Historical information

This bottle has been produced in the Epsom factory of the Bendigo Pottery works and used by Alfred Darby for bottling his ginger beer in the late 1890s. In 1897 Alfred Darby leased the cordial factory in Henna Street,Warrnambool, formerly the McSweeney Cordial Factory (and today the Alderdice Brass Foundry). He used the Maltese Cross as his logo on his bottles. He also had a cordial factory in Rochester, Victoria about the same time. In 1899 Alfred Darby advertised that he had re-located his cordial business to the old ‘Echo’ newspaper building in Koroit Street but it is not known whether the business opened there or if it did, for how long.


This ceramic bottle is of interest as one of the late 19th century bottles used by Alfred Darby, a soft drinks manufacturer in Warrnambool. Cordial manufacturing was an important industry in Warrnambool for over 100 years.

Physical description

This is a ceramic brown and buff-coloured ginger beer bottle. It has a black logo in the shape of a Maltese Cross stamped on one side and the maker’s name etched into the clay near the base. It has no stopper and the main body of the bottle is somewhat stained.

Inscriptions & markings

‘A. Darby Henna Street Warrnambool’
‘The Bendigo Pottery Coy. Pty. Ltd. Epsom Bendigo’