Aerated Water Manufacturers Of Wiluna

Wiluna is situated 947 kls N E of Perth in the goldfields and north of Kalgoorlie. Gold was first discovered here by Woodley, Wotton & Lennon in 1896 in an area known as Lakeway. The townsite of Wiluna was gazetted on 8 July 1897 and by April 1898 many businesses had been built and blocks sold to service the miners who flocked to the area in their hundreds. However, fortunes fluctuated over the years and the town went from thousands of people to just a few hundred, but the opening of the Canning Stock route helped to bring more people to the area, other than miners.

By February 1901, A B Wilson the towns newsagent, mining and commission agent advertised an aerated water factory, 4 roomed brick home, a dining room & cool drink shop plus Town Lots for sale. Again, in January 1904 a cool drink shop was available for sale or let, but Wises Post Office Directories do not list any aerated water manufacturers in the town until 1906 when O W Baxter is listed as cordial maker.

OTTO WILLIAM BAXTER was born in Sweden in 1854. He was a citizen of the USA as having been in their navy and had also spent time in Glasgow Scotland before arriving in New Zealand around 1879. From there he went to Sydney in 1880 and joined many miners at Broken Hill. Here he met his South Australia wife Adelaide Alice Uma and they married there in 1889. He spent 12 years in Broken Hill and collected many mineral specimens from around the world and in February 1894 he decided to dispose of the collection and travel to WA as a representative of an Adelaide Syndicate, to report on the gold mining prospects in the West. His partner was H F Stock who had a team of camels and Baxter eventually returned to Adelaide with some gold from Mt Remarkable to present to the syndicate representatives. He returned to the West via Esperance and walked to Kurnalpi then Edjudina and Crows Nest, Menzies, Darlot and Mount Sir Samuel. In 1903 he is prospecting at Mt Sir Samuel and by 1906 O W Baxter is at Wiluna as a cordial maker in Wises Directories, but on the Electoral Rolls he is listed as a prospector. He is reputed to be here from 1906 – 1912 as a cordial maker but in 1909 his name is on the Electoral Rolls as an engine driver. He resigned as Vice President of Wiluna Board of Health in Sep 1908 and then he moved to a mining lease at Quinns in 1912. In 1914 he got a job as an engine driver on the Corinthian mine at Southern Cross and his wife died here in that year and he later moved to Kalamunda and died at Mt Lawley on 12 June 1919.

Conclusion – Did he have someone making the cool drinks on his behalf or did he produce these drinks for a short time? He never mentioned his time in the aerated water trade and there are no ads from the early days of Wiluna depicting his factory. He was the only O W Baxter in WA for that period of time, so I am left with a dilemma of no proof but the Post Office Directories, to confirm his time as an aerated water manufacturer in the town of Wiluna.

CHARLES EDWARD O’CALLAGHAN was the son of Michael O’Callaghan, late of Pine Lodge near Shepparton, Victoria and born in 1873. By 1897 Charles was working a mining lease at Niagara in Western Australia and asked for an exemption as he had insufficient funds to continue and he had already spent £1,500 going down a great depth. His brother Michael, passed away from typhoid in 1898 and was given a large funeral. Michael was a member of the 1st Field Artillery in Perth. Charles eventually spent 2 ½ years in Niagara and made sufficient funds to become a hotelkeeper. He was held in great respect by the residents and on his departure, he and his wife were presented with a dinner service. They bought the Oriental Hotel on Lot 105 in Mertondale in February 1906. This hotel had 2 sitting rooms and 6 bedrooms and the licence had been transferred from James Dawson. His tenancy was only fleeting as by December 1907 Doyle Francis O’Connor was the licensee and by Xmas Eve 1910, a fire destroyed the building. The hotel and the contents were only valued at £50.

In 1910 he moved to Wiluna as a cordial maker and is on the Electoral Rolls here until 1919. He was also the secretary of the Lakeway/Wiluna hospital board in 1918.

In 1925 Charles and his wife Laura had moved to Hikurangi in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand. He died there on 12 Dec 1940 aged 67 years. His wife Laura passed away in 1951 and they are both buried in Kaurihohore, New Zealand. Unfortunately, the only mention of his aerated water business is from Wises Post Office Directories and the Electoral Rolls. I did not find a mention of his factory in the newspapers.

