Keen as mustard
Jeremiah James Colman was born in 1830 a few miles from the city of Norwich, the county town of Norfolk. After his father’s death, in the 1850s, he took the helm of J. & J. Colman a business producing mustard, starch, cornflour and other products. By the time of his death in 1898 he had built a small manufacturing firm employing a couple of hundred workers into a great enterprise providing jobs for over 2000 people.
The children’s advertising booklet was one of the many forms of promotion used by the company. From late Victorian to the mid twentieth century hundreds of thousands of these delightful little books were produced and given away to children, usually during the Christmas season.
“Ark Ark Mustard Rhymes” is a twenty page booklet, 108 x 140mm (4¼ x 5½in), with 18 attractive colour illustrations accompanied by 13 jolly rhymes introducing the young reader to Colman’s golden Mustard.
After securing the children’s attention in the first half of the booklet other products are introduced with Penguin telling us “I use Colman’s Starch each day”, to make his spotless shirt gleam and glisten, while Cook tells us why she always bakes with Krusto Pastry Maker - "it's as easy as pie".
These brightly printed little books containing lots of bold illustrations brought lots of entertainment and pleasure to the lucky recipients of one of these giveaways, perhaps providing an opportunity to escape into their imagination and also inspire a lasting love of reading.