Historical information

This bottle comes from the Warrnambool aerated waters factory of Ralph Reeves. This business was established in Koroit Street, Warrnambool in the 1860s as the Union Cordial Factory by John Davis and then bought by John Fletcher in 1885. Fletcher’s business continued until 1930 when it was bought by Ralph Reeves. Coming to Warrnambool about 1900 Reeves had managed a Banyan Street, Warrnambool factory which had been established by John Rowley. Reeves was joined by his son Reg in Warrnambool and Reg operated the business from 1946 to 1972. The trade name of Reeves was still used after Reg Reeves died in the early 1970s and continued on for some years.


This bottle is of interest as an example of an early Reeves bottle. We have few Reeves bottles with the original paper labels. Cordial manufacturing in Warrnambool was an important industry for over 100 years.

Physical description

This is a clear glass bottle with a rounded base and rounded body tapering to a short round neck with a moulded glass top at the opening. The screw stopper is black and made of composite material. The inside of the bottle is discoloured. The details of the manufacturer of the contents are impressed into the glass on the side and there is a paper label pasted on the side of the bottle (black, red, yellow tonings)

Inscriptions & markings

‘R.V. Reeves’ (x2) 34’
‘Lemonade Warrnambool Cordials Pty Ltd’
‘Bottle not complete without stopper’
‘This bottle is the property of Warrnambool Cordials Pty Ltd Warrnambool’
‘Please replace stopper, Reeves lemonade, sparkling & refreshing, R.J. Reeves Warrnambool, bottle 2d. deposit’