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K712 Laundry bags (2), 'Reckitt's Bag Blue', paper / powder contents, by Reckitt and Colman (Australia) Ltd, Australia, c. 1930-1949. Click to enlarge.

'Reckitt's Bag Blue' laundry bags by Reckitt and Colman (Australia) Ltd

Made
These are two examples of Reckitt's Bag Blue laundry blue bags made in Australia by Reckitt and Colman (Australia) Ltd in about the 1930s and 1940s. The blueing process was used to whiten material made yellow from soap and age. After washing, a 'blue bag' was dipped in a clean tub of cold water. Each piece of clothing was turned inside out and plunged into the water, then rinsed. 'Blue bags' were also handy as a remedy for bee stings.

Summary

Object No.

K712

Object Statement

Laundry bags (2), 'Reckitt's Bag Blue', paper / powder contents, by Reckitt and Colman (Australia) Ltd, Australia, c. 1930-1949

Physical Description

Two cylindrical blocks of laundry blue, wrapped in a cream paper with red stripes. Text across the paper wrapping reads 'Reckitt's Bag Blue / Remove label wrap block in flannel / and stir in the last rinse'.

The laundry blue was stirred into the final rinse when washing cloths to whiten the clothing.

Marks

Present

Production

Notes

made by Reckitt and Colman (Australia) ltd.

History

Notes

Jeremiah Colman began milling flour and mustard in Norwich, England, in 1814, diversifying in the 1850s to produce starch, wheat flour and laundry blue.

In 1840 Isaac Reckitt rented a starch mill in Hull, England, which he purchased in 1848, producing household products such as starch, washing blue and black lead for polishing. Reckitt later passed on his business to his four sons. In 1886 Reckitt & Sons began its expansion to open businesses around the world, the first being in Australia.

In 1938 Reckitt & Sons merged with J&J Colman to become Reckitt & Colman Ltd. Reckitt & Colman sold the Colman's food business in 1995 but continued to produce some food products, such as mustard, mayonnaise and barbecue sauce.

In 1999 Britain's Reckitt & Colman merged with Dutch company Benckiser NV to form Reckitt Benckiser, one of the world's leading manufacturers of cleaning products.

http://www.reckittbenckiser.com/about/history.cfm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reckitt_Benckiser

Source

Credit Line

Purchased 1982

Acquisition Date

7 September 1982

Cite this Object

Harvard

'Reckitt's Bag Blue' laundry bags by Reckitt and Colman (Australia) Ltd 2022, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 18 May 2022, <https://ma.as/263295>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/263295 |title='Reckitt's Bag Blue' laundry bags by Reckitt and Colman (Australia) Ltd |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=18 May 2022 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}