Jul 042012

Have you been following Channel 4’s The house the 50s Built? Last night I watched my recorded copy of episode three and discovered that two items from Rag and Magpie had made it into the house!

For those who aren’t familiar with it The House the 50s Built is a four part Channel 4 documentary series in which engineer and showman Brendan Walker investigates and celebrates the science and technology which took the post-war British home into the modern age. The first episode took a 1940s kitchen, replaced all the traditional cooking and cleaning tools and replaced them with the 1950s mod cons; Formica worktops, a spin dryer, a Kenwood chef and so on transforming the kitchen into a housewife’s dream. The second episode saw the transformation of the living room from a dark smokey room lined with inherited furniture into the technicolor entertaining space of the 1950s via the introduction of home paints, space-age wallpaper, newfangled furniture made from plywood and of course the television.

The third episode investigates the birth of teen culture and the evolution of the bedroom. Brendan explores how music moved it’s way upstairs with thanks to the invention of the transistor, how the availability of nylon and polyester impacted a girls wardrobe and undergarments (this section stars vintage pin-up Fleur de Guerre) and how a glamorous dressing table crammed with beauty aids was now attainable for the masses. Below is a still from episode three featuring two sold items from the Rag and Magpie archive; Elizabeth Arden Blue Grass Dusting Powder in Plastic concertina bottle and Five Star Glove Shampoo

Still from The House the 50s Built and Rag and Magpie features products

I am yet to watch episode 4 but very much looking forward to it. Not only is everything in this show full of nostalgic wonder and beauty but there’s even some explosive scientific experiments.

Watch The House the 50s Built via 4oD – Episode 1 ends this Friday, don’t miss out.

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