Anybody who went to school in NSW of a certain age will likely remember Perkins Paste and the familiar pink plastic jar that it came in.
The label claims that it: "sticks quickly," "cannot spill," and is "non toxic" (all admirable features for a glue). Nothing on there about taste. Even so, every class in every school had a kid (or kids) who scored big points by being able to eat significant quantities of the sticky white almondy substance. (It was actually made from boiled potato dextrin.)
Perkins Paste was owned and started by Maurice Bertram Jeffery, a commercial artist who found himself unemployed during the Great Depression. Production began in 1934 at Albion Street, Surry Hills and ceased during the late 1980s. It became a cultural icon, akin to Vegemite or the Tim Tam biscuit.
This design was initially manifest on a REMO T Shirt in collaboration with Perkin's Products as a promotion for our Stationery Department (where we dutifully sold the actual stuff). They actually used to send us a cheque from time to time to thank us for the promotion. We recall thinking that the first letter was going to be carrying some kind of "cease and desist" message, and how shocked we were to find a cheque for $200 enclosed. Great karma from the people at Perkins.
The image captured the imagination of CustOMERs, and soon took on a life all its own. At one point we even sold it on a pink T Shirt. Maybe one day again!
Sadly, Perkins Paste appears to have vanished from the marketplace. A recent search has proved fruitless. Extinction is a real possibility. But fear not; its pink and sticky spirt lives on via this homage.
Perkins Paste available at REMO on:
Browse all Perkins Paste Merchandise HERE
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