A ramble through domestic history in the 20th Century
A collection of pictures taken from a Pilkington advertising booklet. It’s undated, but from the style of furnishings and fashions I’m guessing early 1950s. The booklet’s all about the many and varied ways you can use glass about the home, the various kinds of glass available – toughened glass, obscured glass, glass blocks, glass tiles, Vitrolite etc. What is Vitrolite you may ask… it’s a “rolled opaque glass with a hard, brilliant surface that lasts for ever.” It was available in a range of colours and most commonly used on the wall where you might use tiles. Pretty much like those glass splashbacks you can get now – but used most commonly in bathrooms rather than kitchens in the ’50s.
The front cover of the booklet.
“A bathroom scheme entirely in glass. The walls are of pale blue Vitrolite panels with overlapping strips of blue Vitrolite beside the bath to give a variety of surface. Above the bath is a panel of Pink Polished Plate Glass silvered and stippled on the surface and decorated with brilliant-cut lines. The circular mirror above the wash-basin is set against a panel of Reeded Glass illuminated from concealed lamps. The bath panel is of black Vitrolite with a decorative motif in white.”
“The narrow entrance to this bedroom in a London flat is given breadth by a mirror panelled wall which also serves as a dressing mirror and reflects the pleasant decoration of the room of which Heal’s candlewick bedspread is an interesting feature.” (Hope he puts that fag out before he gets into bed though, or that candlewick bedspread could go up in flames!)
Here the book talks about the use of mirrors on a fitted wardrobe – but I draw your attention simply to the fact that there ARE fitted wardrobes. As in the previous picture, life has moved a long way from the 1940s.