Archive for the ‘Bycroft Biscuits’ Category

Gettin’ ‘Round To It

In Bernard Roundhill, Butland Industries, Bycroft Biscuits, Cargill canned foods, Carr Advertising Studios, Crest Fine Foods, Diamond O-Tis, Fred Carr, Highlander condensed milk, History Always Repeats, Innes drinks, Koefoeds condiments, Nestlé, Nyal, Oak, Palmolive-Colgate, Persil, Peter the Pilot, The Mirror magazine, Thompson & Hills, Timaru Milling Co, Yates seeds on October 29, 2015 at 10.46

1 Nyal Milk of Magnesia POS prob Roundhill sml

One of a series of Nyal point-of-sale display cards of the early 1950s. A series of them turned up for grabs at auction, but whether they were all by Roundhill or some were done by another artist in the series – remains unconfirmed. Certainly this highly airbrushed style was a trademark of his, as we know.


I have had a very busy year, so obviously I’ve had little time to put up new stories for the most part. I haven’t posted anything since February, my bad – and the time has just slipped away. Even my page on Facebook, History Always Repeats, has slowed down quite a bit (although the membership is increasing rapidly anyway). My previous semester was totally frustrating and as a result mentally exhausting (mostly due to the complete disorganization of others) and after it was done I just didn’t want to know about anything for a while.
This is the first time I have had a break since late 2010 when I started Longwhitekid – so perhaps it’s just a natural progression; that’s how it feels. I’ve written at least 175 stories during that time including magazine articles which is quite a lot. A rest is always good – even if it’s unexpected. And this break from publishing was not at all planned, however when I return in a few weeks there will be some big changes afoot.

So it’s probably all part of an inevitable reboot that has been coming for a while, anyway. Things just need to change about the way I am doing this if it is to continue. It doesn’t mean I haven’t been researching and writing; but arranging the actual posts is a lot of work in its self and my focus is elsewhere right now as I finish up on the manuscript, that I have mentioned on and off for the last four years. So the Longwhitekid project is far from over; I am still enthused and have a long list of topics I’d like to tackle.

In the meantime here is a collection of further images by Bernard Roundhill that have come into my possession (this is not all of them, just a portion from this most prolific designer which keep turning up, or I suddenly realise after years – that something I’ve had all along is by him). The original article, which has been incredibly well received, was ‘Unblemished Record’ and can be found here. And I hate to blow my own horn but it is the definitive article on him (although Richard Wolfe’s one was pretty good).  I have also updated fifteen or so other past stories – although there is still lots to do in this respect. This will have to be adequate for now.

Sweet Little Lies: The Curious Sally Lunn
I’ve added an advert from a Pahiatua 1950s publication which sheds more light on the timeline of this sweet treat’s history in Aotearoa.

Elbe’s Ice Cream: The Plot Thickens
I am in receipt of family photos including pictures of the brand’s proponent, Fred Elbe (Jr.), so we finally get to see what he looked like – as opposed to his Dad – which was the best I could do at the time of publishing.

Bite Size: Piccin’ Bones
An earlier popping corn on the market, named ‘Fun’, may have had some bearing on the background of this brand.

A Frosty Phenomenon
I’ve added some boxes that have been kindly lent to me from Hocken collection by ephemera librarian Katherine Milburn.

We Bring The Flavour
An image has come to light of an Uncle’s branch on Queen Street, Auckland, as well as a better picture of paper Cola cups by Carton Specialties.

When Lactose Goes
I’ve added a few boxes and adverts as well as images of two cream cans that flesh out the story of this brand somewhat.

Bite Size: Frisco Candy Kitchen
I came into a lot of extra information on photographer and confectioner Swales, which clarified this story. So I have rewritten it a bit. Oh, and there’s a nice colour postcard of K Road showing his store.

Bite Size: Beats Me
A paper wrapper from an Australian ‘Beatall’ tin raises some questions about Nestlé’s potential involvement in this brand.

Bite Size: Cruel Candy
I’ve added six Allen’s wrapper designs for different lines, which I remember being on the market through the 1980s.

Somewhat Wireless, But Not Brainless
A ‘Safety First’ board game appeared recently featuring the character (whose name I had wrong) so I have made adjustments to images to reflect this,  and added some more.

Iced VoVos: Who Did It First?
Two rarely seen adverts from 1960 featuring this iconic biscuit cropped up so I decided to add them to this story for posterity, although it still doesn’t shed any light on the historical mystery.

