Home / FT Lite/ Eating jam for over 150 years

Eating jam for over 150 years


Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Saturday, 31 March 2018 00:00


Peacock as a brand name for jam!

It was quite intriguing to see a peacock’s picture on the cover of the current edition of the Australia Post Stamp Bulletin. Looking closer, there was a picture of a label on an Apricot jam tin at the top left hand corner.

The Peacock jam label is one of four ‘Vintage Jam Labels’ featured on a new set of stamps. Australia Post has made a name for their search for ‘out-of-the-box’ themes for stamps. This is yet another of those themes.

A notable feature of the labels was their bright colours which easily caught the eye. Jams that used a particular fruit like apricot and dark plum had their names prominently displayed with at least two fruits of the particular variety.  Those that displayed several varieties fell into the ‘Mixed Fruit’ category.   

‘Peacock’ is the name of the pioneer jam manufacturer, George Peacock (1824-1900) who had set up a small factory in Hobart, capital of Tasmania in 1861. Born in Bath, England, he arrived in Hobart in 1850 and set up a grocery and fruit shop. He is considered to be the first to make jam commercially from Tasmanian berry fruits. The fruit was boiled with sugar in steam-jacketed copper kettles. 

His effort is considered the start of commercial jam production in Australia on a factory scale. 

Peacock’s cannery manufactured its own cans from imported Welsh tinplate and each was hand-soldered and hand-washed before boiling. 

A youngster by the name of Henry Jones (1862-1926) had got a job in George Peacock’s factory when he was just 12 years old. He worked on the factory floor. The energetic young man – “Jam Tin Jones”, as he was known – developed his own brand in later years. His brand ‘IXL’ became very popular and is on the shelves to this day in many countries. 

Two years after George Peacock opened his factory, in 1863, another George – George McEwin (1815-85) – started a jam factory in Houghton, South Australia. A feature of his project was the use of his own orchard’s excess fruit and much of the fruit of the region. He produced several brands. The most popular of them were ‘Gwen Ewin’ and ‘Kingurli’. 

Peacock and three other manufacturers started exporting jam to the other parts of Australia in less than five years after the first factory was opened. 

Obviously a product that was in much demand, grocers, buyers groups and co-operatives also started producing jam. Smaller scale jam manufacturers were aplenty in the food-producing states. 

It didn’t take long for the Australian jams to be exported to other countries. 

The 1970s saw a period of industry-wide decline, resulting in factories being taken over by others or closing down. One example was the popular brand, Alwa Jams, manufactured in Melbourne being eventually taken over by Henry Jones IXL. 

Along with the new stamps, colourful stamp packs, maxi-cards and booklets will also be released.


Share This Article


DISCLAIMER:

1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.

COMMENTS

Today's Columnists

Overcoming the crisis: The second freedom struggle

Friday, 14 December 2018

The crisis that has been developing in Sri Lanka, manifesting itself in varied forms at different times since independence, has now taken the form of a constitutional crisis, threatening the survival of the Sri Lankan State. Regardless of the Court


Getting more women in the workforce

Friday, 14 December 2018

The current female labour force participation in Sri Lanka is around 36%. This means that a disproportionate majority of women still remain outside the labour market, with limited or no access to wages, pensions and other benefits tied to gainful emp


Our chit-chat – Can conversations make a nation?

Thursday, 13 December 2018

We are living through fascinating times dominated by online conversations with offline taking backstage. From the Arab spring to Yellow vests in France, the online has proven its potential and power – be it destructive or constructive! A reading o


The vote, the verdict, and the TNA ‘backstop’: Beyond ’56

Thursday, 13 December 2018

“Leader of PLOTE and TNA MP D. Dharmalingam …stated that he believes that Ranil Wickremesinghe has handed in a written assurance of several promises. …The promises are said to include agreements on constitutional amendments, freedom for politi


Columnists More