WILLIAM VALE 1922 – 1924 & EDITH ALICE ADELINE VALE  1925 – 1928. William Vale was born in 1884 & records state he was a farmer before arriving in Wiluna around 1917. He married Mrs Edith Alice Adeline Adams in the E Murchison in 1922 and the Post Office Directories give that year as the beginning of his aerated water factory business in Wiluna. However, the Electoral Rolls only list his occupation from 1917 till 1924 as a trucker for Gwallia Consolidated mines at Wiluna. His time as a cool drink producer was short lived, as he passed away in Kalgoorlie hospital on 21 January 1924. His wife Edith continued with the factory although she did take a four month holiday to the eastern states in 1925. The Directories state 1925 – 1928 for her time making the towns cool drinks but at some stage she also ran a boarding house called “Homevale”. This building was destroyed by fire in 1940 and as she had been born in Adelaide in 1880, she and friend John Archibald Carpenter decided to go to Whyalla and open a café to cater for the employees of BHP. This premises opened from 6am till midnight and employed 10 girls. They sold the business in 1944 and Edith Vale died at Whyalla in December 1947.

W J LUCAS   – 1929 till 1930. Wises Directories give this name as an aerated water maker in Wiluna but the only person with those initials for the period is William John Lucas born 1908 to banker William James Lucas and his wife Celia Lucas who eventually lived at Mt Lawley. I cannot find his name in the Electoral Rolls for Wiluna and William John Lucas is in Perth in 1933 at 473 Wellington St and his occupation is shopkeeper/radio and electrical. He died in 1992 in Nedlands and it is only speculation that this gentleman was the one associated with the cool drink business in Wiluna.

MARTIN JOHN CAREY 1934 – 1937, Wiluna. I believe he was born in 1865 in New Zealand to Patrick and his wife Clarissa Carey. He married Maria Frances Donaghy in 1884 and arrived in Victoria about 1890 where he became an aerated water manufacturer and also a boot maker in Mercer St, Geelong. The owner of the building put the business up for sale and by May 1893 due to a down turn in trade, the business became insolvent. All the aerated water machinery and boots/shoes were auctioned to pay the creditors and he and Maria moved to Western Australia in 1894 with their three young children Mary Alice, Martin Joseph and Arthur Ernest. In 1893 a daughter Clarissa Gertrude was born and was buried in 1894 in the Coolgardie Pioneer Cemetery aged 16 months. In 1896 he was manager for J Carey’s, Pivot Coach and Parcel Express company which made daily trips to Hannan’s and Coolgardie. In 1897 Martin John Carey, aerated water manufacturer, applied for a gallon licence for his business in Forrest St, Kalgoorlie. In memories from an elderly gentleman in 1933 he stated “Carey who was a cordial maker, afterwards came to Narrogin and in the goldfields conducted a factory in a couple of tents near Burt Street,”.

Martin John Carey of 205 Forrest St, Kalgoorlie and Michael Francis Carey registered their trade mark for bottles with the Pivot (horse) design on 13 September 1900. In December he applied for a provisional certificate for Block 1418 Boulder road, for a building rented from Annie Scanlan and is listed in the Post Office Directories as at Boulder in 1901 – 1902. Sadly in 1902 his wife Maria passed away and he moved to Kanowna to set up a business there. He remained as an aerated water manufacturer here from 1903 till 1909.  In Apr 1909, E A Fitzgerald was instructed to sell the contents of the Pivot Aerated Water Factory, machinery, bottles and also household effects.

 In November 1909 he applied for a licence for a business at Lancefield. In February 1912, Horace George Henry Madden of Laverton also an aerated water manufacturer, wrote to the Health Department complaining of the conditions under which Carey conducted his business, situated next door to horse stables, at Lancefield. He remained in the Beria/Lancefield area and in January 1918 he purchased the Westonia Aerated Water factory and also took over the shop once belonging to Thomas Henry Tobias, where he sold iced drinks, icecream and iced milk. He then proceeded to sell his Pivot registered trade mark for the Laverton district only, to Horace George Henry Miniken of Laverton.

 In June 1920, M J Carey was now the owner of the Narrogin Cordial factory in Egerton Street and his advertisements told his customers of his 26 years of experience in Kalgoorlie, Boulder, Kanowna and Westonia. These ads ran till 22 Apr 1932. I have had difficulty distinguishing who really did own this factory as the Electoral Rolls state Martin Joseph Carey, cordial maker and wife Emily are at Narrogin. Martin JOSEPH Carey is the son of M J Carey and the company in Narrogin lists 26 yrs in the aerated water trade in the goldfields and those factories were definitely owned by Martin JOHN Carey. I have not found a marriage for a Martin Joseph Carey to an Emily or a second marriage for Martin JOHN Carey and in fact when the wife of M J Carey died in 1929 in Narrogin, her name in the papers was Elizabeth and the burial entry in Narrogin Cemetery states Eliza Carey even though the Electoral Rolls say Emily! I believe the son, Martin Joseph Carey born New Zealand 1888 died on 19 July 1942 and is registered at Northam. Martin John Carey of 35 Mengler Ave, Claremont died 9 November 1951 aged 89 years and is registered as Martin JOSEPH Carey in the cemetery records! Researching can become complicated.

