Melbourne’s history is written on the walls of its old warehouses and shops. Often new owners will remove outer layers of paint, to expose the story underneath, and leave it like that. I’m glad they do. The pix in this post are a closeup of the building from the previous post. I wanted to show it to you in the sense of an almost archaeological dig!
Our Victorian era was a time of English currency — pounds, shillings and pence. On the wall, the figure 6 and the small capitalised D to its top-right means sixpence, half a shilling. Twelve shillings to one pound. In those days, sixpence would have been a lot of money, especially in an area full of workers’ homes and factories (Emerald Hill, now South Melbourne).
Above the awning reads “Dr Scotts BALSAM HOMEHOUND”, then to the right, “Stop That Cough”. ‘Homehound’ is a term I’d not heard before, but I do know that ‘balsam’ is a cough medicine, having used some of it in my early youth. So, I would guess, the Homehound, being the balsam, would help to stop that barking cough we can sometimes get. Very economical yet effective advertising.
Underneath the 6d to the right of the awning, I can see “Use J King …”the rest is hidden, but would it have been ‘Blue’, which was used in the laundry to whiten sheets and other white fabrics. Yes, I had used it in days of yore. These days, King’s also make bleach, which I too use, but not in the laundry.
Under that is “Crown Brand SELF RAISING FLOUR”.
Obviously this was a grocery store cum pharmacy in its day. But not a full-blown pharmacist/chemist store as we know it today. This shop would have sold only simple, over-the-counter products that didn’t require a doctor’s script.