Collection of the week – Tristram's Ginger Beer bottles (1890s to 1920s)

Accession 28174

Tristram’s ginger beer bottles

This accession contains eighteen stoneware soft drink bottles, found by the staff of ARCHAEO Cultural Heritage Services during the archaeological selvage work carried out on the site of the Millenium Arts Project in South Brisbane in 2004.

The bottles were found in a bottle dump and were washed, identified and described by the ARCHAEO staff. They were made by Kennedy Barrowfield Pottery in Glasgow, Scotland and the Bendigo Pottery in Victoria and were used by Tristram’s Company for ginger beer.

Tristram’s ginger beer bottle

Tristram’s was established in 1875 and is still in operation today, under the commercial name of Trisco Foods. Their soft drink factory was in Boundary Street, West End. The original building still exists under a different name–The Markets.

Tristram’s soft drink factory at West End, Brisbane

(Image accession number: 10189/1; Collection reference: 10189, Queensland Cement & Lime Company Limited Photograph Albums, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.)

References:

Report on the Cultural Heritage Selvage Operation, ARCHAEO Cultural Heritage Services (2005)

Veronika Farley

Librarian, Queensland Memory – State Library of Queensland

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  1. Desmond Crump

    Tristrams were established in 1874 with the original factory located in George Street; by 1877 Thomas Tristram was operating a softdrink factory in Hope Street, South Brisbane.

    Extract from Morrison’s Queensland History 1888.
    “T. Tristram, Ginger Beer Brewer, Hope Street, South Brisbane, may almost be considered an Australian, as he landed with his parents when very young in Melbourne. After travelling through the different colonies he settled in Brisbane in 1861, and in 1864 entered the employ of Messrs. Gardner and Keid, with whom he remained ten years.
    He then started business on his own account, and conducted it for two years, when being offered a substantial share of the profits, he opened a branch for Mr. Gardner in Hope Street, into which he merged his own business. After managing this concern for nearly nine years, he again started business on his own account and has succeeded in working up a large connection. All drinks manufactured in this establishment are first class.”

  2. Pingback: Bottles and cans: an adventure in suburban archaeology | There once was a creek . . .

  3. Christine Abel

    I did an add for Tristrams in the 60s with the old trams going down through New Farm. I was in an old fashioned car and had to lean forward and ring the bell. The caption was Just say Tristrams Please. Where can I find it or get a Poster which was in shops for quite awhile. I would love to have one.

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