Historical information

This bottle was used as a form of advertising for the Wodonga Business of Samuel Mason.

Samuel Mason was born at Bethnal Green, a suburb of London in 1824. He came to Australia via California, landing in Sydney in 1847. After a return to the California goldfields Samuel returned to Australia, arriving in Albury, NSW in 1855. He opened a bakery in Albury, and also commenced the manufacture of ginger beer for which he gained a reputation across Australia. Mr Mason continued in business in Albury for some time, but he established himself in Wodonga c1857, continuing a branch business in Albury. Twice a month in the early days Mr Mason walked to Beechworth for the purpose of transacting business. Occasionally he was summoned to attend the Beechworth courts as a juror.

In 1901 Mr Mason retired from business, handing over the reins to his only son, Mr Samuel Mason Jr. who continued the aerated water business for some years. In about 1920 the business changed hands, being take over by E. Bartel. Samuel Mason Sr. died on 6 April 1908 and is buried in Wodonga.

Mr. Mason Jr. was a prominent townsman. For some years he was a councillor of the Town Riding of the Wodonga Shire Council. He was also the first chairman of the Wodonga Water Trust in 1908.
Samuel Mason Jr. moved to Melbourne in March 1920, primarily due to failing health. He died on 6 February 1929 and was interred in Melbourne.


This bottle has strong local significance as it is representative of one of the earliest businesses established in Wodonga in the 1850s which operated until c1920. The business continued after 1920 under different ownership and names.

Physical description

2 earthenware pottery bottles manufactured by Bendigo Pottery and imprinted with the business brand of S. Mason, Wodonga. One bottle still contains a marble as part of the Codd sealing system to prevent gas from the ginger beer seeping out and the drink going flat. The bottles

Inscriptions & markings

Within two elliptical circles are painted (in freehand) "S. MASON" in the top half and "WODONGA" in the bottom half. These are separated by an asterisk on both sides. A large "S" overlaid by a similarly large "M" is within the inner circle.
2nd bottle also includes "BREWED GINGER BEER" above the brand.

At bottom of bottle 1 "PINNACLE BRAND"
At bottom of bottle 2 in an oval shape: "THE BENDIGO POTTERY CO./ EPSOM/BENDIGO"