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Archive for November, 2012|Monthly archive page

Thinking Inside The Box

In Biscuits, Griffin's Snax crackers, Griffin’s, Nabisco, Nabisco Chicken In A Biskit., Nabisco Ritz crackers, Snack Foods on November 20, 2012 at 10.46

A recreation of the Nabisco-inspired version of the packaging.

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This week I had the urge to be creative, instead of putting together a long-winded researchy kind of article because -I seem to have done a stack of them lately. I feel like I am starting to build up a good body of work here for people to flick through so there isn’t such a pressing sense of urgency to pump out a post every week. Plus I need some variety. Oh, and did I mention busy – yeah, busy! Anyway, when I feel like that I get back to my no-brainer list of long-lost packaging pieces I aim to recreate. And yes, “researchy” IS a word – because I say so.

Griffin’s Snax biscuit box. K E Niven and Co: Commercial negatives. Ref: 1/2-209798-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. 

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I’ve been wanting to cobble this Griffin’s Snax box back together for a while but it just sort of “happened” in quite a fortuitous way. First I found a stack of vintage product pictures that somehow in my travels over the last couple of years I’ve missed. There were lots of great things, and a good picture of this box was amongst them, I get the feeling they were done for Woolworth’s advertising, but it’s hard to know. This Snax box is probably a version somewhere between the early to the mid 1960s – more of the former. Unfortunately none of them have any dates.

An advert from NZ Pictorial magazine, Feb 1954 issue.

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Then this week, I missed out on a TradeMe auction of a magazine with a Griffin’s ad in it that I really wanted (weirdly, for such a big, long-running brand it is quite hard to find Griffin’s print stuff, but not as hard as Hudsons and some other unexpected things). I tracked down the seller all frantic and asked if I could possibly get a scan of it. “Guess what?” they said, “you’ll never believe it but we have an extra copy of the exact same issue here.” Sold! It does pay to chase people around persistently, I’ve learned over time.

A 1934 American version of Nabisco’s Ritz crackers box.

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The Snax box is a fairly simple design but quite striking. Also, it’s uncannily similar to Nabisco’s Ritz (I think done by Kraft in Australia, or was). It was definitely “inspired by” Nabisco after they came along. However before Nabisco turned up on the scene – they were in a tin or a bag that was pretty much the same as every other Griffin’s product. Snax have been around since the 1930s, and neither they nor Ritz have changed very much over the decades – same cracker in the same basic red, yellow and blue box.

A Ritz Crackers box, by Nabisco UK, 1960s. Image courtesy Jason Liebig collection.

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Nabisco owned Griifin’s for some time, from 1962- and introduced quite a few American products onto the Kiwi market (or tried) – like Magic Puffs, Giggles, Little Crackers, Little Pizzas, Hostess, and Chicken In A Biskit. I don’t know if they ever introduced Ritz crackers – there was probably no point messing with a good thing, apparently New Zealand’s “best selling cracker”, if you believe the marketing, by foisting a product onto the marketplace that was basically looked and tasted like the same product. This was the best way to impose their pre-existing brand on an established, successful product and simultaneously give it an identity of its own. It’s still around today on supermarket shelves and although the design has been updated, it’s still fairly similar.

A 1950s version of the Snax tin. I remember my grandparents having one of these in the cupboard. The version of the cellophane bag from circa 1959 can be seen in this earlier post here.

https://longwhitekid.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/bite-size-unfinished-project/

All content of Longwhitekid copyright Darian Zam © 2012. All rights reserved.

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When It Finally Dawns: Sunrise Cordial and The Galliens

In Alandale Manufacturing, chemist, Chin Nan Loh, cordial, Dominion Drug Co., Exmol embrocation, Frimley Foods, Frimley Fruit Canning Works, Gallien's Pharmacy, H.L. Gallien, Harry M. Bennett pharmacist, Henry Louis Gallien, Hocken Library and Archives, Hope and Sons Funeral Directors, James Nelson Williams, Kirkpatrick, Louis (Henry Louis II) Gallien, pharmacist, Solvo Cure, Stanmore brand, Stanmore Lungworm and Scour Specific, Sunrise cordials, The Royal Society of New Zealand, W. Kinder chemist, Wattie Cannery Ltd, Wattie's on November 5, 2012 at 10.46

Lithographed label for H.L. Gallien’s cordial, early-mid 1920s.

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The story begins with me buying two gorgeous lithographed labels at auction; the brand Sunrise cordial – which I had never heard of before. The archives and engines were turning up nothing and continue to do so; the only clue I had to start with was that they were manufactured by a particular Dunedin chemist.

