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Museum of Brands, London

Victorian Christmas card by Barbara Ballard Metal polish by Barbara Ballard The 12,000 original items in the London Museum of Brands collection include toys and games, posters and magazines, fads and fashions, postcards and packaging for food, drink and household products. The promotional material and posters date back to Victorian times. From decade to decade the collection shows how brands evolved through packaging and advertising.

1930s window display by Barbara Ballard Fry's Cocoa by Barbara Ballard Visitors to the museum can see, through the advertising, the changes that took place in daily life and how our shopping habits reflect the times. Ads for groceries and household goods changed as technology became part of our lives and also were affected by war and the freeing of women from domestic drudgery.

Ration book by Barbara Ballard World War I tins by Barbara Ballard The collection is the work of one man, Robert Opie, a consumer historian who started at age 16 with a packet of Munchies. Over the years the collection grew to reflect toys, comics, magazines, newspapers, technology, travel, royal souvenirs, fashion and design. There are changing exhibitions during the year.

Grape Nuts by Barbara Ballard Dutch cleanser by Barbara Ballard This is a fascinating museum. Allow a minimum of two hours, three is better.

Visitor Information

Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising
111-117 Lancaster Road, W11 1QT
Tel. 0 207 243 9611
Open: Mon-Sat, 10am-6pm, Sun-11am-5pm; closed 24, 25 and 26 December and New Year's Day. Last entry is 45 minutes before closing
Tea-room; shop
Web: Museum of Brands

Photos by Barbara Ballard

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