, and we were always told that they were poisonous and warned never to put them in our mouths. Haven't seen the plant for years now. Arum lillies and Rhododendrons were another we were warned about as poisonous, come to think of it.

But MM, CO and CLO are all medicinal, people certainly didn't drink any for enjoyment.

Yest, castor oil beans are poisonous - remember the Georgi Markov "assassination by umbrella" case? Ricin is the active ingredient.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Wed 14 Mar 2012, 17:00

@normanhurst wrote:
...and a cough medicine called ‘Galloways’ the only medicine I really liked, a bit like a liquid ‘fishermans friend’… guaranteed to clear a cold, unblock a bunged up nose, even if it meant by blowing ya adenoids out. Wish I could have a dose of that.

Some pretty effective cough medicines in this lot, Norman. But it's pretty obvious why Boots no longer stock them!

http://www.bottlebooks.com/dangerou.htm
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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Wed 14 Mar 2012, 17:18

Spills - I recall the endless folding of these for a neighbour who used to baby sit me. At school spill holders were a craft standby and given as presents filled with coloured wooden spills from Woolworths. Every hearth had one. And what about those rippled wash boards? Apart from skiffle bands I could never see the point but I recall seeing them hanging outside litchens.

Then there were curling tongs heated in the fire and used very dangerously wound up hair to the heat with a strong singin smell. I recall this for the times I had ringlets for carnivals or going on stage - what as I cannot recall. I know I hated it very much.

We display such hings in our museum and the elders always say they had them.

Then there were face patches greatly in fashion and then not. I neve understood patches. Should I only be thinking about medicine and food?

And one last thing, clay pipes were the thing for a while judging from the masses of bits that litter my garden soil. can't thnk of anything as interesting as Saloop - which I first thought was goingto be about Shropshire anyway. Sometimes it is quite a trial being me.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Wed 14 Mar 2012, 17:46

Beauty patches - that's a good one. Wish I'd thought of them.

Interesting info here. Apparently the craze for beauty patches just died out after the French revolution. But I wonder why?

http://marilynkaydennis.wordpress.com/2010/06/06/the-fashion-of-beauty-patches/
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Wed 14 Mar 2012, 18:37

Beauty patches had been used as a way of hiding scarring even in ancient Rome and went in and out of fashion, scars or not, over the centuries. The 18th century fashion may have ended in the last decade or so of the 1700s but cosmetic concealment of scarred facial skin continued and just varied in technique as time went on, to be replaced by and large with better hygiene and reparation techniques applied to the skin instead. False beauty spots still come in and out of vogue. So sorry, no great mystery there since excessive use of them was simply a fad, and in fact they are still used today in any event where logic or fashion dictates.

Surely you can think of something which had a logical, rather than a cosmetic, application and would still do today if it hadn't simply "stopped" being used altogether?

Priscilla's washboards are better qualified as examples. Although they "went out" with the advent of machine washing there are still some stains best removed by controlled agitation of the fibres for which the old washboard was perfectly designed and, in fact, every house should really still have one on standby. Though now I reckon no one would have a clue how to properly use them anymore!
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Wed 14 Mar 2012, 19:14

@nordmann wrote:
Surely you can think of something which had a logical, rather than a cosmetic, application and would still do today if it hadn't simply "stopped" being used altogether?


Crikey, this is getting like a test!


@nordmann wrote:
Priscilla's washboards are better qualified as examples. Although they "went out" with the advent of machine washing there are still some stains best removed by controlled agitation of the fibres for which the old washboard was perfectly designed and, in fact, every house should really still have one on standby. Though now I reckon no one would have a clue how to properly use them anymore!

But why get your fibres all agited when you can use a "Vanish Stain Bar" or even a "Vanish Powershot Gel Cap"?

