Recently acquired by the museum is a set of arrow head
design ‘XL Grip’ bakelite (phenol formaldehyde) stair clips.
A mundane but practical everyday item in the
1920s when these examples were produced, they are a reminder of my childhood
days when the stair carpet in our 1950s family home was held in place by a
chromed metal version, similar to these in design.
Before the fashion for fully
fitted, wall to wall carpeting, stairs were carpeted with a runner which was
held in place by stair rods or clips. The practicality of using this system lay
in the ability to move the carpet up or down to alleviate the inevitable wear
or fading on the ‘nose’ of the carpet – the point at which the carpet turns
from the riser to the tread.
the fashion for stair runners is returning but stair clips or rods are likely
to be more of a decorative feature than a practical solution, as carpets are
now, more likely than not, to be tacked in place. MoDiP has other examples of
bakelite stair clips
and a growing range of other domestic fittings made using
this ubiquitous material.
MoDiP Documentation Officer.