Lyons, aluminium, loose tea measure

Contributed by Jackie Foster

  Lyons, aluminium, loose tea measure

The measure was made as a promotional object, marked Lyons Tea on its side and given free with Lyons tea, and from my first memories, always used by my mother to measure tea for the pot. It is evidence of the great importance of the 'cup of tea' particularly in working class families in that post war era; a cup of tea was always the first thing offered in a variety of situations. The kettle was boiled on getting up in the morning, returning from shopping or work, when someone was distressed and on hearing good or bad news - the universal panacea at a time when alcohol could not be afforded. This measure sat in a tea caddy and is marked '1 portion' on its base. The tea was measured in multiples or, in the case of making tea just for my father, half would be put into a tea strainer to make one cup, long before the ubiquitous tea bag.

The promotional aspect of this object is very low key. The words Lyons Tea are cut into the aluminium and are barely discernible and I suspect this measure is very early evidence of an attempt to advertise through a household object.

The importance of tea and its history did not occur to me at the time but I am now researching the subject.

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