H.L. Gallien (HLG II, known as Louis) at the doorway of  19 Main Street, North East Valley store, early-mid 1910sCourtesy of The Otago Settler’s Museum collection. 

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As I started to research one of the first things I came across was a recent newspaper article from the Otago Times about a man named Chin Nan Loh who had bought an ancient chemist shop in North Dunedin. The story was about how he had rescued a cracked and dusty stained glass window with elaborate faceted panes, and re-installed it in his new Unichem shop across the road in Gardens Mall – along with a photograph of the former long-term owner, apparently a “Louis Gallien” – to add “a bit more character, give a community feeling” as he put it.

From left: W Kinder & Co Dispensary, Thames St, Oamaru. W Kinder, Chemist & Druggist, North East Valley Dunedin (1902-1913), courtesy of ABCR Auctions. Tamar Indien Grillon cure, Paris – Gallien Chemist, Dunedin (after 1913), courtesy of ABCR Auctions. W Kinder, Chemist & Druggist, North east Valley Dunedin (1902-1913, Eucalyptus & Menthol Pastilles,courtesy of ABCR Auctions. Gallien Chemist bottle (1903-1904),  Hawkes Bay Bottle collectors magazine of December 1982, author unknown, courtesy of  Jill and Alan Griffith.

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Even though the name wasn’t quite right – this had to be my man; I was sure I could work out the connection. Undertaking some cursory groundwork, I understood that the manufacturer of the cordials , H.L. Gallien, and his descendants had been in situ in North Rd, North East Valley, Dunedin for decades (and the business its self for over 100 years), primarily as a pharmacy, and that he had created and marketed several other brands – as well as being responsible for the Sunrise label. But nothing seemed to be making any sense; I had variations of names and dates and places that zig-zagged all over the country with no clear trajectory or sequence (with another year’s work under my belt I’ve found that this isn’t so unusual), but somehow I knew they were linked. And there I left it for some months.

Lithographed label for H.L. Gallien’s cordial, early-mid 1920s.

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It wasn’t until much later while researching a completely different topic – jam canneries again – that I came back to the fairly perfunctory story I have posted on previously about the Frimley brand

https://longwhitekid.wordpress.com/2011/06/26/saucing-material/

and how it was absorbed by Wattie’s. Imagine my surprise when I read the builder of Frimley’s canneries, which I somehow missed the first time round, was named… H.L. Gallien. It’s not possible that it was the same person… or could it be? What were the chances that a company that made fruit cordial as one of their products was involved with a person with exactly the same name who also made fruit cordial – could it have any relation? Although New Zealand is a tiny country in size, as well as terms of population (especially then) –  I had one story taking place in Hastings in the mid east coast of the North Island; and the other story taking place almost at the other end of the country right down the bottom of the South Island, at the same time. I’ve run across some pretty strange coincidences before so I wasn’t ruling out that this was another one.

Spooky: Bertha’s forgery escapade is already recounted here. Louis (Henry Louis Gallien II) was later done for distributing excess Opium through his pharmacy. Charles Louis (here as Charlie) ended up involved in a quack scam (“Hermann The Healer”) that went to court. Out of 13 children, the only  three that had notoriety for their legal troubles, are in this photo together. Courtesy of Delwyn Lone collection.

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The thing that I really got stuck on was that I kept finding references to a mysterious Louis or Lewis Gallien – one in Wellington in the 1860s on a committee indicating that he was already mature. Another in 1880s at a school in Hastings indicating youth, another article from the 1890s stating that he was from Auckland and had bought a business interest there. See what I mean about confusing?

Bert (Albert) Gallien, Louis Gallien’s son, at the doorway of  19 Main Street, North East Valley store, early-mid 1920s. The address had changed to 21 North Road by 1918 meaning this photo was taken after that – since the new number is on the building. This is probably either Louis’s daughter Bessie or Margaret. She’s even tinier than her brother! Courtesy of The Otago Settler’s Museum collection. 

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As it turns out there was officially no Louis, and he had never lived in Auckland. And sometimes the media misquoted the name as “Lewis”, confusing the information with a Lewis Gallien who arrived in Wellington in 1864 who had nothing to do with this story. It wasn’t until it had driven me nuts over a series of weeks that I finally realized what was going on – there were three different Henry Louis Galliens with separate careers – father, son and grandson, and that both father and son sometimes referred to themselves as “H. Louis” or often just “Louis”. Once I clicked it all seemed so obvious! Imagine if you will, just how damn difficult it was to unravel this story, where three generations all had the same name.

