Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Brasso then and now

Fear not - there are more timelapse films to come. But I thought I'd write about an interesting find I made in an outbuilding here at Halfie Towers. As all the snow and ice has gone ...

my car under five inches of snow on 5th February 2012

... I put the spade away. But something caught my eye. An old tin. There it was, sitting on a shelf, as bold as Brasso.

For comparison I've put it next to a tin I bought recently.

There are a number of obvious differences: the typeface has changed; the volume is now metric; the "By Appointment" crest has moved to the front; stainless steel and chrome are now listed as suitable metals for the polish (but zinc is not mentioned and pewter is tucked away in tiny print) ...

... but what I like best is the instruction not to place the tin close to the fire. Not "fire" or "a fire" but THE fire. So this comes from the era before central heating. I wonder how old it is.

Reckitt appears to be teamed up with Benckiser (what happened to Colman?) and has moved from Hull to Slough (still on a waterway, though.)

The tin felt almost full, so I tried to unscrew the lid. I had to resort to a mole wrench (made in Newport, I see), then it came off easily.

And, yes, the liquid inside still looks and smells like Brasso, and I can confirm that it works.

Of course, I couldn't do a post on Brasso without mentioning Steve's boat of that name, seen here on the north Stratford Canal two or three years ago.


Jim said...

Newport used to market itself as "The home of the mole wrench" (pretty desperate, really - but if you'd ever been there you'd understand).

And I wonder what the Queen uses Brasso for?

Anonymous said...

How much brass do you have to clean? There is not much of it about these days, is there?


Halfie said...

H.S., many narrowboats, especially older ones, have lots of brasswork. Chimneys have brass rings and adornments; tunnel lamps are often brass; there are brass knobs and rails in a traditional back cabin; vintage engines have brass pipes and fittings; the tiller arm and pin are usually brass; porthole surrounds can be brass. Cabin top ventilators are often in the form of brass "mushrooms". And there must be much more I've missed out.

Proud boaters spend a considerable amount of time polishing their brass!