The Stores Memoranda

In contrast to the paper scrawlings of today, this reusable metal grocery list dates back to at least the early 1900s,  It is inscribed with kitchen staples like bread, butter, milk and tea.  Its movable markers next to each item allowed shoppers to flag when they need to restock on certain items.

Many goods remain commonplace today, but some some seemingly foreign terms, such as blacking and knife powder, can be baffling.

As well as the normal beverages of tea and coffee, other refreshments are well catered for with Ale, Beer, Champagne, Stout, Whiskey and Wines all featuring on the list.

It appears to have been an advertising gimmick for The Civil Service Co-operative Service, New South Wales.

Todays shopping list itself may be simply a scrap piece of paper or something more elaborate. There are pads with magnets for keeping an incremental list available at the home, typically on the refrigerator, but any magnetic clip with scraps of paper can be used to achieve the same result. There is even a specific device that dispenses a strip of paper from a roll for use in a shopping list. Some shopping carts come with a small clipboard to fit shopping lists on.

Home computers enable consumers to print their own custom list so that items are simply checked off instead of written down or they can manage the list completely on the computer with custom shopping list software. Online software exists to manage shopping lists from cellphone as well the web. Electronic commerce websites typically provide a shopping list online for repeat shoppers at the site.

These are all very useful but they don’t have the same impact as this, in its heyday, with it’s brightly painted surface hanging on the kitchen wall.


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