Close-up of Bert (Albert) Gallien at the doorway of  the 21 North Road (formerly 19 Main Street), North East Valley store, early-mid 1920s. Note the leadlight window now in situ, and poster in the window for Gallien’s Sarsaparilla Blood Mixture. Courtesy of The Otago Settler’s Museum collection. 

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Henry Louis Gallien , most senior (whom I will refer to as Henry from here on) was born in Magdeburg Germany in 1835, and he arrived from London aboard the Wild Duck to the Wellington port in January 1860. By 1863 he had moved to Nelson, founded a business and by April the premises were being offered for rent. By 1864 he was back in Wellington, where he had married his bride Catherine Pauline Brown. They purchased a home in Thorndon Quay and went on to have an incredible 15 children, 13 of which survived which is a pretty good strike rate for those times to say the least. Can you imagine having to bring up so many? That was huge, even for those days – I was amazed as I kept finding record after record. It must have been a real struggle just to put food on the table. I’m not sure exactly what Henry did for a living when he arrived but he was listed as a “Carpenter & Joiner” by the time he was naturalised in Wellington in 1865, and again in 1866 he is registered as having a cabinet-making enterprise in Lambton Quay. However it seems he had ambitions and made some important contacts and as a result- contracts.

Box packaging for Gallien’s Emulsion bottle. Likely dates between 1905-1912. Courtesy of the Hocken Library Collection ref MS-2961/002.

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An interesting diversion here (but diversion nevertheless), is that their second child Bertha Annie Gallien (b.1867), was charged with forgery in 1886, aged just nineteen. In quite unusual circumstances that were deemed newsworthy at the time – she was placed as a serving girl with a family acquaintance rather than going to prison, possibly the fact that her father was an established and respected member of the community may have had some bearing on this for there wasn’t much other reason except that perhaps the judge was in a particularly favourable and lenient mood. Financial records of the legislative department from 1871-1872 show that they had an account with Henry, so one wonders if “friends in high places” had any bearing on the unusual outcome of the case. If he didn’t already have acquaintances to get the job then surely he had made some by the end of it – clearly he was what you would be described as “connected”.

Dose glass issued by Gallien, between 1896-1912,  from the chemist’s measure collection of and © Jill and Alan Griffith.

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Henry Louis Gallien II was the fourth child in 1870, and the focus of this story (I’ll refer to him as Louis). Birth and death records tell us that the family lived in the heavily populated Thorndon Quay area of Wellington for some years and sold the property in 1872. At this point our stories more or less separate out.

Louis’s disastrous move to be closer to Hastings lasted less than twelve weeks between December 1904 and February 1905.

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In 1892 a J.E. Gallien of Marton near Fielding is mentioned as passing a botanical pharmacy degree. A cousin perhaps, or just an all-so-common-for-the-times misquote of initials? I am going for the latter, and I suspect that he may have resided for a time with the family of a sibling such as his older and first born brother Charles Louis (b. 1865). Who can say where his interest in the medical, chemical, zoological and botanical realms stemmed from? What we do know is that both Henry and Louis had in their lifetime involvement with the Royal Society of New Zealand

http://rsnz.natlib.govt.nz/about.html

Louis is quoted as both a canary collector and breeder of note, as well as hobby taxidermist: “Mr. Gallien, when preparing a Cuckoo for stuffing, found in its crop a complete young Sparrow, barely feathered…” 

Syrup recipes for Sunrise cordials and other products: Ginger, Sarsoe (Sarsaparilla), Peppermint and Clove. Courtesy of the Hocken Library Collection ref MS-2961/002.

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In 1893 Louis passed his pharmacy examination in Auckland. A social page in a paper of the time notes him as formerly of Auckland, so he may have been temporarily residing there to finish his studies for the final exam. Wasting no time at all upon graduating, later that year he turned up with a pharmacy open in Manchester Street, Fielding (near Palmerston North) that he had bought from a T. A. Garrat, also formerly of Auckland. (Garratt also had two pharmacies in Wellington previously). It seems by 1894 he had sold up and moved on.

Raspberry syrup recipe for Sunrise cordial.Courtesy of the Hocken Library Collection ref MS-2961/002.

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by 1896 Louis married into the Hill family of Winton, a notable distance from any of his previous locations to say the least – and had purchased another pharmacy from C.F.A . Whiteford in Winton. An article states Louis had already been manager of the business for some time. Likely he commenced this position in 1894 before quickly graduating to owner. He sold it on to William Dawson Cowie between 1902 and 1904. I am not sure what the explanation is for why he ended up north of Invercargill – so far away from his family. Nevertheless he settled in the Otago area for good producing four children with his wife Elizabeth Josephine (1871-1960). Later I noticed that the 1892 article about the pharmaceutical examination results that misquoted his initials as J.E., also mentions a fellow student in his class as “C.T.A . Whiteford”. Given the already-established level of inaccuracy in the article, I would say this is the connection – Whiteford was an educational acquaintance so his move to that area was purely a friendship connection turned business proposition. Following the sale of his first Winton business, he either purchased another established business – or from scratch started another pharmacy, in 1904 Louis’s premises are mentioned in Winton as being two buildings away from Railway Hotel.

