1910s

1917 The Berliner becomes the Kitchener Bun

Kitchener bunDuring World War I, the antipathy towards all things German even extended to food. In South Australia, the popular doughnut-like bun called a Berliner was renamed as a Kitchener Bun. It is unique to South Australia, no doubt part of the State’s strong German heritage. More

1916 World’s first self-service grocery store

Piggly Wiggly self-service grocery store logoThe world’s first self-service grocery store, Piggly Wiggly, opened in Memphis Tennesee. Clarence Saunders, the founder of Piggly Wiggly, claimed to be the first to give shoppers “better value through high volume and low profit margin food retailing”. At Piggly Wiggly they price-marked every item, provided check-outs where customers paid for their goods, put employees in uniforms and franchised independent grocers to operate self-service grocery stores. There are still more than 600 Piggly Wiggly stores operating in theUnited States.

1916 Copha trade mark registered

Copha trade markThe Copha trade mark was applied to a shortening made from coconut oil and was registered by Lever Brothers, the forerunner of Unilever. The oil was extracted from copra, imported from the Pacific islands. Sydney was an important hub for the copra trade, with much of the resulting oil used for soap manufacture.  The brand is currently owned by Peerless Foods and is unique to Australia. Along with Kellogg’s Rice Bubbles, it is an essential ingredient of Chocolate Crackles, a popular treat for children’s parties.

1916 Kraft Cheddar process patented

James L Kraft

James L Kraft

James L Kraft was an American cheese merchant who wanted to produce a cheese with better keeping qualities. His pasteurised, emulsified product, Kraft Cheddar was developed in 1915, the process patented in 1916 and in 1917 the first batch of Kraft canned cheese was supplied to the US Armed forces. Kraft’s invention of a cheese that could be stored indefinitely was an advance in technology, but perhaps not in flavour.

1916 Six o’clock closing, Victoria, NSW and Tasmania

When six o’clock closing was introduced for pubs in Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania  it led to grumblings about the ‘six o’clock rush’. The term ‘six o’clock swill ‘ did not emerge until the 1940s, after WWII. Thanks to the ‘wowsers’, an Australian term which came to mean one who condemned the pleasure of others,  six o’clock closing prevailed in some states until the 1960s, despite many Australians’ deep distrust of those who didn’t drink.

1915 Fowlers Vacola home bottling kits

Fowlers Vacola lidsAlthough the Fowlers Vacola name came later, Joseph Fowler began selling his home bottling kits in 1915. Initially, the kits were sold from a cart until the J. Fowler & Co. shop was established in 1920. Fowlers Vacola Manufacturing Co. Ltd. was registered in 1934 and the fruit and vegetable bottling kits became a feature of depression-era kitchens.

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1915 First soldier settler legislation

During and after WWI, soldier settler schemes were initiated to provide a livelihood for returning servicemen.  Five years after the war ended, around nine million hectares had been allocated  to returned servicemen, establishing 23,000 farms across Australia. Much of the land was marginal and the failure rate was high; in Victoria by 1939, 60 per cent had left their blocks. The schemes were revived after WWII, with a somewhat better success rate.
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1915 Six o’clock closing introduced in South Australia

Six o’clock closing was introduced for pubs in South Australia in 1915. The temperance movement was successful in getting new laws passed that required pubs to close at six o’clock, arguing that a “well-ordered, self-disciplined and morally upright home front was a precondition for the successful prosecution of the war.”  The result was a change in architecture that let publicans hose out tiled pubs after closing time.

1914 Earnest Hillier makes first Australian chocolates

Hillier's Chocolates advertisementAfter running what he claimed to be Australia’s first soda fountain at Sydney’s Imperial Skating Rink, Earnest Hillier opened his store in Pitt Street where he began manufacturing chocolate. The signature red chocolate box appeared in 1916. Hillier’s transferred operations to Melbourne in 1934 and for many years operated a soda fountain at the Regent Theatre.  In the mid ’90s Hillier’s was bought by supermarket proprietors Piedimontes who expanded the business by acquiring the Newman’s Chocolate company, established in 1924.  Hillier’s has now been sold to British investment company Re:Capital.

1914 Commonsense Cookery Book

commonsense cookery book 1937The first issue of the Commonsense Cookery Book was produced by the NSW Public School Cookery Teachers Association in 1914 and published by Angus and Robertson. It has been through many editions since, constantly being revised to reflect changing tastes and traditions of cookery. A centenary edition was published in 2014. More

1913 Pumpkin scones recipe published

Pumpkin SconesAlthough pumpkins (or their seeds) arrived in Australia with the First Fleet and scones had their origin in Scotland sometime in the 1500s, the first recipes for pumpkin scones appeared in the early 20th century. Almost certainly, home cooks were producing them before The Queenslander printed a recipe in 1913, as the Beenleigh Show had a special pumpkin scone category in 1914. More

1910 Bulla Dairy Foods founded

Bulla was first established by Thomas Sloan as the Bulla Cream Company in Moonee Ponds, Melbourne. Thomas had invented a new method of thickening cream,  pasteurising it by standing open cream cans in coppers fired by wood.  Thomas Sloan was joined in the business by other family members. The company remains Australian-owned and is operated by three inter-related families. Bulla’s manufacturing operations  in Colac began in 1921. Bulla is currently (2012) the top-selling ice cream in Australian supermarkets, according to Roy Morgan research.