Projecting The Past
I’ve added more images of Wattie’s pea can novelty promotional lighters. I still love this collection as I consider it one of the best lots I’ve ever snagged from a Trade Me auction.

Coupon Conquest
An advert for a swap club advert from a newspaper changes the way I’ve been looking at these fundraisers thus far. Many more versions of these swap sets have also turned up lately in the Hocken collection and at auction, yet some particular swaps from more common competition sets remain totally elusive to date.

Native Talent
A yet unseen 1937 book by A.W..B. Powell turned up at auction a while back, so I have included it here. Did this man ever release a book with an ugly cover? Nope, apparently not.



2a Oak - Bartlett Pears label - Mike Davidson - poss Roundhill art edit copy sml

Those pears are undeniable: A can label for Thompson & Hills’s ‘OAK’ brand Bartletts, probably dating from the late 1950s-early 1960s. Image courtesy Mike Davidson collection.


2b Persil card advert poster found in Blenheim shop roof cavity Whitcombe & Tombs Ltd poss Bernard Roundhill copy

A large point-of-sale display card advert for Persil dating from the late 1940s to early 1950s. I’m actually a little confused about what’s going on here with these two. Anyone? 


3 KOEFOEDS Chutney in Jar – Bycroft Boy POS - Bernard Roundhill artwork copy

L: A label for the H.L. Koefoed brand of chutney. This was probably their last gasp in the 1960s; they’d been around making sauces for eighty years at least by this point. Included is goop which is fifty year old condiment. I’ll pass, thanks.
R: The second, later version of the ‘Bycroft Boy’ with the trademark ‘Droste effect’ or, formally ‘mise en abyme‘ which was also a feature of the earlier version by Leslie Bertram Rykers in the 1920s. 


7 Cargill canned Rabbit, 1936-1955 By S Ward (N.Z.) Ltd 1 poss Roundhill

Ward’s ‘Cargill’ brand whole tinned rabbit, made between 1936 and 1955. Image courtesy of the Alexander Turnbull Library collection, ref Eph-A-MEAT-1940s-01. Artist is unknown but we can assume it is Roundhill’s work.


8 YATES MIONARCH PEA COLELCTION New Zealand Herald, , 14 September 1940, Page 9 edit

I always wondered what the unspecified ‘Monarch’ was exactly, in Roundhill’s list of known jobs. I had decided that, being a rather common name, it was either shoes, smallgoods or irons. However it turns out it was a line of pea seeds under a long-term client of Roundhill’s; Yates. This advert from the  New Zealand Herald, September 1940. Image courtesy of the National Library of New Zealand.


9 Bernard Roundhill Girl Skating Magazine Cover prob for mirror 1951 Te Papa regno CA000660 fs 001 fs 0005

‘Girl Skating’, magazine cover probably for The Mirror, Bernard Roundhill, 1951. Image courtesy of The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa collection, reg no CA000660/001/0005. It’s good to see more items from their extensive collection of Roundhill’s work finally going up online in recent months. 


9a Bernard Roundhill Original design for Oak meat pie says CREST 1959 Te Papa re no CA000663 fs 001 fs 0002 edit copy

Original design for OAK meat pie packaging, by Bernard Roundhill, 1959. However, it clearly says Butland’s Crest Foods on the artwork.  It was likely done just post the Unilever ownership changeover in this year when they expanded the product range. Both Crest and OAK were longstanding clients. However I have no evidence the latter ever made pies. Image courtesy of The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa collection, reg no CA000663/001/0002


9b INNES soft drink BOTTLES labels prob by Brnard Roundhill copy

Six different soft drink labels created by Roundhill for C.L. Innes & Co in the mid-1950s. Several more are in The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa collection here, including the ‘Jaffajuice’ one. 


9c Nyal family medicine display unit, ordered by Frederick Stearns, Stearns and Co, manufacturing chemist 1947 Clifton Firth edit

Nyal’s Figsen laxative display unit, for Frederick Stearns and Co, manufacturing chemist, with a point-of-sale display card from a series probably by Bernard Roundhill. Photo by Clifton Firth, 1950s. Image Courtesy of  Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries Heritage Images, ref 34-S502.


9d Nyal Throat Tabs POS Showboard EDIT poss Bernard Roundhill

A series of Nyal point-of-sale display cards of the early 1950s. A series of them turned up at auction, but whether they were all by Roundhill or some were done by another artist in the series – remains unconfirmed. 