Close-up of Gallien’s Solvo wall advertising at the corner of Carlyle and 21 North Road, North East Valley, early-mid 1920s. Courtesy of The Otago Settler’s Museum collection.

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Of course, by now it’s clear Louis was an extremely shrewd operator with repeated business modus operandi of making an easy entree into pre-existing operations by purchasing them as well as likely the previous owner’s inventions and recipes. Point in case , is a ginger cordial label by T. Walker, chemist –  recorded in a book belonging to Louis of the 1910s-1920s. Why else would it have been retained? Clearly it was one of the various purchased businesses in Winton between 1902-1904, 0r 1905-1912.

The true definition of puff piece: on Louis, 1928. In all reality, would you expect higher quality journalism from The Truth?

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In 1913 Louis bought yet another pharmacy and moved to Dunedin city. There is a possibility that he acquired  a pharmacy in Great King Street, Dunedin for a short period between 1912-13, possibly Bagley’s at 323 Great King Street, but I’ve yet to see any evidence of this. Mr. W. Kinder, chemist and druggist, was established at 19 Main Street, North East Valley in 1902 – and this became the Gallien’s Pharmacy of our story. Records refer to a “manufacturing department associated with the business”. This means that, again, probably a number of the products and recipes were created by Kinder (who headed to Oamaru and opened a pharmacy there). I am not saying that Louis wasn’t inventive himself – by the mid 1930s he had quite a line of products as follows: Solvo Cure, White Korn Kill, Stanmore Lungworm and Scour Specific, Gallien’s Emulsion, raspberry vinegar, Ginger Wine Essence, raspberry flavouring, Gallien’s Sarsaparilla Blood Mixture, Defeata eyewash, St. Thomas bay rum, Universal embrocation, Gallien & Co liquorice powders, Newtine’s Lozenges, Dr. Claude’s tonic, and Exmol embrocation.

A coupon for Gallien’s Solvo  – NZ Truth, July 1925.

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Sunrise cordials were being made by the mid 1920s at latest since a revision note dated 1925 was neatly pinned between the leaves of one of the recipe books which were finally dug up in the Hocken Library. This was the motherload and I nearly fell off my chair when these actual handwritten formulas for the cordials turned up. These entailed specifics for the two labels I had – Raspberry Syrup, and the Liquid Fruits (Mixed Fruit Syrup – Raspberry, Ginger, Pear, Pineapple, orange). There were also jottings on how to create Lemon, Vanilla, Creaming Soda, Pineapple, Orange, Orange Squash, Strawberry, Black Currant, Red Currant, Ginger, Sarsoe (sarsaparilla), Peppermint, and Clove syrups. I believe that manufacture started a little earlier than this; the Egyptian motif of the Raspberry label indicates that it was probably just post the discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb in 1922 when that imagery trended worldwide. It seems like Louis’s oldest son Albert Louis William Gallien (b. 1898) may have been the second generation “marketing whizz ” since Gallien’s did not start heavily advertising their own brands until around this time in the mid 1920s. Henry Louis Gallien III (b. 1907, I’ll refer to him as Harry) was a number of years younger than Albert (referred to as Bert) but also followed in a pharmaceutical degree. Sister Bessie Gallien (Elizabeth Mary Gallien 1905-1973),went on to manage Otago’s Sonata Laboratories Limited which marketed products from Scherring Drug Co and Plough N.Z, like Nova, Coppertone, and Wella. Sibling Margaret Gallien was the only exception to the rule and went on to become a nun, spending 67 years as Sister Margaret Raphael of the Sisters of Mercy, St. Mary’s Convent, Auckland.

The Frimley Foods Canning Factory, circa 1910, built by Henry Louis Gallien I.

