Cordial making in Orange was well established after the rush for gold at nearby Ophir in 1851. George Weily is believed to be one of the first manufacturers of cordials and ginger beer during in the 1860s. By the 1870s there were several firms specialising in making cordials in Orange.
A recent acquisition to the collection of Orange Regional Museum is a green glass bottle with wooden stopper, marked “W.S. STABBACK ORANGE”. William Samuel Stabback purchased the Phoenix Soda and Cordial Factory from Josiah Parker in 1871. The factory was located in a lane off Anson Street, now Stibbard’s Lane, (possibly a misspelling of the name Stabback).
Cordials were sold in a range flavours including; lemon, lime, raspberry and orange. The bottles were expensive to manufacture and were reused many times for the owner to make a profit. Often bottles were marked with the name of the manufacturer as can be seen with the Stabback’s bottle pictured below.
Advances in refrigeration and transport led to the decline of small cordial manufacturers. Whileys stopped manufacturing cordial in the 1960s.
Following from Josiah Parker’s carrier in cordial manufacturing he was Mayor of East Orange from 1888-1889. Similarly William Stabback was Mayor of East Orange in 1889, 1891-1893, 1895-1897.
Moulded green glass bottle with wood stopper, marked “W.S. STABBACK ORANGE”. ORM 2017/115 Gift of Denise Moriarty.
An 1894 dictionary of cookery, published by Cassell, Petter and Galpin, gives insight into the time intensive process of making cordial during the late 1800s. A recipe for Hops and Sherry Cordial involves shaking and pressing hops covering them with sherry and leaving for a month for the flavors to infuse. Following this the mixture is strained and sugar is added. The final product must be kept in ‘closely corked bottles’ and should be mixed with water to consume.
For more Victorian recipes including ginger, cinnamon and aromatic cordials check out the Cassell’s dictionary of cookery here.
Hops and Sherry Cordial Recipe, Cassell’s dictionary of cookery containing about nine thousand recipes, 1894
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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