Friday, 15 August 2014


It has been a while since I have posted any updates, but I have been very busy with my research.
Back in May I visited the Unilever Archive at Port Sunlight where I specifically examined their Stork Publications. Holding a wide variety of literature, important to my research, I was able to examine less widely available books and leaflets that often contained illustrations.Unfortunately many illustrators were not acknowledged, therefore it is very difficult to ascertain the artist and often the year.
Lever House Port Sunlight
The collection was varied and also included a record of the employees journal 'The Stork' a magazine produced by Van Der Berghs from 1949 containing articles often about employees of the Stork Brand, The Stork Margarine Cookery Service at trade shows, recipes (with Stork margarine of course) and behind the scenes accounts of advertising campaigns. This particular publication gave me an insight into the lives' of Unilever employees, and the importance of Stork in the post rationing era. As an insight into a specific brand, widely used and distributed in the post war era, it is easy to understand the continuing popularity of a brand, that has changed little over time, remaining a central product in everyday baking. As a result I am continuing to add to my collection of Stork publications as illustrated with the collection of books produced for The Stork Wives Club.
Collection of books produced for the Stork Wives Club

Wednesday, 21 May 2014


Having successfully negotiated the feedback and comments from the ATR committee, I am happy to say that it is all systems go! With only a few minor adjustments, my PhD proposal is pretty much in the hard bit!

Having spent the last six months, researching literature, and immersing myself in academia (well sort of) I am finally finding my feet so to speak!

The journey so far, has taken me to the subjects of Philosophy (Roland Barthes, Walter Benjamin), Second Wave Feminism (Betty Friedlan) and Product Branding (Stork, McDougalls).

It is the area of branding that I am most interested in and Stork in particular. The Stork Cookery Service, developed in 1954, sought to reinvent basic recipes, in the post-rationing era and in 1956 The Stork Wives Club was launched and by the end of the year had 191 000 members. The club offered advice on cooking and catering.

As part of my research,  I have developed a keen interest in the books that accompanied The Stork Cookery Service. Not only are they attractive, easy to use and manageable, but fairly sought after.

As a direct result of my research,  I will be visiting the Unilever Archive at Port Sunlight in May 2014 to study in more detail, the production of such publications. Stay tuned for an update on my progress and visit to the archive!