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Janice Sew Hoy, who was employed at Gallien’s from the early 1980s through to 2001: “There was also a recipe for Embalming Fluid which was made up for Hope and Sons Funeral Directors. This was made up in bulk when ordered. Eventually Hope and Sons must have changed to a commercially made product”. Josie Bray, who was at Gallien’s between the late seventies and the early Noughties remembers: “The embalming fluid was made up in twenty litre containers, I think we stopped doing that around 1994. White Korn Kill was the best stuff on the market – I still work in pharmacy and there is nothing as good made today. That, Solvo and Exmol were very popular right to the end – until the some of the ingredients were too hard to come by. There were some interesting old bits and pieces. Even some huge glass distilling containers that sat round upstairs for years. Gallien (Louis) also used to pull teeth out as he had a dentist chair out the back of the pharmacy. Some people said he was a nice man, others said he was not… I have heard many stories over the years”. Pam Kennedy, a former owner of Gallien’s Pharmacy, says: “Well, I imagine that opinion may have depended on whether you were getting a tooth pulled or not!”

Map shows Gallien Street, Hastings marked with the red balloon. The site of the family home can be seen by the pattern layout of the marked lots. Also shown is Frimley Park, the site of owner Nelson William’s homestead as well as the factory, and the green area top left is Kirkpatrick Park, bounded by Orchard and Canning Roads, This was once dozens of acres of peaches for production. 

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I have to admit, that’s a very good point. Pam continues: “Apart from pulling teeth, he also treated horses. Chemists in those days treated just about anything – if you got knocked over in the street they’d bring you in. There was some kind of horse drench he made. The manufacturing was upstairs and next door. We carried on making the corn cure and Exmol – it went all over the country – people just swore by them. It (the process) sort of changed and evolved over the years”. It likely made its way even to Australia as I found a couple of ads of the early 1920s mentioning it on offer. “Louis made an awful lot of stuff. It was all sort of piled upstairs, lots of equipment. It was just left there as we eventually stopped making things when it became too difficult to get some of the ingredients”, says Pam Kennedy. A sad story of a great product that stops being made for yet another reason – not the usual story of being subsumed or abandoned.

Aaron Hodgson and Mike Doig move the early 1920s leadlight sign to it’s new home at Gardens  Shopping Mall Unichem Pharmacy. Image courtesy of and © Otago Images photo gallery and archive.

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However the only person I talked to who actually had known the Galliens personally, was Barry Longstaffe – because he  worked for them. “Yes, Exmol was the big one and Solvo, which was rheumatism stuff. There was quite a big calling for veterinary products – we did good business with products like  “Horse Blister” which was  medicine put on horses hooves to stimulate them, all three sold throughout the country. I think Louis packed Stephen’s inks at one point, Jeye’s Fluid and all sorts of things like that. Stanmore lotion is another one that we used to make a lot of. There was also aftershave, inhalant, footrot cure, and writing ink,  under the Stanmore brand. Linley cream, a hand lotion, a very popular one of ours. Other items that Barry recalled were mosquito cream. goitre tablets, neuralgic cure, flea cure, strychnine, strychnine antidote, borax, stomach powder,blood and skin purifier, asthma and bronchitis, paraffin, purified benzine, camphorated oil, methylated spirits, cod liver oil, drench, worm powders, and syrup of white pine – “…oh, there was about 150 different things”.   “I started my apprenticeship there in 1959, to Bert Gallien. After Bert died, I finished my apprenticeship under the next owner. I remember there were a couple of carboys up there, and the old dentist’s chair. There were thousands of labels lying around. There were racks out the back about two and a half metres high, twenty to thirty metres long for blue castor oil bottles and things… I’m talking thousands.  The Galliens never threw any bottles out. When I started my apprenticeship I was just doing all the odd jobs. I washed them all and we recycled them in those days. I’m not sure that Harry was actually ever fully qualified as a pharmacist.  I think Harry had to work for Bert, I don’t think he could own a pharmacy in his own right because you need to be particularly qualified to do that. But Harry was a very nice person – peaceful and understanding.  Bert had a very short fuse (laughs).  I think I’m the only apprentice ever that survived the full term.  He was too hard to work for really – but I was a very stubborn person.  He would go off the end very quickly and  was very irrational.  Every time his blood pressure raised and he got at me I just let it go in one ear and out the other. Everybody else didn’t last out, but I outlasted them both!”  He certainly did; he later became an owner.

The early 1920s leadlight sign, backlit in it’s new home at Gardens  Shopping Mall Unichem Pharmacy. Original image courtesy of  Chin Nan Loh.

