Sudbury Ephemera Archive aims to preserve the papers that are often thrown away and provided the evidence of the social history of life in an East Anglian market town. As we move more and more towards a paperless society many pieces of paper that were important and essential in everyday life are disappearing.
Sudbury, like many towns and cities today has lost many of the independent shops and once again the commercial side of life is undergoing major changes. We have seen the disappearance of paper bags with the graphic designs identifying the store name and type of business. Now we are seeing the plastic bags disappear and the paper bag being reintroduced. There are examples of the earlier paper bags in the archive.
Another method of advertising for the independent shop was to have its own personalised packaging. Jewellers had envelopes, often specially decorated for Christmas, as well as printed boxes. Record shops had cardboard sleeves for the discs they were selling. Record sleeves did not have glossy colourful print to entice the purchaser to select the product but were usually brown paper or cardboard overprinted with the name and address of the supplier.
As time passes people will forget going to the shop and buying items individually which were then wrapped in paper bags. The use of the car for shopping has already seen the way people place goods purchased straight from the shopping trolley into the car boot. The packaging provides an insight into the economy, art and graphics of the period as well as the day-to-day life style of the community.
For more details of all the items we hold, see our Ephemera Catalogue.
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