I'm all confused now as to what we're supposed to be aiming for here. Will read the original post again more carefully.
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ferval
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Wed 14 Mar 2012, 19:45

I think I understand the task we have been set but I'm blowed if I can think of anything that fits the bill. I don't think washboards do, any more than coppers or poshers, they are redundant technology from a time when the introduction of better detergents and machines coincided with the increasing number of women working. At least as importantly though, they didn't fit in an age of increasing aspiration and modernity. They were simply old fashioned and soon became the butt of jokes - just not cool.
Things generally disappear because no one wants them any more and that can be much more about what they represent in the minds of the consumer than the product's utility.
And so the advertising industry was born.
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Caro
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Wed 14 Mar 2012, 20:05

Well, I'd certainly have a clue how to use a rippled washboard - I found them very useful when my kids were young and went bathing in the mud. (The West Coast had about 3000mm (getting close to 120 inches) of rainfall a year so taking advantage of it somehow was necessary.) Our washboard has disappeared somewhere - has one of my sons pinched it? - otherwise I would still use it on occasions. It saved getting the washing machine clogged up and dirty. And was quite fun to use, anyway.

Where can you buy snuff? I've never seen it for sale, and don't really understand why it was so fashionable when it was - cigarettes were around then, surely?
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Wed 14 Mar 2012, 20:22

Snuff sales are actually increasing, I read. Apparently it's seen as a way of weaning oneself off cigarettes. I used it myself one time - for a month or so - until the pointlessness of it all eventually couldn't be ignored and I was fed up having to remember to carry a hanky round with me all the time.

Glad to hear you enjoyed the washboard, Caro. As kids that was one chore we competed over - something very satisfying about it alright. Those Vanish products Temp mentions don't work, at least not when they should. Besides one's hard-earned expendable income and odd patches of colour from the garment I can never get anything else to vanish, least of all the offending stain. I often wish too I had one now.

There is another thing I noticed which has made me wonder why on earth they stopped making them and that was those raised one-bar iron scraping rods outside posher town houses in Georgian times where one could scrape offending material from the soles of one's footwear before entering the hall. Much more effective than a doormat or even those multi-rodded grills you see sometimes set in or on the doorstep. The older simpler version could even get rid of the crap (and sometimes that's precisely what it is) trapped in the angle between the heel and the front sole. And so simple a design too. Some of them were very elegant indeed.
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Gilgamesh of Uruk
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Wed 14 Mar 2012, 20:48

The scrapers have gone the way of the proper door-knocker, and the Vim/Ajax scouring powder which actually worked much better than "cream cleaner", though not as well as "pusser's paste". I don't think there is anything you can't clean with a bar of pusser's hard, a tin of pusser's paste, some bluebell and a lot of elbow grease.
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Caro
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Wed 14 Mar 2012, 21:13

It's the last two words that are the problem, Gil. I don't think things like Vanish are much use against mud, but the NZ equivalent (which I think works better than your British version) is quite wonderful with anything oily or food drops etc. And requires only the effort made to press a little thing. (Little thing probably has a name but these words escape me often.) Possibly not environmentally very sound, (who knows what's in it?) but I take note of the environment when it suits me, and not quite so much when it doesn't.

Sunlight Soap was what everyone in NZ used to use for cleaning anything, but a few years ago there was a fuss when it seemed to be taken off the market - local makers stopped making it. I think it comes from Australia now.

This might not be completely on-topic.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Wed 14 Mar 2012, 21:17

Vim is gone? Typical! You turn your back on the country for a mere decade ...

Another piece of hygiene equipment, one which disappeared around the time of the fall of the Western Roman Empire and is long overdue a comeback is the strigil - and probably even more importantly, the technique for using it. The routine (lazy) explanation for its absence is that it fell foul of the advance of soap's mass manufacture, though in truth Europe survived without either for a fair (though not a fair smelling) number of centuries in between. In ancient Greece and Rome however the implement was used in one's daily hygiene regimen by just about everybody. Rich people could get others to strigil them, but it is almost as easy to do it yourself (except for that bit at the back ...) and the benefits, as opposed to a bar of Lux, are manifold.

Nowadays some health spas will charge you an arm and a leg to strigil the rest of you but in truth your total outlay should be no more than one strigil (the cost of a cheap stainless steel butter knife) and then the occasional bottle of Olive Oil. A properly contoured strigil (now incredibly difficult to find on sale) applied once a day prevents cellulose build-up, wards off varicose veins, improves circulation, eliminates minor annoyances such as ingrowing hair and clogged pores, exfoliates dead cells, and even helps as an early warning system for more serious skin disorders such as malignant melanoma and basal cell cancers. What's more it cleans you, and better than soap.

