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What was that used for?

Yes, we really used to sell these things!

Isinglass was used to preserve eggs in their shells for up to six months and also to help fruit jellies and blancmanges set prior to the introduction of gelatine in the 1870s.

Potted meats included, amongst the familiar beef, ham and turkey, the more unusual pheasant, partridge and woodcock!

Sperm candles were made from the liquid wax called spermaceti from sperm whales.

Saltpetre was potassium nitrate used for preserving meats, (as well as being one of the main ingredients of gunpowder!)

Blacking could be shoe polish or a polish for stoves and grates.

Soda, starch and blue were all used in washing. Soda was sodium carbonate, a water softener, starch was used to stiffen materials like linen and cotton and blue was a mixture of ultramarine and baking soda used in the final rinse when washing with a dolly tub to prevent the soap turning whites a yellowish colour.

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