Display – Pro Carton European Excellence Awards 2022
November 20, 2023
Sparkling Spring
March 29, 2024

Display - Brand Histories

New display

Event Details

From 12-04-2024 to 31-10-2024

Museum opening times

Included with general admission

We are proudly re-launching over 80 Brand Histories, revealing the decade-to-decade evolution of today’s most iconic brands including Cadbury’s Milk Tray, Bisto, HP Sauce, Ovaltine and many more.  Previously a very popular display at our previous location in Colville Mews, the Brand Histories are back for the first time since 2015.

By looking at case studies of specific brands over time, it is possible to examine how the packaging has changed in response to the needs and concerns of consumers, businesses and wider society.  Little changes, which may go unnoticed at the time, become large changes over a number of years - you may be surprised by designs you haven’t seen for a long time!

Enjoy a nostalgic journey through 200 years of social change, culture and lifestyle by visiting our main collection, the Time Tunnel.  Discover the Brand Histories in our Branding Hall, behind the café. 

Can’t make it to the Museum? Have a look at our online family activities, available to download for FREE. You can also join the conversation by following us on social media or signing up for our monthly newsletter.

Admission tickets to the Museum include full access to our exhibitions. By buying a ticket you are helping us to continue with our mission. The Museum of Brands is a registered Charity no. 1093538.

ZX Spectrum+

ZX Spectrum was an 8-bit home computer developed by Sinclair Research. It was released in 1982 and became Britain's best-selling microcomputer. It was advertised as ZX Spectrum to highlight the machine's colour display. The introduction of the microcomputer led to an increase in companies producing software and hardware for the machine.

Era

1930s

Sorry, I've been adopted!

Wrigley's Display Stand

Wrigley company owns many of the chewing gum brands we are familiar with today (Airwaves, Doublemint, Extra, etc. ). This stand from the 1930s features their Spearman, based on the spear graphics introduced in 1893 on the Spearmint wrapper. It has since transformed into the Doublemint logo.

Era

1930s

Beatles Sgt Pepper Vinyl

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is the eighth studio album by the English rock band the Beatles, realised on 26th of May 1967. The album was associated with numerous references of the era's youth culture, including fashion, drugs, mysticism, and a sense of optimism and empowerment. Critics praised the album for innovative songwriting, production and bridging the gap between popular and high art.

Era

1960s

Bertie Bassett Display

Bertie Bassett is the mascot of Bassett's, a British confectionery company best-known for their Liquorice Allsorts. Bertie Bassett was created in 1926 and is a figure made up of liquorice allsorts.

Era

1950s

Bisto Bus

Bisto was lauched in 1908 by two workers of the Cerebos salt works. They were persuaded by their wives to create a product that would guarantee perfect gravy. Bisto has positioned themselves as the gravy of the UK and now hold a 62% share of the branded market. Modern Bisto model buses were produced by Lledo, who produced die-cast scale model commercial vehicles and cars fom 1983 to 1999.

Era

1930s

 Clangers Rocket Book

Clangers is a British stop-motion children's television series about a family of mouse-like creatures who live on and inside a moon-like planet. The show was originally aired on BBC1 between 1969 and 1972. The series was made by Smallfilms, set up by Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin. This object is a pictorial book of the character.

Era

1970s

Sorry, I've been adopted!

Kellogg's Cornflakes Box

The Kellogg's brand started out with two brothers, John H. Kellogg and Will K. Kellogg. W.K. Kellogg established the Kellogg Cereal Company in 1922. Cornflakes were introduced after the brothers stumbled upon wheat flakes while trying to create an easily digestible form of bread.

Era

1930s

David Bowie Aladdin Sane Vinyl

Aladdin Sane is the sixth studio album by the English musician David Bowie. It was released on 19th of April 1973 and was the first album he wrote and released from a position of stardom. Aladdin Sane was Bowie's most commercially successful record at the time, topping the UK Album Chart. Bowie's work continues to inspire today's contemporary artists and its album cover still resonates deeply in queer culture around the world.

