1850s

1859 Wild rabbits released by Thomas Austin

In 1859, Grazier Thomas Austin released 12 pairs of wild rabbits on his property Barwon Park at Winchelsea in Victoria's…

1858 Café de Paris restaurant opened in Melbourne

The Café de Paris restaurant was among the earliest European-style restaurants to open in Melbourne, although four-penny, six-penny and shilling restaurants…

1857 First reference to the counter lunch

In 1857, newspapers in Melbourne carried advertisements for Gregory's Tavern and Restaurant at the Hall of Commerce Hotel, announcing the…

1857 Swan Brewery founded in Perth

In 1857, Frederick Sherwood founded the Swan Brewery on the banks of the Swan River. After his death in 1874,…

1856 Melbourne’s first Spanish restaurant

In 1856 an establishment called the Spanish Restaurant was operating in Elizabeth Street, Melbourne. It seems that it was a…

1855 Murray cod commercial fishery

The Moira Lake Fishing Company (later known as the Murray River Fishing Company) was founded by Joseph Waldo Rice in…

1855 James Harrison patents refrigeration system

Newspaper proprietor James Harrison, of Geelong in Victoria, was among the pioneers of refrigeration. He created Australia's first vapour-compression refrigeration system…

1854 Australia’s first biscuit company

Swallow and Ariell claimed to be the first biscuit company in Australia. The company was founded by Thomas Swallow in…

1854 John Alloo opens Chinese restaurant

Although cookshops operated by Chinese immigrants had no doubt existed earlier, it seems that the first documented Chinese restaurant was…

1854 First Victorian railway refreshment room

In Victoria, railway refreshment rooms are as old as the railways themselves. The first railway, constructed by the Melbourne and Hobson's…

1853 Paddle steamers on the Murray

River navigation became an important way to transport goods and supplies to and from farming districts. The first of the…

1853 First gas stoves in Australia

The first U.S. patent on a gas stove was granted in 1825 and the first English patent in 1826 but…

1853 Origins of Balfours bakery

Famous for frog cakes,  square pies and custard tarts, as well as the cafés they ran in Adelaide for many…

1852 Vegetable garden on Victorian goldfields

As men deserted their farms to try their luck at the goldfields, production of food in Victoria fell dramatically. Food…

1851 Gold rush brings immigrants

Gold was discovered in New South Wales in 1851, initiating Australia's first gold rush. Subsequent discoveries in Victoria attracted immigrants…

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