I came across some figs in the cupboard, and having written about using cold tea to soak dried fruit I did just that. Looking back over previous blogs, I came across something I wrote four years ago with the title ‘Apple paring machines, perpetual mousetraps, sardine knives and figs! Figs!! Figs!!!’ I haven’t any images of figs and for some reason had a one featuring sausages… which received some comments so I have now changed it for a picture of the sea, across which a ship might come carrying all sorts of provisions! Here’s what it was all about:
We are so used to everything being available in our shops all the time, or if everything isn’t, then do some on-line shopping and it will be with you in a trice! Occasionally some item – a film, music, special edition game, is announced pre-sale and then everyone is mad to get it, queuing up outside stores, pre-ordering on-line, the excitement building…
Just imagine being in a remote place, where most products manufactured, grown, made elsewhere, have to be brought in. Imagine if the journey to deliver them is perilous – as a retailer you daren’t advertise them in advance in case they get lost, broken, mysteriously vanish,, arrive broken or in a different condition from what you expect, or what arrives isn’t what you ordered.
In 1873, in countries such as Australia and new Zealand, items which couldn’t be made or grown at home, or specific items of a particular make, had to be brought in by ship. My great-great-grandfather had an import/export business in Hobart Tasmania; he would ship out whale products, timber and wool, and import all manner of goods from various other countries in Asia, Europe and North America.
I came across an advertisement from the business of H. Hounsell, Henry Hounsell, general furnishers at 1, Bridge Street Nelson, New Zealand. The Hounsells came from England at some point earlier in the nineteenth century.
In this advertisement, there is great excitement over the newly arrived goods – and what a variety! Many you might expect, guns would be useful for hunting and for protection in those times, furniture too, chairs, beds, and kitchen items (including Nottingham jars!)… but other things, which if you think about it are very necessary – rat and mice traps for the introduced rats and mice brought on ships – maybe even the Echo, which brought Mr Hounsell’s cargo! Sausage-makers, perambulators and figs! And what are kitcheners? I’m guessing they might be free-standing stoves or ovens.
Have a look at what Mr Hounsell proudly advertises:
NELSON EVENING MAIL, 26 SEPTEMBER 1873
ON SALE, at H. HOUNSELL’S, No 1, Bridge-street
TO SPORTSMEN AND OTHERS
JUST OPENED, 2 Cases Superior Single and Double-barrelled GUNS, by Hollis and Sons; quality guaranteed; including a few light Guns for Boys’ or Diggers’ Use, to be SOLD CHEAP.
- Eley’s Wire Cartridges, all sizes
- Eley’s Waterproof Gun Caps
- Eley’s Thick Cloth Gun Wads, in bags
- Powder and Shot Flasks and Belts
- Gun Cleaning Rods, Patent Cap Chargers, and a large assortment of Gun Fittings for repairing Guns.
- Hall and Son’s Glass Gunpowder
- Hall and Son’s treble F
- Patent Shot, all sizes
- Blasting Powder in any quantities, by the single pound or by the keg
- Single and Double Tape Patent Fuse
6 CASES IRON BEDSTEADS and CHILDREN’S COTS
including Folding Bedsteads, with lath bottom, NOW ON SALE, in great variety
CHAIRS! CHAIRS!! CHAIRS!!!
EX ECHO, and NOW ON SALE –
- 12 dozen Superior Windsor Wood Seat Chairs
- 3 dozen children’s Low Chairs, with pans complete
- 3 dozen Children’s High Chairs, assorted
- 24 Cane-seat Chairs, in great variety
NOW ON SALE 1 Crate BROWN WARE
comprising tall and low-covered Pots, Cream Jars, Bread Pans, Starch Pans, Nottingham Jars and Covers, &c.
1 crate Sets Jugs, well assorted
NEW GOODS, EX ECHO
1 CASK, containing –
- 6 dozen BM Teapots, splendidly assorted, all sizes
- Timmin’s Apple Paring Machines
- Pullinger’s Perpetual Mousetraps
- BM Chamber Candlesticks
- Sardine Knives, new patterns
- Wire Rat-traps
EX ECHO, AND NOW ON SALE
1 CASE containing every description of Household Brushware, Painters’ Brushes and Whitewash Brushes copper-bound, best Wool Mopheads, and Chamois Leathers.
JUST OPENED, and NOW ON SALE
- 1 Case Round and Oval Tinned Frypans
- 2 Casks Hollow and Enamelled Ware, including Iron Saucepans, Pots, and Kettles, all sizes; Enamelled Frypans, Gridirons, Washbasins, &c, &c.
- 1 Cask HOUSE BELLOWS, all sizes, including a few fancy Parlor ditto
- 6 dozen Tin Prospecting Dishes
- Avery’s Gold Scales, Blued Fire Guards, and a large assortment of Fenders and. Steel Fireirons
SAUSAGE MACHINES! SAUSAGE MACHINES!!
EX ECHO, 3 Dozen Lovelock’s SAUSAGE MACHINES, all sizes
Just Opened and Now on. Sale
3 CASES SINGLE PERAMBULATORS, with Hoods complete
- 2 casks Princess Cut Goblets
- 2 casks Plain Goblets
- 1 cask assorted Cut Tumblers and’ Wine Glasses
Kitcheners !! Kitcheners !I!
10 MORE CASES of Flavel’s Patent KITCHENERS, from 3ft. to 4ft. 6in., Now on Sale at lowest remunerative prices.
FIGS! FIGS! FIGS!!!
100 BOXES PRIME NEW, FIGS
This advertisement was shared from the collection of The National Library of New Zealand