Era

1970s

Etch A Sketch

Etch A Sketch is a mechanical drawing toy developed by Andre Cassagnes of France in the 1950s. Twisting the two knobs moves a stylus that displaces aluminum powder on the back of the screen, creating a line. The completed images are lineographic drawings.

Era

1950s

Sorry, I've been adopted!

Frozen Figure

The computer-animated Disney film 'Frozen' was released in 2013 and was the highest-grossing film of 2013. Children were watching the film on repeat and knew all the songs by heart. Merchandise, including figures, were one of the many ways the legacy of the film lives on after leaving the cinema. The first figure for adoption is Elsa.

Era

2000s

Ghetto Blaster

Ghetto blasters or boomboxes are portable music players that read cassette tapes or CDs and played AM/FM radio. The boombox quickly became associated with urban society in the United States, wide use of boomboxes in urban communitites led to tthe boombox being coined a 'ghetto blaster'. Ghetto blasters became closely linked to American hip hop culture and were instrumental in the rise of hip hop.

Era

1990s

Sorry, I've been adopted!

Hartley's Marmalade Book Display

Hartley's is a UK brand of marmalades, jams and jellies which was introduced in 1871. The company continues to provide jam and marmalades and had advertised itself as the 'Best Tasting Jam'. Little is known about this unique display item which comes in the form of 'A Promise' about the quality and price of their products.

Era

1930s

Heinz Real Turtle Soup

Genuine turtle soup was so popular that by the 1930s turtles started to face extinction. The Heinz company responded by producing 'Mock Turtle Soup' where calves heads were the key the main ingredient. Heinz stopped its turtle soup in the 1960s as tastes changed.

Era

1950s

Sorry, I've been adopted!

Model HMV dog 'Nipper'

Originally a 1898 painting by Francis Barraud of Nipper the terrier and a gramophone, the image was brought by the Gramophone Company and used as a trademark for HMV (His Master's Voice), a British music and entertainment retailer. The company still trades as HMV today.

Era

Edwardian

Hornby Train Set

Hornby trains or the 'Hornby Series' were manufactured by Meccano Ltd. between the first and second World War. The Hornby trains grew in popularity when British customers no longer wanted to purchase German train sets. This train dates from around 1920.

Era

1920s

Jacob's Biscuit Tin

Jacob's dated 'assortment' tins were issued every year from the mid-1920s until the Second World War. A similar rainbow design was also used by their then competitor Huntley & Palmers.

Era

1930s

Live Aid Poster

Live Aid was a multi-venue concert held on 13th of July 1985 to fundraise for famine relief in Africa. It was opened by then Prince Charles and Princess Diana, and watched by an estimated global audience of 1.5 billion people. It raised more than $140 million for famine relief.

Era

1980s

Mickey Mouse Game

Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse made his first screen appearance in the 1928 animated film "Steamboat Willie". The 1930s was at the time of the Great Depression. Games such as this bagatelle, were very popular amongst children.

Era

1930s

Mouse Trap Game

Mouse Trap, released in 1963 by Ideal and designed by Marvin Glass & Associates was one of the frist mass-produced, three-dimensional board games. The game was inspired by Rube Goldberg's cartoon drawings of complicated contraptions designed to perform simple tasks.

Era

1950s

Sorry, I've been adopted!

Mr. T Action Figure

Mr. T, Laurence Tureaud, is an American actor and professional wrestler. Mr. T made his debut in WrestleMania as Hulk Hogan's tag-team partner in the WWF era in 1983. He was one of the biggest TV and film stars in the 1980s and is to this day a pop culture icon.

Era

1980s

Noddy Ceramic Model

Noddy is an English children's character created by author Enid Blyton. Noddy was illustrated by Dutch artist Harmsen van der Beek from 1949 to 1953 and continued by Peter Wienk until 1963. Television shows based on the character have run on British television since 1955.

