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Tin - Piccaninny Floor Polish, 1940s-1950s Object Reg. No: HT 23835

Summary:
Round yellow metal tin of Piccaninny Paste Wax Floor Polish manufactured by Piccaninny Manufacturing Co. Manly, NSW. The tin also includes an image of the head of either an African American or an Aboriginal person.

In the USA the term 'piccaninny', 'picanninny', 'picaninny' and other variations were used to describe African American or black children in a derogatory and patronising way. Many of these images depict children with exaggerated features such as large red lips or large noses and depict them as natural buffoons. In Australia, the term picanninny was adopted in a similar patronising way to describe Aboriginal children who were likewise depicted as part of nature and at an equal level with native animals.

The company Piccaninny Manufacturing Co made a number of home maintenance products including wax polishes, detergents, perfumed soaps, floor sealers and plastic finishes through the 1920s to 1960s. Another example is: 'Piccaninny 'Pic-a-lyptus' antiseptic eucalyptus disinfectant', a bottle of which is held by the National Museum of Australia.
Description:
Round yellow metal tin of Piccaninny Paste Wax Floor Polish. Includes an image of the head of either an African American or an Aboriginal person.
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 73 mm (Height), 106 mm (Width), 106 mm (Diameter)

More information

Tagged with: aboriginal depictions, racial identity, racism, cleaning products, floor maintenance, cultural stereotypes
Themes this item is part of: Cultural Diversity Collection, Domestic & Community Life Collection, Identity: Yours, Mine, Ours, Immigration Museum Exhibition, 2011-2021, Objects & Cultural Stereotypes in Museum Victoria Collections, Advertising, Branding & Cultural Stereotypes in Museum Victoria Collections
Primary Classification: CULTURAL IDENTITY
Secondary Classification: Ethnicity
Tertiary Classification: stereotypes
Inscriptions: Text on Front: 'TWICE THE SHINE IN HALF THE TIME' / PICCANINNY / Paste Wax / FLOOR POLISH / 12 OZ NET WHEN PACKED
Manufacturer: Piccaninny Manufacturing Company, Manly, New South Wales, Australia, 1940s-1950s

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