Chapter 6

A fermentation of stuff

The packaging of individualism 1950s

In the peacetime of 1950’s, the massive expansion of plastics production during wartime demands a new market. This is the time where plastics enter the home and gradually becomes ubiquitous. Advertising targets middle class women relentlessly, offering gadgets for the home that will free up their time and enable them to fulfil their individual potential. In this chapter, ideas around individualism are explored as well as the endless cycle of cleaning chores.  It is the beginning of a new era in the home that we all take for granted these days.  



A satisfied people is a stagnant people. Let us present the wonderful Grab Bag of plastic. Doubling Tripling, Expanding, … so lightweight, so desirable, so disposable… Keep ‘em Moulding’  

Come peacetime, how many plastic ploughshares can the public be persuaded to buy without gagging?  

Ninette, new curtains  

Fe Fi Fo Fum on the floor linoleum  

Shirts and slacks in Garnalene  

Extra wear without a care  

Formica for me - new at the whisk of a damp cloth  

Nylon the gay deceiver  

Pristine freshness with damp cloth cleaning  

Lipstick on the wall? This is Varlor - damp cloth treatment  

Upholstered in Dacran, stains need not be calamities  

The damp cloth in action, swished away  

Plastics are here to free you from drudgery  

From dust, grime, stains, scratches and shabbiness  

Housewife slavery  

Swished away  

We dream of freezers, hoovers, mixers,  

We dream of washing machines, disposable nappies, dishwashers  

We dream of TVs and wipe off counters  

Oh household drudgery, oh household slavery  

We dream of non-stick, whiskers, spatulas  

We dream of Tupperware, cling film, food processors, bin bags, juicers  

Non-iron fabrics, bibs, spray cleaners, double glazing  

Oh household drudgery, oh household slavery swished away  

You will have a greater chance to be yourselves  

Than any people in the history of civilisation.  

You will have a greater chance to be yourselves  

than any girl, mother, grandmother, aunty or woman  

in the history of civilisation.  

Damp Cloth Cleaning.  

Who wants to be at the mercy of a fading flower?  

Some roses never fade  

No rust, no rot, no tarnish  

A new kink everyday  

A new permanence, uncorrupted everyday  

For ever and ever  

Even in a nest of bleached white bones lies colour  

Who wants to be at the mercy of a fading flower  

Some roses never fade