Historical information

Stoneware or pottery canisters were widely used throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries for storing and preserving a wide range of kitchen food ingredients. Bendigo Pottery was established in 1858 and is Victoria's oldest working pottery. It was founded by George Duncan Guthrie (1828–1910) who abandoned his potter’s wheel in Scotland to join the Australian gold rush. He found a clay deposit perfectly suited for the production of ceramics, so returned to his former profession as a master potter. The population explosion created by the Australian gold rush resulted in an increased demand for all kinds of locally manufactured goods. The Bendigo Pottery became one of regional Victoria’s most important industrial enterprises. By the late 1800s the Pottery was making all kinds of household wares. One of its most popular lines was the mass produced, affordable and functional earthenware such as these canisters.


These items are significant on a state and national level due to the importance of Bendigo pottery as a major Victorian manufacturer whose products were widely used in Australian homes.

Physical description

A group of 3 stoneware and ceramic canisters of assorted sizes. The tallest canister bears the Bendigo Pottery makers mark. The flour canister with the lid and the third canister are unmarked. Similar canister were produced by several companies in the early to mid 20th century. They were commonly used for storing flour, salt and other commodities.

Inscriptions & markings

At bottom of largest canister "BENDIGO POTTERY" above straight line