*Rusty and in a Sorry State
In a previous post I looked at the detectorists’ database, the UKDFD. The item I revisited was a pen or fruit knife found in Aston Clinton, Buckinghamshire. Another good example of a find telling us a lot about our social history. *‘Rusty and in a Sorry State’ doesn’t refer to me!
The picture below show a clean knife, but it was rusty and in a sorry state when rescued. Should have taken a ‘clod shot’ or video, but it wasn’t the fashion then. We were primarily metal detectorists with enough to lug around without a mountain of movie gear. In retrospect I regret not taking a ‘before’ shot showing its condition before cleaning.
Mrs John worked wonders with her diligent restoration and conservation skills so it now looks in almost pristine condition. Some details were easy to record. For example, it has a mother-of-pearl handle with two ‘stainless steel’ blades made by Fisher in Sheffield. But I was intrigued by the letters or meaningless word, IBAISAIC . What could it mean? Finding out proved to be a little more difficult.
I searched Mr Google with few positive results and it wasn’t until I proudly (well, I was a rookie swinger at that time) showed my find on a detecting forum that all was explained . . . by a former vacuum cleaner repair man! He told me that knives of this type were given by Hoover salesmen as gifts to retailers in the late 1930’s. This information has been confirmed by the manufacturer who told me to ‘take care of it because it’s a collector’s item.’ I’ve seen one for sale on eBay at £40 – £60.
The Hoover Building – Now a Fancy Tesco Superstore
Modern architectural commentators generally treat the Hoover factory as an art deco design, but Thomas Wallis, joint creator of the factory, simply called his style ‘Fancy’.
Depicted on one side of the knife is the majestic Hoover Building . Yes, I saw this major clue, but failed to interpret it even though the name ‘Hoover’ is on the front. The Grade Two listed building sited alongside the A40 Western Avenue, is, for many, the classic survivor of the art deco period of architecture of the 1930’s . . . the original Hoover production area was converted into a Tesco superstore in the 1990’s.
On the other side of the knife are the letters IBAISAIC, the initials of the famous and memorable Hoover advertising jingle, IT BEATS AS IT SWEEPS AS IT CLEANS. This slogan has been around since 1926 when Hoover introduced one of their most noteworthy innovations, the beater bar. The slogan came about because one of the problems with the Hoover cleaner in those early days was explaining to the housewife how the technology worked and the principle on which it was based. The complete jingle was:
All the dirt, all the grit, Hoover gets at every bit, As it beats, as it sweeps, as it cleans.
So there you go. Isn’t it great when everything falls neatly into place?
The Ubiquitous HOOVER
All over the world, people refer to their vacuum cleaner as a HOOVER. My Mother had a GOBLIN machine and when she wanted it carried down the stairs, she called for me to fetch the Hoover. This was in the 50’s – see a typical advert of the time.
Me Ma also owned a Goblin washing machine. I reckon she chose the Goblin marque because they were affordable.
Ibaisaic’s vacuum fan page is on FaceAche. If Hoover or Henry is your thing then this is the place to visit. Click on logo.
This blog first appeared in 2013 and can still be found on the WWW, but you won’t be able to download this or any other post of mine ending in .net. All new posts end in .blog and this one has been revamped.