The thought of sending eggs in today’s post is quite frankly laughable, even with fragile tape, special containers and pleas for caution, things don’t always arrive in the condition that one would like but during World War II eggs became a rare and special cargo.
Rationing restricted adults to one fresh egg per week and families were forced to rely on dried egg powder sent over from America to help fill the gap. Raw egg, separated from all liquid, does not sound appetising at the best of times but when it’s been dried, compacted into a tin canister and shipped halfway around the world it loses even more of its appeal. During World War II, however, it became an essential. Fresh eggs were a luxury that only a few had access to and those that did tried to help friends and relatives by sending eggs through the post.
Special cartons such as this one displayed at the Sevenoaks Museum helped to deliver them safely. Made from cardboard by the Raylite Box company in Liverpool during the 1940’s, it has one layer containing six compartments for the eggs to lie in and a lid section with a further compartmental covering to help prevent the eggs from breaking.
Their arrival must have been a cause for celebration but I wonder how many actually arrived in tact and fresh enough to eat? Does anyone remember receiving one of these?
Many thanks to Sue Gosling, the Curator at Sevenoaks Museum, for allowing me to feature part of her war time collection here. Although compact the museum has over 3,000 local gems on show and in store and you can find visitor details here.