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Louis remained in Dunedin until his death in 1936, but obviously stepped back – a photo which seems to be the very early 1920s of a couple standing outside the pharmacy show a much younger man, obviously Bert Gallien, and probably his sister Bessie, as Bert was the only one of the four offspring to marry, and the record is not showing up – meaning it was post 1932. This picture is clearly much earlier than that so must be a sibling. Also, even if it is after 1925, Harry would still be in his teens and this person is clearly a fair amount older than that. The fact that he is photographed solo also indicates some kind of jurisdiction – so there are several clues to tell who they are. Barry Longstaffe: “Harry, Bessie, and Margaret didn’t marry; Bert and Imelda had no kids. I think it may have been because of their religious beliefs,  they were a very strongly Catholic family, no sex before marriage and all that! We weren’t even allowed to sell condoms in the pharmacy! You can laugh about it now, but at the time they were quite serious about it! So, when they died it was the end of the line”. Well, what can you say to that except – religion clearly won out, although I am not sure what the benefits were in this case. However this latter part of Louis’s career was not without troubles – he received a fine in 1922, along with plenty of newspaper coverage,  when he was charged for over-selling Opium by between ten to twenty times the standard amount used on average by other chemists, and was fined on three counts the maximum charge of a whopping thirty pounds. Maybe he decided it was about time to start thinking about retirement. Meanwhile with Henry busy with his endeavours at the opposite end of the country, by 1873 there are mentions of Henry in Hastings with his family settled in Saint Leonards, known as Allerton at that time (Allerton Street runs Parallel to Gallien Street there – clearly named for the family and their property). In 1877 a mention is made of Henry having the contract to build a church in Hastings but it seems obvious they made their way straight there from Thorndon Quay.  Louis, Charlie (Charles Louis), and Bertha Gallien are noted as attending The Central School there.

Revisions of the original Solvo embrocation recipe through the 1980s by Kennedy and Simpson. Courtesy of the Hocken Library Collection ref MS-2961/004.

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In 1904 the Frimley Foods company had been established by James Nelson Williams in Hastings and was operational, of which the expansive premises were built by Henry’s company. To gain such a massive contract means that he was reputable and very well established by the early 1900s. It wasn’t long before Frimley Foods had exceeded wildest expectations and by the 1906-7 season it was employing a massive 200 individuals as it produced jams in 1 lb , 2 lb and 7 lb tins, dessert fruits, vegetables, pie fruits, tomato ketchup, tomato sauce, baked beans in tomato sauce, wine, and fruit pulp (mostly sold in bulk to Auckland jam manufacturers). By the early 1910s they had added pickles, spices, baking powder, crystallised lemon peel, marmalade, jelly crystals, fruit mince, and dried peas to the range of products, and most pertinent to our story – fruit cordials. The main Frimley orchard was 145 acres, mainly peaches- a massive area that was bounded by Maraekakaho, Omahu and Ormond roads (Kirkpatrick Park, clearly named for the canning company S. Kirkpatrick & Co that I previously wrote on here, https://longwhitekid.wordpress.com/2012/08/17/branded-with-a-k-kirkpatricks-canny-colossus/ that later purchased Frimley Foods, sits within this).

 Smacked on the hand: Louis seemed to step back from the business fairly soon after this, letting his son Bert (Albert) and then Harry (HLG III) manage the running. Hawera & Normanby Star, 24 January 1922 

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Looking at the satellite mapping around the area of Gallien Street today, in Saint Leonards (obviously the site of the family homestead) not more than a few blocks away is the tellingly named Frimley Park – no doubt where the homestead of Williams was situated once surrounded by 12 acres of orchard gardens. Bordering it are the aptly named Canning, Orchard and Frimley Streets. The factory was in Frimley Avenue on a two acre area. I am sure the success of the business meant rapid expansion kept Henry’s business closely involved with Williams and his Frimley enterprise. However also in 1904, Louis picked up and opened a pharmacy in Dannevirke, not far south-west of his Hastings family – yet it was over before it really got off the ground. Bizarrely, within less than three months Louis had sold the Dannevirke business to a Harry M. Bennett – and left. Nevertheless, he did in that time manage to set things up enough that he produced an embossed chemist bottle with his name; only one example I know of exists and was recorded in an obscure journal by a collector – otherwise we would not know of it.

Korn Kill label, pasted with a 1985 version of the resipe, but probably from the early 1970s. This address was the former Gallien family home a couple of doors down from the pharmacy which became the manufacturing premises for Alandale.  Courtesy of the Hocken Library Collection ref MS-2961/004.

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This data really threw out the story, imagine how it would look jumbled in a slew of records about three related people with exactly the same name – it made no sense at all. What was he suddenly doing in the central North Island? But finally I conjected that Louis moved there from Winton to be closer to his family and it quickly did not work out. Something must have happened to propel this sudden change of plan? It seems that it may have been a court case over some land he owned in the suburb of Frimley, not that far away from his father’s homestead – that was the decider.

This bottle label was pasted into one of the earlier recipe books and clearly the ginger syrup recipe, that Louis later used for Sunrise cordials, was based on it. No doubt the formula was acquired with one of the pre-existing Winton businesses that Louis acquired between 1902-1904, or 1905-1912. Courtesy of the Hocken Library Collection ref MS-2961/002.