4 PETER THE PILOT’S NZ CARD ALBUMS 1939 Bernard Roundhill edir copy

A Peter the Pilot album of 1939 by Timaru Milling. It’s said Roundhill created the character and illustrated him, at least to start with; however there is now some debate whether he or Carr, another employee at Coulls Somerville Wilkie, came up with it. Certainly Carr worked on the account in the 1940s through to the 1950s and some of the early Peter Pilot stuff looks like his style more than Roundhill’s – there’s always been a question mark hanging over it. That said, early days and developing skills, I guess.


5 highlander condensed milk label - front 1970s 1980s prob Bernard Roundhill - crop

The Highlander milk can label, with the classic design by Roundhill in his typical dark blue linework, remained in use for decades. I really should have included this with the original article; it is along with the Air New Zealand koru, and the Teachatot box one of the images by him completely ingrained in the consciousness of many Kiwis – and as such one of the consummate iconic works of his large oeuvre. 


6 Palmolive Shaving Cream Original Litho by Chandler and cO 1950's 52 x 26 cm poss Bernard Roundill edit copy

A card point-of-sale display by Chandler and Co from a series of lithographs done for Palmolive-Colgate  products, probably by Roundhill, circa late 1940s-early 1950s. It’s possible Bernard Roundhill worked for Chandler when he moved to Auckland around 1946; he was known to have worked for a now unknown advertising concern for a short time, before striking out on his own. However which business that was exactly has been lost to time.





All content of Longwhitekid copyright Darian Zam © 2015. All rights reserved.

Taking Time Back: Wilcock’s Teas

In Bycroft Biscuits, Laurie Wilcock, T L Wilcock Company Limited, Tea, Thomas Lowrey Wilcock, wholesale, Wilcock's Celebrated English Breakfast Tea, Wilcock's Fragrant Tea Depot, Wilcock's Headache Tea, Wilcock's Teas on June 24, 2013 at 10.46

Wilcock's wholesale tea EDIT Wises Directory from 1970

Wilcock’s Tea warehouse in Nelson Street, Auckland Central, late 1960s.


Given that I am not going to know what has hit me over the next eight months, I am planning on some short and sweet posts rather than drop off the face of the planet. This opportunity presented its self yesterday when my friend Lisa Truttman of Timespanner sent me a scan from the Wises Directory of 1970, which she ran across while she was researching for a talk she is giving next month. She sent it to me thinking it may pique my interest. It did. I had never heard of Wilcock’s Tea before and I think you readers here have well and truly realised that I do like these obscure, forgotten things most of all.So inspired by Lisa’s “one afternoon photo challenge” as I have dubbed it, featured in her post A Baby’s Life, in which she set herself the task to find out as much as she could in one session about an anonymous photo – I set myself an even tighter “one hour challenge” to see what I could find out about Wilcock’s Teas. Surprisingly, quite a lot actually. Certainly more than I was hoping for (I was anticipating nothing).

My first stop was the government records on the off-chance that it may tell me something about the business. First hit gave up a Thomas Lowrey/Laurie Wilcock , a retired tea merchant who passed away in 1943. So was it Lowrey or Laurie? I mean, surely someone had to be a bit more definite about the details. Apparently it was both.

Taranaki Herald 15 October 1887 Page edit copy

Taranaki Herald, 15 October 1887Courtesy of the National Library of New Zealand.


He was born in 1855 to William Wilcock, a miner, and Elizabeth Lowrey, at either Ulverston or Dalton-in-Furness (the towns were next to each other and data conflicts), Lancashire, England. He had three brothers and two sisters. He started his career as a quarryman, and then in 1871, at sixteen years old, started working as a tea blender. He lived in Dalton for a time, then married in Barrow-On-Furness in June 1876 to a Hannah Lush. They lived in Dalton-in-Furness until they left for New Zealand that year, arriving in December.

Wilcock's wholesale tea Wises Directory from 1970 copy

By July 1879 he was working for Prudential Life Insurance in Hobson Street as a collector, but went out on his own before the year was out. He was dealing tea by 1880 in south-central Auckland and now referring to himself as Laurie Wilcock, a corruption of his middle name. Wilcock’s Celebrated English Breakfast Tea was being advertised by this year. Over those few years, his first wife had three children die in infancy , as well as one stillborn.
By 1881 they are living on the corner of Oxford and Randall Streets Newton, when Hannah left him, and lived at various boarding houses around the inner city. Soon after she had a child to a C.E. Forder, with whom she had been carrying on an affair and was now shacked up with. The couple divorced due to his wife’s adultery with Forder in 1883, the article about their divorce case goes on and on in lurid detail about their every move (except the horizontal ones, thankfully).

