Edwardian Era

Edwardian era

Queen Victoria’s eldest son, Albert Edward (known as Bertie) was crowned King Edward VIImotoring memorabilia pack.

With a new century and a new monarch on the throne the Edwardians embraced the future. Motor vehicles were destined to replace horses and by 1905 there were 9000 motor cars on the road. HMS Dreadnought, a steam powered battleship, made other warships obsolete. The Boy Scout movement was founded in1907 by Lord Baden Powell to encourage boys to have a sense of duty and good citizenship. Aviation was in its infancy, Louis Bleriot made the first channel crossing in 1909 and won the £1000 prize offered by the Daily Mail.


suffragettes memorabilia pack


Women were now gaining reputable jobs such as typists and this was enhancing the status of women in the workplace. The Suffragette movement, which supported the struggle for women to vote and hold office, was gathering pace with some protesters prepared to go to prison for the cause.

International sporting competitions were beginning. The first rugby contest between two nations took place in Paris in 1906 when England beat France 35-8. The same year England also beat France in football with an unbelievable score of 15-0. The Olympic Games was held in London in 1907 following the rebirth of the Olympic movement in 1896.



In the home an assortment of innovations such as better ovens and more effective cleaning and polishing agents resulted in the reduction of household servants. The vacuum cleaner was promoted as a replacement for dusters and brooms, although the first models took two people to operate them! By the end of the decade the Baby Daisy vacuum cleaner could be operated by one person. Cherry Blossom shoe polish appeared in 1903, Brasso in 1905 and Persil washing powder in 1909.


King Edward VII died of pneumonia in 1910.

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Victorian Era

The Victorian Era

Queen Victoria Gold Sovereign

Queen Victoria came to the throne in 1837 after the death of her uncle, King William IV. It was a time of great change as the benefits of the industrial evolution were all ready being felt. Steam power had transformed the speed and levels of production at textile mills and building and engineering was revolutionised by the development of stronger types of iron which allowed iron rails to be made to transport coal from the mines.


victorian steam trainThe railway system took off in the 1840’s and was the keystone for distribution, enabling goods to be transported all over the country. Raw materials could be taken from mines to factories and finished articles circulated nationally. In the following decades people used the steam railway network to travel from the countryside into the towns and cities to work. They also travelled by train to the seaside where the idea of bathing in the sea had become respectable ever since doctors encouraged it at the beginning of the 18th century.


Mass production of goods from brass bedsteads to biscuits was made possible and promotional campaigns became popular on hoardings and at railway stations. The advent of newspapers and magazines brought more opportunities for advertising and products were now packaged as Cadbury’s cocoa or Birds custard powder, Coleman’s mustard or Sunlight soap.



Queen Victoria married Prince Albert in 1840 and his influence on the country were soon felt. He encouraged the queen to have an interest in state affairs and she was guided by Lord Melbourne during her early years. She repeatedly came into conflict with her ministers such as Lord Palmerston and William Gladstone although she liked Benjamin Disraeli and approved of his policies.

Crimea Medal

Her reign was relatively peaceful with only the short Crimean war,(1853 to1856) in which the Russian Empire lost to an alliance of Britain, France, Sardinia and the Ottoman Empire.

She had nine children, four boys and five girls over a period of seventeen years. After Prince Albert died of typhoid in 1861, at the age of 42, the Queen went into a long period of mourning, she dressed mainly in black for the rest of her life.

Queen Victoria died in 1901 when the monarchy passed on to her son King Edward VII.

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History of British Sweets


Today, whether we like them or not, sweets can play a far more important role than simply that of nourishing food. More than just a quick source of energy, a snack, or a sweet sensation they can be a reward, a comfort, an enticement, a token of appreciation or even an object for barter at school.

The British sweet tooth has sunk deep into the economy – over £3000 million is spent on chocolates, toffeesboiled sweets and bars every year. During a sunny bank holiday weekend, four million sticks of rock are sold at over three hundred seaside resorts, each one with the town’s name running right through the middle of it from one end to the other; a feat of confectionary engineering that has puzzled many a child – and the occasional adult.


