Depression era canister

30s sugar canisterSugar canister
made in Australia, 1930s

A wonderful example of a depression era canister – this aluminium sugar canister evidences all the hallmarks of the 30s- drilled, green bakelite handles, mismatched green tones, applied ‘Sugar’ label, and graduated rings to the cream base.

Anodised aluminium was in its infancy- and achieving colour matching next to impossible. So each green lid was slightly different across the whole set of five canisters [and added to this of course, is colour fading over time.] Meanwhile bakelite technology was forty years old- you could get any colour you wanted there.

The size of this canister tells you something about the storage of sugar in the 40s. This canister was second in size only to the Flour canister. Everything else in the series was smaller: Suet, Rice, Tea and coming up last, Coffee. My how things have changed in the modern world! [Coffee should always be the largest!- and what the hell is suet?]

The canister has a few dings due to age, but the anodised aluminium base and lid are in good condition. The canister is for sale: $AUD55

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2 thoughts on “Depression era canister

  1. According to my dictionary, suet is tallow from cattle, Looks like animal fats have come a bit out of fashion. Indeed interesting how you can see changing living conditions and habits from such things, it is really a source for cultural history.
    If not for some African influence in my household, coffee would be top of the list too, but actually it is rice (sometimes present in the form of large sacks) and sometimes vegetable oil.

    • suet sounds nasty and i don’t know why you’d store it in an aluminium canister (presumably fridge not available?) i would say coffee was the largest import in my household, followed by beer and water. the three staples of life!

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