'Recycling was an unknown term, perhaps because nothing was wasted'

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Dublin Core


'Recycling was an unknown term, perhaps because nothing was wasted'


Harry Browne remembers the 'waste not want not' way of life of his childhood.


Harry Browne


Trinity College Dublin




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Harry Browne

Is Part Of

Childhood and Early Life


Life Story

Spatial Coverage

Russell Avenue, North Strand, Dublin

Temporal Coverage


Life Story Item Type Metadata


Recycling was an unknown term, perhaps because nothing was wasted. Clothes were worn until the collars were frayed and then the collars were turned inside out for a new life. Dresses were dyed and also turned inside out for further use. When clothes reached the absolute end of their useful life they were given to the 'Rag Man', an individual who called to the doors with a handcart collecting any rags which were unfit for anything else. The rags were sold to a company owned by the Woolfson family and 'teased' into 'flock' for stuffing furniture. It is difficult to believe, but the Plaza cinema at the top of Parnell Square, accepted, in part payment, jam jars and bottles which had refundable deposits attached. The deposits were valued at a half penny (ha'penny) each. The price of entry to 'The Pictures' was four pence. In today's currency effectively valueless. Billy the milkman called around every day with a large can (called a churn by us and a jondy by country people) on the handle bars of his bicycle, of loose milk for sale to his customers. We would assemble around his bicycle with miscellaneous jugs, bottles etc and collect the milk and bring it home. Once a fortnight Billy would call to the house to collect his money. Another man went around with a horse and cart selling coal. He had a problem with his adenoids. He would shout out 'Kncoal Blocks' and people would buy the coal, he would carry the sacks of coal through the house to a shed in the back yard. When he passed by we children would call out 'What do you feed your Mother on?' and he would obligingly call out 'Kncoal Blocks'. We thought it was hilarious.


Irish Research Council for Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences (IRCHSS)

Research Coordinator/P.I.

Dr Kathleen McTiernan (Trinity College Dublin)

Senior Research Associate

Dr Deirdre O'Donnell (Trinity College Dublin)


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