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Phoenix Fireworks Sales Poster

From the Collection of Sunshine and District Historical Society Incorporated HUNT CLUB, 775 Ballarat Road, Deer Park 3023 SUNSHINE LIBRARY, McCracken Street, Sunshine 3020 Deer Park and Sunshine Victoria

Description
Colour printed paper sales poster which is laminated within a glossy plastic film. The poster shows a happy caricature boy flying through the night sky while sitting on a large sky rocket. The sky is full of exploding fireworks, and on the ground several happy caricature children are letting off fireworks.
Size
48 cm (H) X 35 cm (W)
Object Registration
171
Keywords
phoenix, fireworks, crackers, sky rockets, sales poster, guy fawkes, empire day
Historical information
There were at least two different coloured sales posters depicting the same images, a yellow poster and a grey poster. It is unknown whether these were in use at the same time or whether one type preceded the other. Repaired images of the two posters placed side by side can be seen in the 2nd photo. The repair work was done by a volunteer at our Society with the aid of Microsoft Paint.

Fireworks were manufactured in Sunshine Victoria from the early 1890's by the PHOENIX FIREWORKS CO. The factory was located a short distance to the north of Ballarat Rd, on the corner of Phoenix St and McIntyre Rd, North Sunshine. For safety reasons the factory consisted of small separated huts to minimise the damage in case one blew up. Images of the factory and the workers from Circa 1920's can be seen in the 3rd and 4th photos.

Fireworks were readily sold by shops to the general public, including children, for celebrating Empire Day on May 24 and Guy Fawkes Day on November 5. Because of injuries, damages, and fires, sales to the general public of exploding fireworks such as bangers and crackers, were banned in Victoria in 1974. By 1982 sales of other fireworks, except for items such as sparklers, were also banned. Despite the bans some of the public still manages to obtain fireworks from other sources to this day, as evidenced by the many discharges on each New Year eve. The factory no longer exists and ironically part of the site is now occupied by the Metropolitan Fire Brigade and several small businesses, including a smash repair business and a tyre retailer.
Significance
The poster shows the attitude that previously existed, where children and the general public could readily purchase and legally discharge fireworks. For safety reasons this attitude is now frowned upon by the authorities.
Inscriptions & Markings
PHOENIX FIREWORKS SOLD HERE
Last updated
last Monday at 10:05PM