Bindu Gopal Rao
Nostalgia brings back memories that one would fondly look back at. The Manjushree Heritage Packaging Museum in Bengalure is much like that. A one-stop show for all vintage packaged products, the museum is housed in a building hugged by pink bougainvillea trees in the industrial area of Bommasandra. Established in 2003 by Manjushree Technopack Limited, this is part of its packaging innovation division and is the brainchild of Vimal Kedia, managing director of the Manjushree Technopack Limited.
The best part is that this is India’s only packaging museum that chronicles the evolution of packaging in the 20th century. “I always had a fancy for antique items and I would collect old packaging items that I would stock in a cupboard in office. As the collection grew, we decided to have a proper display of the products and we had our interior designer created the museum to house them. After this, we started adding more items and also asked our customers to send us old packaging materials though it is still largely from my personal collection,” says Vimal.
The museum is housed in two levels with the lower level dedicated to all things vintage — with a common theme of packaging. So you have Parry’s Nutrine, Amulspray and Lactogen, Philips radio, VAT 69 bottle, Army hipflask, Agfa camera in a leather case, ancient Pepsi and Coca Cola bottles, wooden cigar boxes and more. Guaranteed to take you on a trip down memory lane are the old gramophone records packed in a two-colour printed paper board. There are tin cases of Cadbury Fry chocolate, huge hotcases with space for hot coal, velvet-lined cutlery kits and lab tool cases, metal body cameras cased in leather, wood finish radios, old clocks in pure teakwood cases, old bottles and more. There is an old Woodward’s (the same company that make gripewater) baby powder tin that actually has the powder whose fragrance is still intact! Neatly categorised, there are separate sections for old cameras, perfumes, liquor bottles, cigar cases, antique radios, stationery and music instruments. One look at the 2,000 items gives you a perspective on the changing world of packaging in consumer goods industry. Beginning from woodcasing in the 1900s, packaging has moved to metal, then to glass, paper, cardboard and finally to plastic containers today.
An interesting poster shows how the Coca Cola bottle has evolved over a period of time. You will need to spend some time to see numerous products displayed here. The second level has an entire collection of packaging materials designed by the company that you see on shelves today.
Looking ahead, Vimal says, “we now want to showcase the evolution of a product. We want to share a story by showcasing how a product has changed over a period of time. This helps people to compare how the product has changed through time.”
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