It is not popularly appreciated that the variety and range of sweets on offer today has become available only during the last hundred and twenty years or so. Many of today’s leading brands are in fact, less than one hundred years old. Crunchie was launched in 1929, Mars Bar in 1932, Black Magic in 1933 and both Kit Kat and Quality Street in 1937. Conversely, younger generations do not always realize for how long such brands have been part of people’s lives.

The origins of confectionery can be traced back to about 2000BC when the ancient Egyptians satisfied their cravings for something sweet by combining fruits and nuts with honey. Liquorice juice, extracted from the root of the leguminous ‘Sweet Root’, is known to have been used for medicinal purposes at the same time. The forerunner of today’s Turkish delight was a uncompromising confection of boiled grape juice and starch cut into squares. Over 3000 years ago the Aztecs in Mexico were known to use the cocoa bean to make a bitter drink. However, it took 1500 years before that drink could be sweetened with sugar.


Sugar was thought to have healing properties, a factor which undoubtedly helped the sale of the apothecaries medicines, but they also found a ready market for sugar confections in their own right – for those who could afford them. In France sugared almonds became popular and in Italy Confetti (small hard, sugar plums) were eaten especially on celebratory occasions.


It was the combination of sugar and cocoa that eventually set the confectionery story alight. The Spanish conqueror of Mexico, Cortez, brought cocoa and the chocolate drink back to Spain in 1502. The addition of sugar made this bitter drink more palatable, but it took almost another hundred years for the new drink to reach the rest of Europe. The first shop to sell drinking chocolate in London was opened in 1657.

The eighteenth century was witness to the birth of some prominent confectionery manufactures, and the nineteenth century with the advancement in mechanization saw them rapid expand.

John Cadbury opened a shop in 1824 in Birmingham selling tea, coffee and cocoa; his cocoa manufacturing business started a few years later. During the 1840’s both Fry’s and Cadbury’s were producing chocolate made specifically for eating, although the vast majority of  production was geared towards the manufacture of cocoa. It was also in 1853 that Fry’s launched their chocolate cream sticks, the forerunners of chocolate Cream Bars.

Fry’s Milk Chocolate was launched in 1902, and employed a most endearing image on it’s wrapper – the faces of five boys showing the transformation of expression when being consoled with Fry’s chocolate. This popular image had been used since 1886 to advertise Fry’s.


Since the Middle Ages sugar has been mixed with medicines to ‘sweeten the pill’ and from the begining of the twentieth century there were many lozenges, gums and pastillies that served as throat soothers, stomach warmers or healthy energy givers. These are still popular today, and act to alievate pains and sores from coughs and colds. Cough Candy are a great example of this, and can be bought in store.


Confectionery has developed rapidly in the last hundred years, to the  extent that today the country consumes 600 million Mars Bars every year, 200 million Cadbury’s Creme Eggs and enough Kit Kats to keep pace with a machine that produces 80,000 bars an hour. Unfortunately to our detriment, we can no longer enjoy the pleasures of Spangles or Texan Bars. Oh.. so is life !!

Sweet and Confectionery Timeline

1866 Fry’s Chocolate Cream Bar
1902 Fry’s Milk Chocolate (5 Boys)
1905 Cadbury’s Dairy Milk
1910 Cadbury’s Bournville Plain Chocolate
1911 Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit and Spearmint Gum (UK Release)
1915 Cadbury’s Milk Tray 1921 Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut
1929 Fry’s Crunchie
1932 Terry’s All Gold
1932 Mars Bar
1933 Rowntree’s Black Magic
1935 Milky Way
1935 Rowntree’s Aero
1935 Kit Kat
1936 Quality Street
1936 Rowntree’s Dairy Box
1936 Maltesers
1937 Rolo’s
1937 Smarties
1939 – 1945 WWII
1948 Polo Mints
1948 Spangles
1951 Bounty
1958 Galaxy
1958 Picnic
1962 After Eight Mints
1967 Twix
1967 Marathon
1976 Yorkie
1977 Double Decker

and so it continues …

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