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A lengthy article of August 1905 outlines how Louis contracted a Norman L. Gurr as agent to sell thirty acres – which he did. However the tenants – who were growing potatoes and wheat – refused to leave after negotiations broke down, and the new owner was unable to take possession because of this problem. The case was settled in favour of the complainant for 39 pounds,10 shillings. Today that would equal not far off $ NZ 6000.00 just for the settlement, plus court costs. Maybe not an amount that would supposedly break Louis; but in combination with having uprooted and moved two thirds of the way across the country, bought a new house, set up a new enterprise, as well as having invested in a big chunk of land – Losing the much-needed sale of a portion when he probably urgently needed funds ( and whacked with a hefty payout on top of it) may have been the financial tipping point.

NZ Truth, late August 1925. Solvo, along with Exmol, was eventually was distributed throughout Australasia.

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Since Louis was unable to complete the land sale, and was in the red twice over due to having to pay reparation as well – it’s likely he may have not had a choice except to sell his business in Dannevirke immediately to free up some much needed cash, and later make a move to offload the land in Frimley once he got the tenants out, perhaps with a little more palm greasing than the “tenner (that) will get rid of them” – an assumed plan which hadn’t worked previously and had landed him in this mess. It seems he turned around and immediately headed back to Winton for by late 1905 he had an application declined by council to build corrugated iron building on the corner of Wemyss and Great North Roads on land he had purchased (it seems like his run of bad luck wasn’t quite over yet). However things eventually turned around and it was not long before he was back in business as a chemist- and here he stayed after his disastrous North Island foray. through 1908-1910 Louis is listed as the Dominion Drug Co. This was probably the manufacturing business for his products including Gallien’s Emulsion and ink (The Dominion Drug Co that was based in Otago harbour manufacturing fertiliser was not relative), and 1911-1912 saw Louis listed in Winton as writing fluid manufacturer – establishing he stayed in the town that long. Queue his move to Dunedin and the long-running pharmacy there.

On the corner of North Road and Carlyle, the old Gallien’s Pharmacy building still stands today.

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Three doors down from the pharmacy was 27-29 North Road, where the Gallien family resided upstairs until the early 1960s, and it later  became the premises for Alandale Manufacturing in the 1970s and 80s.

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Records show Harry operated the Dunedin pharmacy until 1959 when he passed away. His brother Bert remained until 1963 when he also died, it seems they ran it together until nearly the end. And way to go – in the final year, there is a record of a charge under the Misuse of Drugs Act. A case of “like father, like sons”, it seems. Chemist Alan Hunter took over the business.

This poster was picked out of the dumpster by a former Gallien’s staffer during a big clean-up – and thoughtfully tucked away in a recipe book at home. The fact that it says the product is originally from the north and forty years old, indicates that Louis acquired this formula with his Fielding Pharmacy in 1893-1894 and took it with him. It was a financially rewarding move long-term. Courtesy of Josie Bray.

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A newspaper article listing Louis’s daughter Bessie as winning a prize in a Colgate slogan competition in 1933 noted 29 North Road as the home address. By the mid 1970s a company named Alandale was manufacturing products for Gallien’s from 27 North Road. The building, which was about three lots down the road on the same side, was actually 27-29, says Barry Longstaffe: “27 and 29 was one building – it was double story  and the family lived upstairs.  Louis’s wife, Elisabeth, and Harry were still there when I started in 1959.  I remember a frail little old lady and she used to come downstairs sometimes.  She died not long afterwards, and old Harry died three or four months after I started. After that the house was empty. Under Alan Hunter we started the Alandale Manufacturing business to supply other  pharmacies; olive oil, castor oil, methylated spirits, tablets and the like – and also sold it in our own shop. That would have been in the early to mid 1970s.  The house was turned into space for the manufacturing. It was like a separate business, the guy that looked after the manufacturing side for years was Sydney Todd”. So that explains the details on the White Korn Kill label. It probably also makes some sense of the earlier referral  to a department associated with the business where the manufacturing took place. Around 1972 Hunter then formed a partnership with former apprentice Barry Longstaffe, Alistair Kennedy, and Gordon Simpson, who also had a smaller pharmacy in Pine Hill, the next suburb – which they all took turns looking after. In the mid 1970s Alan Hunter left and Barry Longstaffe departed 1979-1980. Alistair and Pam Kennedy ended up being the next longest owners after they bought Simpson out in the late 1980s- holding onto the business for a significant amount of time until Kennedy passed away in 2000. This is where Chin Loh came into the picture, and stayed until 2008 when the business finished up at that premises for good – having spanned over 105 years. The building is still there, although now a real estate – and in a way Gallien’s still exists in memorial form, across the street – not to be forgotten for the near future thanks to the light up window. Barry Longstaffe remembers: “It was my idea to save that window . That was about the mid 1970s. We decided to rip the whole front window area out because you couldn’t get in there very well to do displays,  and also it  would frost up in the wintertime and the  first job every morning was to squeeze in and wipe the window down – because nobody could see in from the condensation.  So we decided  to replace the front window at the same time and thought that the leadlight could be taken out intact and highlighted in the new pharmacy interior, Our signwriter people did the alterations to it, they were able to box it into the frame and it was put up inside the renovated shop”. 

