Advert for Rising Sun, stove polish, reverse side
Many Victorian families - and especially the middle class - were ostentatiously houseproud. This was most obviously manifested in large and ornate furnishings and drapery, but was also visible in a gathering mania for cleaning. One particularly demanding job was to blacken and polish the oven, which had to be done every day in order to keep it shining. Upper class families naturally employed servants for the purpose, but among the middle class and below the task fell to the housewife or to an older daughter. The gradual decline of the era of the household servant led to an increased demand for products that would make cleaning jobs at least a little easier, such as this stove polish.