Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Paddling, 1940s style

I have a charming book called 101 Things to do in Wartime, originally published in 1940 and reprinted in 2007. It's amazing how much of the information on reusing, recycling and making do is still relevant today.

Some of the more interesting projects include making toys out of felt, creating puzzles from cardboard, wood, and wire, and knitting clothing with crepe paper instead of wool. There are also tips on saving fuel, and that's as important now as it was 70 years ago. The instructions for making blackout shades and protecting windows with masking tape - not so much.

I thought you might enjoy seeing the detailed instructions for making a ping pong or table tennis paddle. The names of some of the materials have changed over the years, but you'll get the idea.

I like the idea of covering one side with cork and the other with glasspaper (sandpaper). Covering the handle with cork would give the paddler a distinct advantage, don't you think?

If you are interested in what life was like in wartime Britain, an excellent recreation of the experience was filmed by BBC and broadcast on PBS. It's available as a DVD from PBS, and is also on YouTube in two parts here and here.

From Hermione's Heart


Anonymous said...

Thank you. I will look for that DVD. I met a 92 year old Brit at the Iron Bell Academy. I was fascinated by his description of London during the Blitz. We owe those brave souls a debt of gratitude.


Aimless Rambling said...

Very interesting information. Thank you for sharing.

ronnie said...

I bet that's an interesting book Hermione. Thanks for sharing.


Hermione said...

Joey - They were indeed outstandingly brave.

Sunnygirl - My pleasure.

Ronnie - The recipes were very... let's say creative.


Anonymous said...

interesting. Would be fun to browse through.
bottoms up

Ana said...

Crepe paper, really?? How on earth would that work for longer than 5 minutes of wearing?

And yes, the fuel-saving and thriftiness is timeless.

Ana said...

ARE! Are! Are!

I blame my forefathers and forefathers' revolution in separating me from the King's English and rendering me incapable of using correct grammar...

A. Lurker said...

Hi Hermione,
I was raised by parents who came of age during the Depression Era. Survival during that era also depended on the principles of reuse and recycle.
(Who is now upset and nervous about living under yet another Parti Quebequois gouvernment! Yuck!)

Hermione said...

Red - It was a fun read.

Ana - I can't imagine wearing crepe paper, but in my childhood it was very popular for children's Hallowe'en costumes.

A. Lurker - The Depression made an imprint on many people's habits.

I don't envy you the current regime you are living under.