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The Utility symbol- CC41- is one of the most iconic symbols in the history of clothing in Britain; instantly recognisable to anyone who lived in Britain through the Second World War or the immediate post-war years. Clothes rationing began in June 1941 in an effort to cut down the nations consumption of scarce resources; the Utility scheme was started 3 months later as a method of providing cheap- but well-made clothes for the less-well-off. The scheme was such a success that over the next few years it was extended to cover goods as widespread as shoes- furniture- lighters- pencils and household linen. Mike Brown looks at the background to- and the evolution of- the clothing scheme and the symbol as it changed to include more items of clothing- from underwear to fur coats. He also addresses the often misunderstood subject of Super Utility- and the so-called Dinner plate mark- uncovering the truth behind a subject shrouded in mystery since its introduction.From somewhat hit-and-miss early garments- through to the Couturier scheme- the Utility symbol grew to be a mark of quality and value- which- post-war- slowly deteriorated until many were removed from clothes as a symbol of cheap and cheerful- and often not even cheerful clothes. A fascinating explanation of a little understood scheme with a wealth of knowledge complimented by colour photographs and original illustrations throughout.... Please click here to ask a question
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