Historical information

In 1873, English grocer James Griffiths migrated to Melbourne with his wife and cousin in order to start a tea business. By 1875 Griffiths Brothers Teas had become a sensation, providing tea, coffee, cocoa and chocolate all over Australia. The Sydney outlet of the Melbourne-based company was built in 1915.
In a memorable advertising campaign, a series of Griffiths signs were situated at varying intervals along the rail lines on fences and building, designed to allow travellers to count down the miles until they could drink up. In 1925, James Griffiths was killed by a train and the tea company was sold to Robur Tea, which itself lasted until 1974. Griffiths’ death meant downsizing within the company with the Sydney building being transferred to the Sydney City Council, who then leased it back to Griffiths Teas. The tea craze was over by 1965, and Griffiths relinquished control of the building to a variety of tenants.


Griffiths tea became an intrical part of Australian life, during the late 19th to mid 20th century. The company became a household name through the clever use of outdoor advertising with their blue and white enamel “Griffiths Tea” signs. These were visible Australia wide on railway fences, stations and other buildings. Griffiths signs let the rail travelers know the distance to where their tea could be enjoyed, with distances being shown as “miles to Griffiths Tea”, These signs were well known along the eastern states railway lines.

Physical description

Tea container tin Griffiths blue tin with round lid, not hinged. 7lbs net

Inscriptions & markings

Choice Tea Griffith Bros 7lb net in white on a blue label