In the days before widespread household refrigeration, homemakers had many ways of preserving and storing various foods—keeping them safe-to-eat for as long as possible, always striving to avoid unnecessary waste. In the Thirties and Forties, most middle class Americans (especially those in cities) would have had a refrigerator in which to store cheese. But in rural areas—perhaps poor regions or those without electricity—a "Sanitary Cheese Preserver" (like the one above) might have been used. The instructions, moulded right into the glass lid, direct the cheese-owner to pour a mixture of vinegar, salt and water into the bottom of the canister. Thick, glass ribs would hold the cheese above the liquid. As long as the cover was lifted once a day (to release moisture), the cheese would be preserved safely for longer periods of time.
I'm not convinced that such a cheese preserver was truly effective. Actually, I do not know for sure. But the canister has a satisfying "laboratorial" look to it—and it would be useful for storing any manner of food stuffs (cookies, candy, sugar, pasta, pretzels). It would also look great in the bathroom—holding bars of soap, cotton balls or bath salts. Click on the photo above to learn more about it.
Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well! Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (www.LEOdesignNYC.com).
We also can be found in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (www.antiquecenterofstrabane.com).
Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only). 917-446-4248