Era

1950s

Peppa Pig Toy

Peppa Pig is a British children’s animated television series. Peppa is a female piglet that interacts with her family and friends in the show. The first release was on Channel 5 on 31st May 2004. By 2010, Peppa Pig had topped the pre-school toy market. Merchandise included figures, stationery, bed-linen, food, drink and clothing.

Era

2000s

Rowntree's Display

In 1881, Rowntree introduced Fruit Pastilles and then Clear Gums (now known as Fruit Gums) in 1893. This stand up display epitomises the charm and nostalgia of 1950s advertising. The products were a huge success and are still available today.

Era

1950s

Sorry, I've been adopted!

Scalextric

First introduced in 1957, Scalextric was one of the leaders in slot car racing. This particular model is the Grand Prix Series. Minimodels, the previous owners of Scalextric converted the previous model, Scalex, into an electric version, which gave birth to Scalextric models. They became an instant hit, with American hobbyists and manufacturers adapting 1:24 car models to slots.

Era

1950s

Simpsons Bubble Bath

The Simpsons bubble bath bottles were released in the 1990s. They were a result of a ‘bubble bath boom’, where characters in many popular shows, films and video games were moulded into novelty figurines filled with soapy gel.

Era

1980s

Sorry, I've been adopted!

Spice Girls Figure

The Spice Girls are an English girl group formed in 1994. They led the teen pop resurgence of the 1990s and remain pop icons to this day. They had a young female fanbase thanks to their 'girl power' mantra. Spice Girls figurines were released in the UK in 1997.

The first figure for adoption is Ginger Spice.

Era

1990s

Sorry, I've been adopted!

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Join the conversation

Be the first to receive news about our exhibitions, workshops and offers.

You can unsubscribe at any time!

Barbie 

Barbie was a fashion doll manufactured by American toy company Mattel, Inc. Barbie was launched in 1959 and Ken in 1961. Ruth Handler, the creator of Barbie wanted to create a line of toys for girl children that were not infants, the only options on the market at the time. The dolls are as controversial as they are popular, with much debate raging over Barbie’s appearance across the decades. The first live-action Barbie film, 'Barbie' aired on 21st of July 2023.

Era

1960s

Basil Brush

Basil Brush is a fictional red fox portrayed primarily by a glove puppet. He first appeared in The Three Scampies in 1962 on daytime British children's television. Basil is created by Peter Firmin and voiced by Ivan Owen

Era

1970s

Batmobile

Batman is first shown driving a red car in his debut story in Detective Comics in 1939. The name "Batmobile" was not applied to Batman's automobile until 1941, and then popularised by the 1966 - 1968 Batman television series. This particular model is Palitoy's Tomy Talking Batman Batmobile from 1977.

Era

1970s

Sorry, I've been adopted!

Dalek Toy

The Dalek toy comes from the second Doctor Who series"The Daleks" in 1963. They were very successful and led to a 'Dalekmania' in the 1960s. The very first Dalek toy was released in 1964; it was battery-operated and could glide on wheels whilst flashing its headlight.

Era

1960s

Sorry, I've been adopted!

Dan Dare Gun

The Dan Dare Cosmic Ray Gun from the 1950s is manufactured by Palitoy, a British toy company. Dan Dare is a British science fiction comic hero created by Frank Hampson. He was in the Eagle comic series Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future from 1950 to 1967.

Era

1950s

Fred Homepride Figure

Fred the flour grader is synonymous with Homepride, a British flour manufacturer. Fred was introduced in 1964 through a series of TV advertisements with the message "Great British baking since 1964". He has since then become a collector's item.

Era

1970s

Sorry, I've been adopted!

Muppets Kermit Toy

The Muppets are American puppet characters created by Jim Henson in 1955. They originated in the television series Sam and Friends, then on late-night talk shows and advertising during the 1960s. The Muppets began appearances on  Sesame Street from 1969 to the present, and increased their popularity through The Muppet Show (1976-1981).

