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Book reviews — April 2003

'Bogs, Baths & Basins - the story of Domestic Sanitation', by David J Eveleigh
Published by Sutton Publishing, September 2002. ISBN 0-7509-2793. 214 pages (hardcover). £16.99
This is an excellent account of the development of sanitation engineering and those responsible for improving the health and comfort of millions of people.

David Eveleigh has not only conducted in-depth research into the subject but has written in such a way that the reader almost feels compelled to find out 'what happened next'.

The text is complemented by a superb collection of photographs, line drawings and prints from catalogues. Vignettes of most of the major sanitary ware manufacturers reveal insight into the lives of what has become a list of household names.

To accompany the index are appendices containing: the names, manufacturers and dates of WC pans; Places to visit; and a list of Eveleigh's source notes.

For those interested in this subject, 'Bogs, Baths and Basins' will sit comfortably beside such classics as Wright's 'Clean and Decent' and Lampton's 'Temples of Convenience', it is not only a mine of information it makes an excellent read. Peter J Skilton

'A Taste of Ovaltine: The Official Story', by Alice Spain
Battleford Books. 2002. ISBN: 0 9526932 1 6 (xiv + 170pp; numerous illustrations)
This is a very interesting book which celebrates almost 90 years (1913-2002) of Ovaltine production at King's Langley. While it has no pretensions to be an academic company history, and could have been more tightly edited to remove some repetition, there is a lot of interesting information on the Swiss origins of the company; transport (especially the Grand Junction Canal); the artesian wells; the chimney which was a landmark in the years 1927-70; the advertising; the personalities and associated enterprises such as the egg and dairv farms.

The book is copiously illustrated, well-produced and largely free of typos. On page 14 is a rare error, when the date of the creation of the Grand Union Canal is wrongly given: it is correctly stated elsewhere. The name of the architect of the art deco factory, a notable landmark when seen from the West Coast Main Line, is not given, and the brief occupation of the egg farm premises by a small brewery is not mentioned. Nonetheless this book is a useful contribution to the history of King's Langley, the food industry and advertising. Richard Graham

© GLIAS, 2003