Managing Director Chin Nan Loh with the original Gallien leadlight window installed in his Unichem Pharmacy, just across North Road from the original building. Image courtesy of and © Chin Nan Loh.

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So although my beautiful labels clearly state that “H. Louis.Gallien, Dunedin” is the manufacturer of the cordials, is it possible that the Frimley factory made the cordials and shipped them to him from their stock of raspberry – as well as pineapple, blackcurrant and lemon that they introduced in 1910? Or did Louis make them himself? Eventually, I disproved this theory by the recipes that were found buried in the Hocken Collection confirming that Louis indeed devised his own formulas for the drink syrups and it had nothing to do at all with Frimley.

As for the Frimley canning company, – it was hit with a massive frost in late 1911, losing an estimated £10,000 and was sold to Kirkpatrick & Co in 1913, a year before Henry’s death. In 1925 it was purchased by Henry Jones Co-op, Ltd, of Australia who sold to Wattie’s in the late 1930s – the behemoth’s first acquisition of someone else’s brand. That’s another story for another time! a a a

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Prologue: I actually completed the bulk of this tale nearly a year ago, and it was the first real investigative piece that I threw myself into and really followed the trail from archives to dumpsters to get the whole story. As such it earmarked a serious turning point for this blog. I was amazed at the things that, with a lot of digging and persistence, I was able to find, especially in important collections – about this Dunedin business of little consequence except that it been in the same family for fifty years. This point in its self was not all that remarkable. What was remarkable, however, was that so many things had been retained and preserved, although scattered. A lot of this was just the kind of chance stuff that either makes a story or breaks it. As such I have quite a list of people to give my appreciation to who helped make this story happen, which follows below.

Thanks to former employees of Gallien’s Josie Bray (1979-2000) and Janice Sew Hoy (1983-2001). Pam Kennedy, Barry Longstaffe and Chin Nan Loh, former owners of Gallien’s Pharmacy. Jill and Alan Griffith for glass and bottle images; Jill Haley, archivist from the Otago Settler’s Museum, Dunedin City Council; Judith Clarke, Display Artist/Cataloguer, Otago Medical Alumni’s Medical and Pharmacy Museum; Faculty of Medicine, University of Otago; James Windle , Professional Practice Fellow, New Zealand’s National School of Pharmacy Archives, University of Otago. Lorraine Johnston from the Heritage Collection at Dunedin Public Libraries; and Kate Guthrie, Assistant Archivist, Archives & Manuscripts, the Hocken Library, Delwyn Lone of Funeral Notices database, Lisa Truttman of Timespanner, and Anita De Soto.

All content of Longwhitekid copyright Darian Zam © 2012. All rights reserved.

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Gallien Strychnine Antidote edit desaturated SML Addendum Feb 2013: This tin came up on Trade Me last week. It contained the Strychnine Antidote  that Barry Longstaffe mentioned in his interview – when listing off the long roster of Gallien products that were being produced when he began his tenure. There’s a couple of interesting things here. Given that the tin is marked with Albert Gallien’s name only, lends some credence to the memory of Barry’s that Bert’s brother Harry was perhaps never fully qualified as a pharmacist. In my research I never ran across a second middle name for Albert so I have no idea what the W. stands for. The tin was obviously produced at some time between 1936-1963, but probably dates from some time in the 1950s, however I have no awareness of the history of Strychnine in New Zealand – and at which time it fell out of favour – which may narrow the likely date. Also, I was interested that the area was already being referred to as “The Gardens” back then;  as it sounded like the sort of  faux-cutesy corporate name people that build malls come up with – so I assumed it was quite a recent advent and came about when they built the new shopping centre there. 

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Addendum May 2013: This brown glass  apothecary jar from Kinder’s stretch at 19 Main Street, North East Valley – between 1902-1912 – popped up on Trade Me this week.

W Kinder north East Valley Gardens copy  smaller