Auckland Star 27 September 1890 Page 1

Auckland Star, 27 September 1890, Page 1. Courtesy of the National Library of New Zealand.


Wilcock, not moping about at all, remarried to Mary Price Roberts the same year. The Karangahape Highway Board Valuation Book of March shows Freehold House on Lot 99 – 5 x 1 occupied by him.
By 1890 he was running “Wilcock’s Fragrant Tea Depot” on Karangahape Road next to Forrester’s Hall, where his main modus operandi as far as advertising was offering free cups of tea to all along with Bycroft biscuits to get punters in the door. He also launched Wilcock’s Headache Tea around this time. He moved on from K Road early 1892. By 1896 he has changed the spelling of his government name to Thomas Laurie Wilcock.
In 1911 he is living in Randolf Street, Eden Terrace at the same address as his business premises, and later has a residence at Dominion Road but still has a shop in Randolf Street, where besides tea he also sold bulk goods, soups, and coffee.
His second wife died in 1919, having borne him three sons and five daughters in total. He later moved to a different address on Dominion Road. As a member of the Church of Christ through the late 1880s to the late 1930s, there are a plethora of public notices as he constantly preached and gave lectures on religious topics such as “Is Christianity a Failure?” (I could have told him it is not a failure of imagination , but a failure of fact, and saved him the time ruminating on the topic).

Evening Post 22 June 1889 Page 3 edit

As Laurie Wilcock he gave various sermons in Auckland as well as  Wellington, and possibly travelling to other cities as well. The “Witch of Endor” all sounds very “Narnia “, and indeed she was a bit mystical, being a sorceress from the Books of Samuel, part of the old Testament. You can read more about her here. Evening Post, 22 June 1889. Page 3. Courtesy of the National Library of New Zealand.


After he died, things get a little fuzzy about what happened with the business.

His son Edward Laurie Wilcock (1885-1957) became a dentist, and travelled back and forth between the U.S. He possibly took over the business in later years as by 1938 he seemed to back in NZ living in Parnell permanently. The other son Leslie Thomas Wilcock (1897-), seems to have been around until at least 1949 when he took off to Fielding to become the secretary of the racecourse and was living on the grounds. He lived in various places until his death but never back in Auckland again.

Miss Phyllis Wilcock Sir George Grey Special Collections 1920-1929

“A portrait of Miss Phyllis Wilcock.” Thought to have been taken some time between 1920-1929, this is likely Thomas Laurie Wilcock’s granddaughter Phyllis Minne Wilcock, b. 1910, Auckland.  Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, ref 601-H183-50-AB.


Looking at the other children (Henry Samuel – who died in infancy in 1887, Ivy Muriel Wilcock 1888, Dorothy Minnie 1892-1993, Marjorie Phyllis 1894-1984, and Myrtle Madeline 1899-1978) it was only Elsie Ruth Wilcock (1890-1976) who stayed steadfast in her devotion, living with her father always, and inherited the house and highly probably the business as well. I am simply making the usual assumption that it was traditional for the sons to take up the mantle of the business – but that is not necessarily that case.
Records of 1954 show the company gutting of T L Wilcock Company Limited‘s Auckland offices. Interestingly, Elsie’s husband Edmund George Paltridge died the year before in 1953. I think I have my answer as to what happened.

Auckland Star19 November 1890 Page 1

Auckland Star, 19 November 1890, Page 1. Courtesy of the National Library of New Zealand.


It’s likely that they had sold the business to another party who carried on in wholesale. The building in Nelson Street that is shown in the ad of the early 1970s is now long gone and is a tower of new apartments, of course. The end. Or maybe not; I keep coming back to the fact that the first wife had a string of infants die, then as soon as she has a fling with some other bloke she’s up the duff and there’s no problem. Really, what are the chances of that? Clearly Mr. Wilcock (I only now see the pun) was not at fault here. I just find the odds curious. There was so much more about his early, life but there was that self-imposed time limit.

All content of Longwhitekid copyright Darian Zam © 2013. All rights reserved.