I can only presume that Martin John “Joseph” Carey did have the factory at Wiluna 1934 -1937. He would have been in his early 70’s.  Those years before WW2, Wiluna had grown to have a Picture Theatre, Watchmaker, Chemist, Bunnings Timber business, Butchers, Banks, Ezywalkin Shoe Store, Car Hire, Taxi and much more to service a population of 7,000 by 1939 but by 1944 the population was only 3,000 in the shire and in 1949 only just over 1,000 people.  

 The town of Wiluna during the 30’s was expanding rapidly. In 1931 approximately 1,100 people enjoyed the amenities supplied by all the businesses. There were 3 hotels, 12 shops and 50 dwellings. However, by 1936 the population had increased to 6,720 people and now there were 90 shops, 22 public buildings, 4 churches, 3 banks, 4 hotels, 2 halls and an open air dance hall and 1,150 dwellings. Three aerated water factories (Langford & Maund, George Scott Milling and R S Sargent) operated during this time but by 1954, Universal Business Directories only list Langford & Maund as Cordial Manufacturers and Electrical Installers. The population had now dwindled to about 280 people in the vicinity of the town and outlying areas.

WILLIAM JOHN MAUND – “Jack” Maund was born in Perth in 1900 to parents Donald Maund and his wife Anastasia nee Whyte. Donald and Anastasia had married at Lawlers in the Goldfields. In 1924, W J Maund was mining with his father and brothers at Mt Sir Samuel where he met his wife Mary Howard. They married in 1926 and moved to Wiluna in 1927. He decided to erect an aerated water and ice factory at 40 Lennon Street in October 1929. He placed an ad in the newspapers to let the town population know that by the summer, he would have cold storage available for use and if the trials of his ice and cool drinks proved successful the town would have cold drinks during the summer months. He also commenced installing electric lighting in the main street and received a concession from the Council for 10 years & renewable for a further 5 years and an option for a further 5 years. This was under the name of Langford and Maund. The price to the consumer would be 11d to 1 shilling for lighting and 5d to 6d for power. The substation and transformer were situated in Lennon street and he hoped to have it operating by November.

In September 1933 Langford and Maund advertised they were selling Genalex radios plus irons and other electrical appliances and they now employed Doug Gordon to deliver their aerated waters daily to the Moonlight mine, Red Hill, Lakeside and the married quarters. In 1935, West Australian Glass Manufacturers Ltd fined Langford and Maund and asked them to return bottles belonging to AGM. By 1937 a bottle shortage occurred in Western Australia and the 3 manufacturers operating in Wiluna (Langford & Maund, Milling and Sargent) decided to impose a levy on all bottles sold and the deposit would be refunded on the return of the bottles. Retail prices for Large cool drinks was 7/- per dozen plus 1/- deposit per dozen for bottles and 10d per bottle, small sizes 4/- plus 1/- per dozen for bottles and 6d per bottle, Soda Water, large 5/- plus 1/- per dozen for bottles, and 6d per bottle, medium 4/- plus 1/- per dozen for bottles, and 6d per bottle, small 3/- plus 1/- per dozen for bottles, and 4d per bottle, Dry Ginger Ale, 4/- plus 1/- per dozen for bottles and 6d per bottle.  In April 1938 his ad stated “It’s a welcome sight to see that ice box contains a few bottles of our delicious cordials, pure filtered water”. During the 40’s ads diminished for all the companies and by August 1946 Maund advertised his refrigeration plant for sale. In 1947 he took up a gold mining lease with others at Kathleen Valley and in February 1948 a 60 acres lease known as “Malvera”, 7 miles east of Wiluna. He purchased a property in Dalkeith in 1950 and in 1953 he was living on Edjudina Station near Kalgoorlie and was a pastoralist. He remained on the Electoral Rolls here till 1963 and then his address is Marine Parade, Mosman Park in 1977. He died on 15 May 1978 aged 77 years and is buried at Karrakatta. His wife Mary Ethel Lilian Maund died at Cottesloe in 1988.

Langford and Maund had a clear and brown 26 oz crown seal bottle in the 1940’s with an oval impressed trade mark stating “ice and aerated water manufacturers Wiluna WA” on their bottles.

