15 Feb 65 : British Bri Nylon wows America : New York, USA

This continues the letter dated Monday 8th February 1965, which began…

Dear family,

Monday 15th February 65

Colin received a parcel from home today and to his delight (and my envy) it contained a C&A shirt – check, and with rounded collar and Bri Nylon, like the sort I tried to get before I left (and exactly like Dad’s). It appears they now have plenty, and I would be most grateful if you could get one for me.

You will never believe how useful these have been, but for some reason this particular type is far better than the others. So, if you could get me one and send it over I would be very appreciative. With the central heating we can wash these in the evening and they are dry by morning. So, another would be most welcome.

Talking of parcels, to date I haven’t had the socks which are supposed to be en-route. Still, I can last out for a while with the holey ones I have.

It has turned very cold again and we have had a lot more snow, which made the roads pretty bad this morning.

Yesterday we went ice skating in Central Park. There is an open air ice rink there, but when we arrived they had run out of our size skates, so we couldn’t skate. Instead we went around the zoo which is also in the park. It is free and quite good too.

I am enclosing a leaflet of a typical motel where we stay – this is just an average one. We have been in better and worse. These motels will be great in the summer, as they all have pools, which will be very nice indeed.

Well I can’t think of much else to say at the moment so I will end now. Look after yourselves.

All my love.

Tony xxxx

PS: Can Dad tell us the cost of the ‘M’ motorways per mile? The superhighways here cost 1 million dollars per mile, and I say ours cost as much but Colin says they don’t. Could you let us know the cost, Dad?

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Again, not the most exciting of Tony’s letters, but the next one is the mafia letter! 😀   

And we must pause for a small tribute to the cheesy wonders of 1960s/1970s Bri Nylon. I even considered calling this blog the Bri Nylon adventurers! Then I realised most younger people have never even heard of the material. Back then, it was heralded as an amazing scientific breakthrough – the very height of modern clothing. But although it brought great advantages to young go-getters, there were also definite downsides!

Tony explains: ‘BRI-Nylon shirts were very popular in the early 60’s. Up until then, shirts had been made of quite thick cotton and needed a lot of ironing.
Suddenly BRI-Nylon shirts appeared, and at the time we thought they were fantastic.
They were totally synthetic, and could be washed and drip dried in no time at all.
Even better, they dried completely smooth and flat and needed no ironing.
You will see from my letters that I was a great fan of BRI-Nylon shirts, even to the extent of having some sent to me (from C & A – now long gone).
 Actually, wearing these shirts in the hot and humid places in America must have been murder – as they didn’t ‘breathe’ and made you very sweaty. I suspect that wearing these shirts in the extreme cold of New York, combined with the miles of nylon carpeting in the hotel and motels, was the cause of my electric shocks every time I touched anything metal!
 Today, I can’t think of anything worse than wearing a BRI-Nylon shirt – thank heavens for the introduction of Poly-Cotton shirts, and non iron cotton shirts.
Also, we had Bri-Nylon and Nylon sheets in the late 60’s and these were horrific.
We would wake up feeling very hot and sticky, and when making the bed there would be flashes and sparks everywhere!’  
 

If you’re curious to find out more about this wonder fabric, I’ve found this great potted history entitled ‘the story of Bri Nylon and the tragic story of nylon’s inventor.’

And for some utterly bonkers advertising, this film ‘Everything But Everything In BRI Nylon‘ shows a groovy young jet-set whose entire wardrobe and home furnishings are made of Bri Nylon. They must have been a permanent lightning storm! Well worth a nosy for sheer entertainment value. 🙂 

BP129-manline-bri-nylon-menswear-1960
1965 Bri Nylon advert, thanks to http://www.manorart.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/BP129-manline-bri-nylon-menswear-1960.jpg

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