During the Second World War, British and Empire troops were not issued with any sort of container to keep their soap in. Instead it was expected that they would wrap the bar in their towel and protect it that way. Many soldiers obviously felt that this was inadequate so privately purchased soap dishes made of metal or bakelite were not uncommon. These privately purchased soap dishes were often sold through the NAAFI, soldiers’ canteens and similar organisations. Today we are looking at a bakelite example that was produced and sold in India at the end of the war:
The dish is in the shape of a rounded cuboid, made of dark brown bakelite and has ‘Canteen Services (India)’ moulded into the lid:
The underside of the dish has a series of small holes to allow any water to drain out and prevent the soap from dissolving too quickly:
The dish is made up of two parts, an upper and a lower, which are a firm but easily opened fit together:
The underside of the upper half has a brand name ‘Bestolite’ moulded into the bakelite:
This trade mark was registered by the Indian Plastics Ltd in Bombay in early 1945 so this soap dish probably dates to the very end of the war. This is a lovely little find and another piece to add to my Indian personal kit in my small pack.