FRANK LANGFORD –Langford, Maunds partner, was born in Richmond Victoria in 1871 so he was 29 years older than W J Maund. In 1897 he was in Austin Street, Cue where he was a hairdresser & tobacconist with partner Bert Smith. He purchased the mining battery in 1899 and had it re-erected at Darlot, transporting it there by camel team. Smith was his partner for some time and in 1903, Langford was the battery owner at Lawlers. His name continues to be associated with Lawlers as battery owner till 1933. He acquired the aerated water factory at Wiluna with Maund in the early 30’s and I believe Maund controlled the cool drinks and Langford the Electrical side of the business. At the time of his death in January 1936 he had the Electric Lighting contract for the town. He died in Melbourne, Victoria and his probate listed him as a retired miner.

GEORGE SCOTT MILLING. Milling was born in Ireland in 1871 and he was in Coolgardie by 1894. He married Ann B Taylor in 1914 and in that year commenced making cool drinks in York Rd, Midland Junction.  He had the Thistle Aerated Water factory on the corner of Beaufort St and Eight Avenue, Maylands in the 1920’s and in 1927 -28 the name was changed to Royal Aerated Waters after the name of his daughter Elizabeth Royal Milling. I believe he sold the Thistle factory in 1933 as his wife Ann had died in February 1927 and Wiluna was beginning to expand, so he envisaged making a living producing drinks here and took his sons and two daughters to the Goldfields. In October 1933 Milling and partner Johnson were at 63 Lennon Street, Wiluna. No bottles bearing their name have been found, so paper labels having the name Royal Aerated Water Company were placed on plain bottles. Milling also advertised fresh rabbits every train so expect the rabbits were a menace in the area. On 25 March 1937 an ad appears for Howell and Millings, pastry cooks, cakes, pastries and supplying birthdays and weddings. This shop may have belonged to a family member. Sadly, his daughter Nancy Hunter Milling aged 20 years, died here in November 1937. In January 1941 George Millings health was of concern and he went to Geraldton for attention. He died on 13 Apr 1941 and is buried in Geraldton Cemetery.

RICHARD ALAN STRONG SARGENT – He was born in 1908 to Robert Strong Sargent and Elsie Rose nee Deacon. Richards father Robert, aka “Tom” was born in South Australia in 1877 and was mining at Leonora in 1906. He was the first manager of the State Battery at Wiluna before leaving the town and moving to MacDonald Street in Kalgoorlie. By 1909 he was now a carter and by the 1920’s a taxi driver/motor proprietor in the town of Kalgoorlie. The “Strong” part of the name was dropped by the family in later years.  Richard’s daughter, believes her grandfather, Robert “Tom”, started the aerated water business in Wiluna, with the 1936 bottle bearing the name Thos Sargent. On the Electoral Rolls he is always listed as living at Kalgoorlie after 1909 but when his eldest daughter became engaged in 1935 her father “Tom” is in the newspapers as of Kalgoorlie and Wiluna. In 1928 his son Richard Alan Sargent aka Alan had completed his studies at Kalgoorlie and returned to Wiluna where he became the electrician for Wiluna Gold Mines.

In November 1933 the 1st ad appeared in the Wiluna Miner newspaper for Sargent’s famous Hop & Ginger Beer and the premises was next door to Wiluna Meat Supply. In 1934 Richard married Sylvia Watson at St John’s Cathedral in Kalgoorlie and the couple made their home in Wiluna where Sargent continued his electrical work and the making of aerated waters with the aid of his father. In November 1936 an ice factory was added to the premises and Sargent’s would deliver daily to customers in the town. Orders could be left at the factory or the shop. Richard’s wife was also in demand at concerts etc with her musical skills. In June 1937 the local pastry, pies, meats, cakes, rolls etc shop, called “The Delicatessen” was listed as late Sargent’s. By September 1937, Sargent’s shop was at 125 Wotton street and the factory was at 177 Wotton St, Wiluna. The street name had changed from Wooton to Wotton around this time. The family lived next door to the “Moonlight Hall”. In 1937 when a deposit was placed on the bottles of all companies operating that year in Wiluna, the business advertisement placed by Langford & Maund, Milling and Sargent is listed with the name R A Sargent. His occupation is still listed as electrician in 1942 and the family continued here till 1947 when they moved to Kalamunda with their young family. Richard Alan Sargent died on 10 May 1996 at High Wycombe aged 88 years and his wife Sylvia died at Kalamunda in 1994. Robert “Tom” Sargent, Richards father, died at Kalamunda in 1957 and his wife Elsie Rose Sargent died at Kalgoorlie in 1950.

Sargent had a clear 26 oz aerated water bottle impressed with the words, “The Property of Thos. Sargent Wiluna” in an oval with his 3 stripes trade mark and the impressed date under the trade mark of 1936.

Author – Vivienne Sinclair.