Based on childhood recollections
of shops in Edmonton, north London in Edwardian times.
Early 1900s sweet shops and shopkeepers
Reconstruction of a Victorian / Edwardian sweet shop in Milestones
in Basingstoke. Being a reconstruction, some items may come from the later
than the early
1900s and other items that one might expect seem to be missing, for example
scales to weigh out the sweets.
Click the photograph for an enlargement of
the jars, showing their labels. (It opens in a new window.)
The corner sweet shop was near Silver Street
School and sold triangular bags of broken wafer biscuits with a marshmallow
fish on top.
There was also another corner sweet shop which always had a large tray
of home-made toffee on the counter. The shopkeeper would break it up with a
small hammer and what looked like a pair of scissors.
Liquorice sticks, photographed in the Apothecary Hall of the National Botanical Garden of Wales
Sweet shops sold all kinds of children's sweets - bull's eyes, pear
drops, humbugs, liquorice sticks, etc - many of which can be seen by
clicking the above photo for an enlargement.
In the 1950s my father suddenly announced that he
hadn't seen tiger nuts for ages and as he had liked them so much as a
boy, he was going to try to track some down. When he did he came back
and told us all how horrible they were and how he couldn't imagine how
he had ever liked them.
Pat Cryer, webmaster
The sweet shop also sold tiger nuts. We children particularly liked
the tiger nuts because they were so sweet, but they often had insects
and grit in them. Surprisingly we never minded the insects at the time,
but the grit could give teeth a nasty jar.
Early 1900s-style confectioners' scales for weighing out sweets.
Photographed in the Cambridge and County Folk Museum.
The commercially produced sweets came in
large, well labelled jars and were weighed out to customer's
requirements. We children normally bought an ounce at a time and
occasionally, if we could afford it, 2 ounces. We never bought
chocolate. It wasn't around much if at all.
This website Join me in the 1900s is a contribution to the social history of everyday life in early to mid 20th century Britain, seen through personal recollections and illustrations, with the emphasis on what it was like to live in those times. It is © Pat Cryer.