Not that long ago there were no polythene bags

Once upon a time, fish and amphibian keepers had to use cans and glass jars to transport their livestock. Searching out articles in old issues of the Aquarist, I came across the following snippet from Aquarist’s Notebook, then written by Raymond Yates:

…I came across a dealer who had surmounted the carrying jar problem for prospective customers in a rather novel way. This firm (Windmill Products – Tachbrook Tropicals) provides customers with what looks like an oiled silk bag, roughly 10 inches by 4 inches. This is made of Polythene and is very tough, although the set-up looks flimsy in the extreme. Holding over a pint of water, the bag is secured at the top with a rubber band and can then be carried home in a jacket pocket without risk, as the temperature remains steady if so protected. These bags can be used over and over again and the only damage is if the bag is punctured by a sharp instrument. Something of the sort can be bought nowadays at chain stores, where they are sold as “lunch bags.”

The month and year? November 1954.

Even then polythene bags were slow to be adopted for carrying fish. The airlines continued to use heavy metal cans for a while longer.


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