The bad luck of Mr. F.H Brown

A fascinating link to Orange’s past is presented by a glass cordial bottle with the name ‘F.H BROWN EAST ORANGE’ moulded on the front.  Held in Orange Regional Museum’s collection, the bottle was found in the East Orange Channel by Orange City Council staff during works undertaken in 2016.

Glass cordial bottle, ‘F.H BROWN EAST ORANGE’, found in the East Orange Channel during works in 2016. ORM2016/227  Orange Regional Museum collection

Mr. F.H Brown was not Orange’s luckiest man, his cordial factory on Autumn Street in East Orange was up for sale in September 1914. However the sale did not go ahead as another article published by the Orange Leader reports his breach of the industrial act in July 1915. F.H Brown was fined for failing to keep time sheets and for pay sheets not being correctly written. His defense was that they were most likely placed in the waste paper basket.  Found guilty Mr. Brown was fined £1.

Bad luck continued when Mr. F.H Brown’s cordial factory was destroyed by fire on Friday 13th December 1918. £1050 (over $50,000 in today’s money) worth of damage was done to the factory and machinery.

The fire seems to have been the final nail in the coffin for Mr. Brown as between February 1919 and late 1920 notices for the sale of a car, carts, wagons, scales, pumps and pipes were advertised in the local paper.

The bottle is a codd design that was used for carbonated drinks. This type of bottle is closed by a glass marble in the neck and a rubber seal in the lip. The bottles were filled upside down and the pressure of the carbonated drink closed the marble against the rubber seal. When opened the marble would fall into a larger chamber in the neck allowing the drink to be poured.

Because of the inclusion of the marble many of these bottles were broken after use to retrieve the marble for children’s entertainment. The bottle in the museum’s collection seems to have be broken for this purpose.

Donating Objects to the Orange Regional Museum

Making a donation

With generous support from the community, Orange Regional Museum is developing a heritage collection for use in the museum. Caring for the region’s history and heritage is an important part of the work of the museum. Developing the collection is a way of preserving unique stories about the region so they can be shared with current and future generations.

The museum is looking for objects that tell stories about Orange and the region, its history, people and places. Objects do not have to be beautiful, old or valuable to merit a place in the museum’s collection.

What sorts of objects are relevant to the museum? Here are the themes shaping the museum’s exhibitions and collection

ST131 – DRAFT – Strategic Policy – Orange Regional Museum Heritage Collection

Do you have an object that might be suitable for the museum?

  • Tell us about your object
  • To help the museum consider your offer of donation please tell us about your object by providing the following information
  • Your name, phone number and email address
  • A description of the object and its date
  • Information about who owned and used the object and its connection to the history of the Orange region
  • Is there any supporting information such as a photo of the item in use or the original owner, a film clip or other documentation?
  • How did you come to own the object?
  • Attach a photo of the object

Please do not send the object or original photos or documents, and do not leave the object at Council.

Contact us by email with the above information to have your offer reviewed museum@orange.nsw.gov.au or phone 6393 8170

How the Museum will assess your offer

All offers of donation are considered by the Museum and Heritage Co-ordinator, drawing on expert curatorial advice if required.

Orange Regional Museum’s Heritage Collection Policy guides decisions on offers of donation. Sadly not all offers of donation can be accepted. The museum will assess your offer by considering its relevance to the museum’s collecting themes, its significance, condition and whether the museum has the resources to care for the item.

The museum does not accept items on long term loan but will consider short terms loans if the item is suitable to the exhibition theme.  See Orange Regional Museum Heritage Collection Policy. ST131 – DRAFT – Strategic Policy – Orange Regional Museum Heritage Collection

 

Image: Tea pot, Orange Regional Museum collection, gift of the Gartrell family