In this day and age when people have been encouraged, coerced, convinced and brainwashed into a shower and two good tooth-scrubbing episodes per day, how and why has the strigil not made at least a partial comeback in the ordinary household? Its "demise" can most handily be attributed to the erosion of Roman habits and culture - I'll grant you that - but what's inexplicable in this case is how such a superior hygienic and health preservatory habit to the ones we now have hasn't received the same promotion and advertising its inferiors have enjoyed since Lever discovered his brother. Strange!


Last edited by nordmann on Wed 14 Mar 2012, 21:23; edited 1 time in total
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Gilgamesh of Uruk
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Wed 14 Mar 2012, 21:22

@Caro wrote:

This might not be completely on-topic.



Sorry. Not understood. "on-topic" - does that have some subtle meaning?



Sunlight Soap doesn't come from Aus. Here's the jonnock



"While shepherds washed their socks by night, all seated on the ground, a bar of Sunlight Soap came down and soapsuds flew around".

You will find that cited in a scholarly tome entitled "How to be Topp" by Geoffrey Whillans, illustrated by the late Ronald Searle (who, reportedly, preferred St Custards to St Trinians)
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ferval
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Wed 14 Mar 2012, 22:52

You've prompted me to have a look around and, not only can you still buy Sunlight soap, you can also get Lifebuoy and if you're mainlining, pink carbolic!http://www.lifebuoy.co.uk/carbolic-soaps.htm

So when and where is this authentic Roman spa being established? I have a vision......... Toilet arrangements might need some tweaking, especially for the women, although one local shopping centre has cubicles in the Ladies containing two toilets. I don't think reintroducing strigils would be too difficult, there are plenty of women who never allow water anywhere near their faces, extending this to the rest of their bodies is only a short step. Mixed strigilling sessions, preferably licensed, could become very popular or single sex. Perhaps that's just a bit too close to San Francisco bath houses though.
Anyway, there's money to be made.
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Islanddawn
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Thu 15 Mar 2012, 05:32

Boot scrapers were still being used in Australia, when I left there anyway. Farmers, builders or anyone with a job that can be messy had them at their back door.

And Vim is still available in Greece, I'm currently considering buying some to see if it will work against daughter's homemade and all natural soap. The more modern liquid cleaners are doing nothing to remove the marks from the sink, tiles etc. And I've got another 20 bars of the stuff to use too!

Sunlight Soap, there is a blast from the past. I used to like the baby with the pointy head imprinted on the top of the soap.

Edit. re the strigil. I suppose the closest we have today for removing oil, dirt and dry skin cells would be the loofah plus cleansers and creams with abrasives bits added, not unlike Vim! And pumice stone is still used for removing dry and hard skin off the feet, except today we get multicoloured ones and in all different shapes.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Thu 15 Mar 2012, 07:45

Well, I've just emerged from the shower, thoroughly scrubbed down with my exfoliating mitt and copious amounts of Clinique Sparkle Skin.

The blurb on the tub (which I've never bothered to read before as it's in tiny letters that I can't make out without my specs) is persuasive:

"Discover a refreshing experience for the whole body. Stimulates. Refines. Invigorating granules take even rough, hardened skin to glowing smoothness."

To be honest, I feel neither invigorated nor refined this morning, and I don't think I'm glowing or sparkling much either. But I *do* feel noticeably smoother and Sparkle Skin smells better than Vim. The Scrape 'n' Oil experience just sounds too *greasy* for me.

Will now try to think of a sensible example for the thread.

PS Didn't people use sand before Vim as an abrasive to scour pots and pans? Jif *is* rubbish, but Marks and Sparks Shower and Tile Shine With Rosemary and Cool Mint (caring for you, your home and our environment) is even worse. Bring back Ajax, I say.
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Islanddawn
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Thu 15 Mar 2012, 08:46

Yes Temp, sand was once used for scouring metals, not only pots and pans but chain mail and armor too. Chain mail in a barrel with a quantity of sand and all rolled around together would remove the rust and blood and bring it to a sparkling shine!

White vinegar is also brilliant for removing rust and tarnish from metals, far better than modern commercial cleaners. Salt is a good abrasive for wood too, but I'd imagine both were too valuable a commodity in the past to have been used for cleaning all that much, compared to sand which would have been available freely.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Thu 15 Mar 2012, 11:04

When did Robin Starch die a death? It used to be an enormously popular product, and starching apparently really did work to keep cottons and linens crisp and clean.

