The desperation of the post war years, the cheapness and shoddiness of those times, is captured forever in the pages of this strange little publication.
I doubt you are likely ever to see such a dispiritingly unambitious collection of projects together in one place. Since it would be impossible to do them justice by summarising them, I shall fearlessly risk the wrath of the copyright holders, whoever they may be, by reproducing in full just a few of the many equally drab do-it-yourself opportunities on offer.
A SAFETY-FIREGUARD FOR ELECTRIC FIRES
COMPULSORILY, all electric fires now sold have to be fitted with safety fireguards. But what about the still-unprotected one in your home? Clearly, especially if you have young children, something should be done about it, and here is a cheap and easy way to remedy the deficiency. Simply purchase a well-tinned cake rack and attach it to the front of your electric fire by means of a couple of screws. Not only will it please the eye, but it may also be the means of saving someone's life - for there is a long and tragic list of deaths resulting from flimsy dresses set alight by unguarded fires.
“My goodness, what an attractive fireguard, you lucky thing! I bet you'd have set yourself on fire without it, with all those flimsy dresses you wear! What's that - a cake-rack? Amazing!”
A REALISTIC TOY RAFT FOR THE CHILDREN'S BATH - TIME
THIS quite realistic toy raft provides great fun for the kiddies in their bath. Materials required are four or five drinking straws, three matchsticks and a small tube of balsa cement.
Cut the straws up into a number of equal length (about three inches) and glue together side by side with balsa cement. Glue matchsticks across the ends of this assembly, with a third match upright for a mast. Plug the ends of each straw with a blob of cement and the toy is finished. If you like you can also fit a small paper sail.
“You really are the best Daddy in all the world”
A RUBBER BOTTLE-CARRIER & SAFETY GUARD
THIS “handle” for carrying bottles is cut from an old inner tube, and is in the shape of a ring with two extended lugs. The ring part is pushed down tightly over the sides of the bottle and the two lugs are used as a handle.
Besides acting as a carrier, the rubber is left in place and protects the bottle against knocks. A useful gadget, too, for slipping on bottles stored together in a large box or similar container - thus acting as a buffer and at the same time making them easy to lift out.
“An ideal gift for you and all your alcoholic friends! Now you can arrive late home from the pub without waking the family with the noise of clinking beer bottles!”
HOME-MADE TWO - TONE SERVING-TONGS
TWO old teaspoons and a short length of sheet plastic can be transformed into useful serving tongs with an attractive, modern appearance. The plastic is bent to a U-shape by heating, and the spoon handles are cut off short and flattened. Two pairs of matching holes are then drilled through the handles and either end of the plastic (see sketch). Now rivet each spoon-end in place.
You can, if you wish, trim or shape the ends of the plastic down to the spoon handles The radius of bend given to the plastic governs the spring of the tongs.
“I think I'll help myself to another lump of sugar, just so I can use your impressive two-tone tongs with their attractive modern appearance. And you made them yourself from old teaspoons? Ingenious!”
FOR STOCKING PROTECTION AT THE TOES
MANUFACTURERS have put on the market a number of ingenious devices to curtail wear on the heel-part of ladies stockings - but the toes appear to have been give little, if any, thought. So if you are particularly heavy on this most vulnerable part of your stockings, cut the toes from an old pair and wear them as follows. For protection against your own toes, inside your stockings: for protection against the toes of your shoes, outside your stockings.
“Why darling, it's the cut-off toes from an old pair of stockings! How thoughtful of you!”
Scribbled by Alfred Armstrong 15 years 8 months ago