This advert from July 1900 declares the new Blanco colour meeting “the want of the day”. Since the advert and product pre-date the introduction (or indeed the entertainment of the idea of) of canvas webbing it does show a move away from highly visible white accessories of uniforms to something more toned down. This, then, makes the choice of colour of the new 1908 webbing canvas all the more obvious (for it could of course have been made any colour). The advert gives the manufacturer name of Joseph Pickering and Sons, omitting the “Ltd” so the ad must have been prepared prior to the formation of the Limited Company in that same year.
For Cleaning and Renovating “Khaki” Accoutrements, Helmets, Shoes, &c.
Everybody knows the merits of Pickering’s Blanco for whitening all articles of Buckskin Leather, or White Canvas, and now Pickering’s have met the want of the day by introducing “Khaki-Blanco,” a similar preparation to Blanco, but of a “Khaki” colour; it is prepared in a most careful manner to ensure an Evenness of Colour, and contains nothing at all injurious to any “Khaki” article to which it may be applied. “Khaki” cleaned regularly with this article keeps a good colour, and always looks like new.
White Belts and other military equipment, buckskin and canvas shoes, &c., can be made khaki colour by the application of “Khaki-Blanco,” and this will be in no-wise interfere with their being re-whitened with Blanco at any future time.
Sold by all the usual dealers.
Sole Manufacturers: Joseph Pickering & Sons, Sheffield
Photo: Sophie Penny
This photo is of part-application of Khaki-Blanco on a pouch and shows the colour similarity between Blanco and webbing (and also the applied colour is the same as the block itself).
Photo: Sophie Penny
Photos: David Pratt
Described on the wrapper as ‘Yellow Khaki colour’ it is one of the shades of the original deep-well style moulds and is contemporary with ‘Blanco’ white cleaner and ‘Web-Blanco’ Green Khaki colour.
Shade No. 64
(Yellow Khaki Colour)
For Cleaning and Renovating khaki-coloured equipment, rifle slings, helmets etc.
This preparation is of a similar nature to our well-known “Blanco” but of a “Khaki” colour; it is prepared in a most careful manner to ensure an EVENNESS OF COLOUR, and contains nothing at all injurious to any “Khaki” article to which it may be applied. “Khaki” cleaned regularly with this article keeps a good colour and always looks like new.
DIRECTIONS FOR USE. – Place the mould in the Zinc Box and cover with water. With a good sponge (such as supplied with each box) work up the water upon the mould until the required consistency is obtained, then apply the LIQUID with the sponge. To obtain the best effects, the “Khaki-Blanco” should be used thin and a second coat applied, if necessary, after the first is dry. In cleaning khaki clothing, brush off the surplus “Khaki-Blanco” when dry. If the article is very dirty or muddy, the heaviest dirt should be removed with a brush.
WE ARE ALSO MAKERS OF
“BLANCO” White Cleaner.
The well known commodity for whitening and cleaning all articles of buff or buckskin leather, white canvas shoes, &c. Used throughout H. M. Fo.
“WEB-BLANCO” (Green Khaki Colour)
Specially manufactured for cleaning the WEB equipment. The use of “Web-Blanco” for this purpose is permitted and approved by the War Office.
The “JP” Boot Polish,
Either black or brown, preserves and waterproofs. Quick in use, with a brilliant, lasting polish and a superior depth of colour. No matter how dirty or muddy your boots may be, one application of “JP” will restore the appearance. Equally good on leather belts, harness, &c.
Manufacturers: JOSEPH PICKERING & SONS, Ltd., SHEFFIELD
MADE IN ENGLAND
The Quartermaster records of the 1st/5th Battalion, King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment in 1918/19 show regular orders for white and khaki Blanco being ordered from Pickerings at the Albyn Works, Sheffield.
“One of my friends was acquainted with another chap who used to work at the USS North Carolina battleship which is now a historic ship available for visitors to tour. In one of the ship supply rooms (which had been sealed in 1947 when the ship was decommissioned) they had some blanco! This friend was given a tin of the blanco, which he had used on some webbing in the 1990’s for reenacting. What he showed me was a metal tin, with KHAKI-BLANCO embossed on the lid, and Pickerings name and information embossed on the base. I asked him to sell it to me should he ever decide to part with it. I did however find it interesting that blanco made its way to the supply rooms of a US battleship!”
Words and photo: Sean Foster
Note: while the tin says Khaki-Blanco the refill block inside is Web-Blanco, later designated 97 Khaki Green Medium.