I think some spray starches are available these days, but I don't know anyone who ever uses them. It's all conditioners and softeners added to the final rinse now. But they make cottons floppy rather than crisp.
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Thu 15 Mar 2012, 11:20

Thank god starched sheets have gone out of fashion... twas like sliding between two sheets of white cardboard
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Thu 15 Mar 2012, 11:32

The decline of the West very possibly began with floppy sheets, Norman.

Seriously, interesting that "starchy" is a word often used to express contempt for anything considered too controlled or disciplined. Stiff and starchy Victorians and all that.
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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Thu 15 Mar 2012, 14:05

Then there's mansion polish. I think I can get it here because did an in depth search. The mega companythat owns so many products world wide make stuff in certain areas now. Tip of the day - learned from friend with an aggressive, snoppy German mother in law. Mansion polish dabbed on the cooker before guests arrive suggests great house keeping.

Strops. Made of what I have no idea. These were hang in labourers' kitchens as I recall for sharpening razors for the weekly shave. If of leather how did that work? I used to watch the entire performance with rapt attention at an uncle's house..... the poacher uncle. I had such a great childhood.

Stone whitening blocks for scrubbed front door steps. This was highly competitive in lines of terraced cottages and women judged bythe result. That seems to have gone out.

Possets. These were prepared for the sick in novels. I don't recall ever having one or have much of an idea quite what they are.

Porringers - not sue eitherr. My mother said in her youth there were set on the hearth iron pots in which all left overs were put for a slow and constant boil so ever available thick broth.

Toasting forks. Every hearth had one from simple twist tines to fancy brass jobs. I recall doing thick hearth toast and crumpets somewhere - and mighty good they were with yellow butter or even better, dripping with dripping. Alas who keeps a dripping bowl now? All that brown jelly stuff at the bottom is but a dream. I bet I've clogged an arterary just recalling it. I also have a chestnut roaster - and leather bellows from someone in my families' past. There was always much activity around the old hearth. The fireplace is no longer a focal centre point although woodburners have revived that.

In UKI have a gas fire replica which has to do. So far grandchildren believe I keep lizards there during the day and spend ages watching for them. Apparently they have seen two. Here I have lizards on the wall and have definately seen two today. I ramble, as ever. P.
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normanhurst
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Thu 15 Mar 2012, 14:35

I think you may find strops were leather one side and sharks or ray skin… shagrin the other. Still seen and used in ‘barbers’ today.
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Islanddawn
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Thu 15 Mar 2012, 15:06

And, of course, there are people who can work up a decent strop with the greatest of ease. We saw a few of those on the Beeb.

I suppose that word came from the leather strop originally? The leather strop once being used to whack a naughty child's bottom?
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Gilgamesh of Uruk
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Thu 15 Mar 2012, 16:03

Reckitt's Blue, Robin starches indispensible companion.
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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Thu 15 Mar 2012, 16:20

@Priscilla wrote:
....Porringers - not sure either. My mother said in her youth there were set on the hearth iron pots in which all left overs were put for a slow and constant boil so ever available thick broth... And Toasting forks...... Alas who keeps a dripping bowl now? All that brown jelly stuff at the bottom is but a dream.

Do people really not use stock pots and keep dripping? I must be getting very old-fashioned. I've nearly always got a stock pot on the go with onion skins, potato peelings, tops of leeks, carrot tops, apples that are past their best etc.. and any bits of bone, chicken carcass etc. The strained liquid, together with some of the jelly from the bottom of the dripping bowl is the basis of general everyday soups and casseroles. And the sieved out bits of leak, potato, carrot, turnip etc go to the dog (once I've picked out the chicken bones).

Do you really mean people don't do these things anymore? I am (moderately) aghast.Shocked
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ferval
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Thu 15 Mar 2012, 16:34

I suspect that the originator of this thread has locked the door on us and quietly crept away, sadly shaking his head at our inability to address his topic.

Oh dear, what a shame, now does anyone remember Rinso?

I have come across a superb collection of vintage advertising images here
http://www.advertisingarchives.co.uk/en/page/show_home_page.html
Have a wallow!
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ferval
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Thu 15 Mar 2012, 16:47

Why did this wonderful product disappear? Presumably because the fat didn't.

