Times Past
It has been my pleasure recently to muse through a GROCER'S DIARY for 1929 and though this was the year before I was born it has made me realise how things have changed. I was brought up in a Post Office and General Stores and remember vinegar straight from the barrel into customers bottles but I feel sure we never needed to work out the contents of a partly filled cask -"divide the wet inches by the bung diameter, if lying,.......if the quotient exceeds 500 deduct one fourth of the deficiency.........the answer will be in gallons". There were other things quite new to me - the capacities of wine casks: why should a Pipe of Port be 115 gallons and the same of Masala 93, or even Madeira 92?
How was it that Claret and Burgundy was measured in hogsheads (46 gals) but Hock and Moselle by an AUM (30 gals)? I suggest today Greek Currants are no longer weighed by the Venetian pound (106.4 of which equals a cwt) and that Valencian Raisins were

weighed by the Kilo (50.75 making 1 cwt).
Also in the Things Worth Knowing Pages there are names and sizes of sugar papers (I think I'll save them for a quiz) also brown and wrapping paper and paper bags. I remember sugar coming in large hessian sacks and helping to weigh and fold the tops correctly. Another thing I'll keep to myself-even though it is EASILY ASCERTAINED - and that is how to find out whether petroleum is sufficiently volatile to be dangerous.
There are diagrams to show how to cut a side of bacon and lists the costs starting- 8lb. collar @ 1/2; the cheapest was forelock (8lb. 12oz.) @ 6 and da half d. the dearest Short Back (8 lb.) @ 1/10d. From a side of 61lb @112s you a profit of 15.3d should be made...remembering you will get more loss by evapouration from green than from smoked.
However some of the adverts. I remembered - Crawford's Biscuits: Hayward's Pickles: Mazawattee Tea: Cherry Blossom Boot Polish and Ryvita Crispbread.

Pam Eyles

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