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Number Four in an Occasional Series of Stuff You Wouldn’t Expect us to Have – Underwear Catalogue, 1938

What is it?

Affleck and Brown opened in the 1860s in Oldham Street, Manchester (just down the road from us). Beginning as a drapery business, the shop grew to be a fully-fledged department store, before being bought by Debenhams in the 1950s. Not to be confused with the still thriving Affleck’s (formerly Affleck’s Palace), the store closed in 1973. This is the 1938 catalogue from its annual sale.

What is its significance?

It could be argued that the catalogue is an excellent snapshot of a bygone age, highlighting numerous different aspects of pre-WWII society, including fashion, language, home life etc.. A time capsule in print form. However, we’ve got because we find it funny.

How did we acquire it?

The catalogue was recently purchased from Turnstock Collectables, one of our favourite sources of ephemera. Unfortunately, and bafflingly in this day, Turnstock do not have a website and you need to be sent their catalogue. When asked how one would go about getting sent a copy, our Librarian, Michael Powell, replied “Errr…I don’t remember.”