8-20 Spring St, Fitzroy (Harrison Cordials)

“Started as a small ginger beer factory on this site in 1866 by Robert Harrison, the factory expanded into one of the largest and longest surviving Fitzroy cordial factories, producing a wide range of cordials, aerated waters and mineral waters. The firm was still operating as R. Harrison Pty. Ltd. well into the 1950s. The bi-chrome brick buildings on the south east corner of Spring and Argyle Streets. are perhaps the most impressive factory in Fitzroy and was classified on the Historic Buildings Register.” Lina Favrin – Yarra Past Port

This photo is interesting, you can still briefly see the ‘AERATED WATERS & C’ under the newer title that was added later. Image from Google Images Jan 2021
Image held by Fitzroy Library. Two women going to work pass by Harrison Cordials (also known as Harrison’s Aerated Waters) in Spring street, Fitzroy. Photo is c.1870

Mr Robert Harrison passed away in 1898 and the company was purchased by Messrs. Vance Gregg and Charles Chapman, who had been connected with the company for over seventeen years. By 1903, Gregg was General Manager and Chapman was Cordial Maker. In 1903, the buildings are described as “the factory, a two-story brick building situated at the corner of Spring and Argyle Streets, Fitzroy, is fitted up with a thoroughly up-to-date plant and equipment and is one of the most compact and conveniently arranged factories in the State, capable of turning out an enormous quantity of aerated waters etc., daily during the summer months”. The site uses 240 filters provided by J. Jeffery of Spring St, Melbourne and had five 400 gallon tanks. (Cyclopedia of Victoria, 1903-1905, Vol 2. p.178).

The company’s stables and their 25 waggons were situated on the other side of the road to the factory to ensure cleanliness. (Cyclopedia of Victoria, 1903-1905, Vol 2. p.179). (Photos of Gregg and Chapman also from the Cyclopedia).

Harrison’s Cordial Factory & Stables, 8-12 Spring Street – Fitzroy Industrial Walk – Oct 1992
Image from Google Images Jan 2021

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