Did you know the Shoalhaven had a strong history in cordial making?
A new book by prolific local historical author Alan Clark delves into the subject that dates back to the 1880s.
Cordial-makers of the Shoalhaven and their bottles is set to be published next month (October) by the Shoalhaven Historical Society.
But they need your help.
The society plans to use a stunning photograph on the front cover of a young man from Nowra Cordials moving a stack of boxes.
But they don't know who he is.
"It's just such a great photo, we couldn't not use it," Mr Clark said.
"But we don't know who he is. We'd love to be able to identify him.
"We'd love to hear from anyone who might know who he is.
Mr Clark said it is believed the photo was taken some time in the 1960s, as the Nowra Cordial Factory at the corner of Kinghorne and Douglas Streets was destroyed by fire in September 1968.
He said the cover features the colour orange, as orange drink was perhaps the most popular made locally in the latter years of the industry.
While the book is now being finalised the society would still love to also hear from anyone who might have any photos of the local factories.
"The book will go to the printer in October, but we would still love to get photos of the local factories," Mr Clark said.
"Shoalhaven collectors have also generously allowed their bottles to be photographed for the publication."
It is hoped the book will be released for the Christmas market.
The Shoalhaven cordial history goes back to the 1880s when the Pollock family established their first factory in the area.
Of course, cordial then was so much different to what we class as cordial today - a flavour added to usually a water-based drink.
Back then, cordial was aerated water (carbonated water), a drink similar to today's soft drinks.
"The Pollocks were major players in the local industry until 1910, when they sold the business to Reginald Thomas," Mr Clark said.
"Another major major industry player was James Kelly, which later went on to be Kelly and Sons."
Kelly was the final owner of Nowra Cordials which produced various drinks over the span of 80 years, with several owners since its humble Pollock Family beginnings in 1883.
Many long-time residents remember September 21, 1968 when the Nowra Cordial Factory at the corner of Kinghorne and Douglas Streets was destroyed by fire.
"It was a Saturday morning and hundreds of locals gathered to watch the blaze being fought by the local brigade, assisted by the Illaroo Road Bush Fire Brigade, and additional firefighters from HMAS Albatross," Mr Clark said.
Shortly after, the rights to Nowra Cordials were sold to Shelley's Sydney (Coca-Cola).
The Faust family of Milton-Ulladulla and Bolts of Berry were also prominent, while others who spent lesser time making drinks have also been researched.
"There are some fascinating stories across the local industry," Mr Clark said.
"As they refilled their bottles, there were many cases of rival businesses ending up in court cases as they had used and refilled another company's bottles."
If anyone can identify the young man in the Nowra Cordials p[hoto or has any other local photos featuring the industry please contact Robyn Florance on 0410 387631.
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