Ashtrays and Cream Crackers

This post is by Josh Butt our hungry Exhibitions Assistant

Box 37 (7)Last week the Exhibitions Team spent the day at our object store. We have been selecting objects for the next exhibition The People’s Business: Celebrating 150 years of the Co-operative. There were some interesting finds, including these Crumpsall Crackers matches and ashtray. It seems the Co-operative Wholesale Society (CWS) liked to advertise on absolutely everything, including depicting food at the bottom of an ashtray. It made me hungry.

The Crumpsall factory, located north of Manchester, produced a whole range of biscuits, cakes, jams and chocolate goodies. Crumpsall opened in 1873; it was the CWS’s first factory. In 1901 Crumpsall became the first factory in Britain to provide the 8 hour working day for employees. Other benefits were provided for workers, including dining rooms, sports fields and social activities. The Crumpsall factory lasted more than 100 years before closing down in 1985.

IMG_7327Whilst down at the objects store a colleague took this picture as I was tapping away at the laptop. It shows our various collection of typewriters and dial phones. It is kind of ironic that whilst the typewriter is now out of use (except by the Kremlin), and the laptop will probably be replaced by something better in the near future, the pencil and paper next to me has survived many different technologies.

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