Drink That Which You Like Best!

Albury's Red Shell Lemonade

In a time when algorithms track our search history and directly advertise goods and services to us we may not appreciate that retail advertising at point-of-sale and upon packaging has a long history. Advertising mirrors, such as the one shown here, replaced tin and enamel signs, were produced for pubs, shops and milk bars and are a relatively gentle form of advertising. However, it was not the only way in which Red Shell Lemonade was advertised.

Red Shell Lemonade was produced by Zed Manufacturing Co. of Albury NSW along with a range of other cordials and the Phibbs Brothers who owned the company had every right to be proud of their Sparkling Lemonade. It was Highly Commended at the 1933 Melbourne Show and awarded third prize in 1947 and 1949.

The company started as the Border City Aerated Water and Cordial Factory in the 1890s; traded as Phibbs Bros. from circa 1906; and as Zed Manufacturing from 1938. Throughout, the Phibbs were avid advertisers, placing ads in newspapers and local publications, small inserts at the end of major stories in local newspapers and always stressing that in buying Red Shell Lemonade you were getting quality and wholesomeness.

One of the oldest and most enduring forms of advertising used by the Phibbs was the embossing of their name into the bottle. This allowed clear and permanent branding, reduced manufacturing costs through recycling and showed that the contents were from a reputable supplier.

Embossing proved ownership and provided legal recourse when branded bottles were illegally used and also provided a captive market as the only way to get a new bottle of Red Shell Lemonade was to return your empty bottles. Remember, to get the best ‘you must see that Phibbs is on the bottle.’