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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Thu 15 Mar 2012, 16:55

@ferval wrote:
I suspect that the originator of this thread has locked the door on us and quietly crept away, sadly shaking his head at our inability to address his topic.

Very possibly he has but I am finding it very hard to think of anything that meets his criteria.

A possible one is the drink hippocras... basically a spiced wine... very popular in ancient rome and also in the middle ages but dropping from favour, at least under that name, about 1650. Of course it sort of lived on in various recipes for spiced and mulled wines such as Sangria, and Glühwein, but never as quite the same recipe and never again under the old name hippocras.

Another thought was silphium... a spice/herb deemed absolutely essential to Roman cuisine at the time, but which is never heard of again after the first century AD - but this is probably because the Romans ate it all. I think the last report of a wild plant was in the reign of Vespasian... but given how indispensible it was always considered to have been, I am always surprised that no enterprising Roman gardener ever managed to get it to grow as a commercial crop.
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Gilgamesh of Uruk
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Thu 15 Mar 2012, 17:11

On the Roman culinary front, how about liquamen - or centuries later, verjuice?
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ferval
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Thu 15 Mar 2012, 17:29

In the same vein, there's garum which, in the west at least, seemed to fade from view after about maybe 1000 years of popularity. Resurrected of course as Lea & P and pate peperium but never again with such ubiquity.
Food tastes do change enormously though, think of the things that were common in your childhood but rarely turn up today and those that you'd never heard of but now are everywhere.
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Gilgamesh of Uruk
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Thu 15 Mar 2012, 17:38

You mean like English travellers complaining that an egg in its shell was about the only garlic free foodstuff sur le continong?
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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Thu 15 Mar 2012, 18:07

I think the ancient stuff and garum fit the tpoic bill but shall add my next; smeeling salts.

There was a time - presumably when her aforementioned corsets stifled her circulation that a lady never went out without her vial of smelling salts to revive her.

Of course women used to have a fit of the vapours when shocked in days of not so yore. I saw one here once at a formal gathering at a very conservative lifestyle family gathering. Two rival groups of the same family arrived at the same time. I was silently agog at what might happen. One lady had a fit of the vapours and swooned into a chair. No smelling salts were produced, only her companion sister saying sharply"There's nothing wrong with you, get up. We're going." Swooning is not what it used to be.

Having mentioned the demise of said compound do recall a teacher in training who always had the salts with her. I don't know why - but I have wondered since how long she was in education. Probably became an inspector.
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Caro
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Thu 15 Mar 2012, 20:02

Quote :
Alas who keeps a dripping bowl now?


Well, like Meles, I say "Me". We didn't eat the brown bits of dripping when I was a child - the fat to cook the meat just stayed in the pan for the next time. I didn't understand books that talked about eating dripping, assuming it was just the fat. It was only when I married that I learnt of the lovely brown goo at the bottom. Now I keep the dripping to put in the bread I make (in a bread-maker, not fiddling round for hours kneading). It is my husband who usually makes the stock, but mostly just of bones and onions.

Smelling salts should just about fit Nordmann's bill, though perhaps other methods stop fainting fits. Taking off corsets stopped them more effectively probably. (My grandmother wore all these body strapping outfits - she never swooned or fainted, and could, if required, work a day in the shearing shed.)

Caro.
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Triceratops
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Fri 16 Mar 2012, 13:50

Creamola Foam, wonderful stuff, then it vanished.

For those unfortunates who have never tasted this concoction

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creamola_Foam



Last edited by Triceratops on Fri 16 Mar 2012, 14:48; edited 1 time in total
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normanhurst
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Fri 16 Mar 2012, 14:48

Vanished... the little blue paper twists of salt in packets of crisps... crisps were never the same after that.
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Triceratops
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PostSubject: Re: Anyone for Saloop? Lost and forgotten indispensibles ...   Fri 16 Mar 2012, 15:04

@normanhurst wrote:
Vanished... the little blue paper twists of salt in packets of crisps... crisps were never the same after that.

I remember those, Norman. Tony Blackburn started a campaign to bring them back,and they made a [very] brief re-appearance.

Guess who bought a Betamax Video Recorder, when VCR's started. It's sitting up in the loft somewhere.

Trike
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