Era

1970s

Sorry, I've been adopted!

Glam Rock Platforms

The 1970s in Britain saw the rise of Glam Rock, blending rock music with androgynous styles and extravagant makeup for all genders. Pioneers like Marc Bolan and David Bowie redefined masculinity by popularising shiny synthetic fabrics, bold colours and the platform shoe.

Era

1970s

Space Hopper

Considered a symbol of the 1970s, the Space Hopper was manufactured in the UK by Mettoy. It is a children's toy with handles that allow one to sit and hop on it without falling. It was introduced in 1969.

Era

1970s

Sorry, I've been adopted!

Star Wars Figure

Star Wars the film was released in 1977, written and directed by George Lucas. The film proved a success instantly after its release and Kenner Products was the first company to gain license to produce Star Wars action figures in 1976. Despite being underprepared for Christmas 1978, Kenner Products still earned $100 million through sales of Star Wars action figures and accessories.

The first figure for adoption is Han Solo.

Era

1970s

Thunderbirds Scale Model

Thunderbirds is a British science fiction television series created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson. Merchandise for the show was so popular that some British commentators dubbed the 1966 end-of-the-year shopping season "Thunderbirds Christmas". The Thunderbird toys are one example of the merchandise.

Era

1960s

Sorry, I've been adopted!

Watneys Party Seven

Watneys Party Seven was a popular party beer for the youth of the 1970s. It was a giant can of ale that needed to be opened with two holes at the top, one to let air in and one to let the beer out . It is notorious for its bland taste, but was a staple at parties.

After Eight Display

Description

Coca-Cola Bottle Radio

Coca Cola has been licensing their brand on radios since the 1930s, however it took them 40 years to produce a commercially popular version, like this 1970s radio. The radio bottles could be turned on by twisting the bottle cap, and the station could be changed by twisting the base. Today these little radios are among the many collectable items Coca-Cola lovers enjoy finding.

Era

1970s

Sorry, I've been adopted!

Operation Board Game

This is a 1993 edition of the game ‘Operation’, released by the Milton Bradley Company (MB). It was conceived in 1964 by John Spinello, an industrial design student from the United States, who sold the rights to the leading toy designer Milton Glass for $500 and a promise of a post-graduation job, the latter of which was left unfulfilled. As with the old-fashioned ‘electrified wire loop game’, Operation revolves around suspense and requires steady hands: players must carefully extract small plastic pieces from cavities in a ‘patient’ printed upon an ‘operating table’ without setting off a jarring ‘buzz’. This copy of Operation speaks to the longevity of the game which has remained a household name for generations.

Trimphone

The Tone Ringer Illuminated Model Phone, or Trimphone, was highly desirable when it became publicly available in 1965 due to its sleek modern design. The phone’s elegant styling was enhanced by features such as an electronic warble ringer, rather than a traditional bell, and an illuminated dial. The Trimphone was designed by Martyn Rowlands and came in three standard colours green, grey and blue. The two-tone blue example at the Museum of Brands is a model 722 dating from 1971, it has the same external appearance as the earlier 712 model but internally the electronics were updated for an improved performance.

Era

1970s

Mario Figure

In 1992, Grosvenor of London launched the Mario bubble bath bottle following the UK release of the widely successful video game ‘Super Mario World’. Grosvenor, founded by Robert Beecham, sought to seize the opportunities from the advent of widespread licensing, and at its peak in the mid-to-late ‘90s, the company was releasing over 300 novelty products annually. Every bubble bath figurine resembled an animated character from popular culture, serving as a budget-friendly alternative to conventional toys. These bubble bath bottles were a memorable part of the childhoods of a generation and remain sought-after collectibles today.

Era

1990s

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Join the conversation

Be the first to receive news about our exhibitions, workshops and offers.

You can unsubscribe at any time.