Thirsty Business

Narrabri Cordial Maker, Septimus Faulkner

Standing the test of time, these ceramic bottles have remained in a near-pristine condition for over a hundred years. They tell the story of Narrabri’s famous cordial maker, Septimus Faulkner (1859-1936).

In the late 1800s, a young Faulkner arrived in Narrabri to work for Edmund Fuss, a chemist who had turned to cordial making. Under the training of Fuss, Faulkner became a highly skilled cordial maker. In 1891, Faulkner acquired the business and soon got to work expanding the factory to keep up with demand.

His cordials and soda water attracted state-wide attention, with the success even resulting in some shipments to England. Along with cordial making, Faulkner’s was also known for being one of the first companies to produce ice in Narrabri.

Faulkner’s success encouraged him to expand further, so he decided to also oversee a meat works and a butter factory. His meat works reportedly sent thousands of frozen rabbits to soldiers on the front lines during WWI.

Alongside his businesses, Faulkner also kept time to be an active participant in community affairs. He was elected to the local council and even served as the town’s Mayor from 1910-1911. All these achievements paint the picture of a man who was passionate about contributing to Narrabri. Faulkner died in 1936, leaving behind his successful cordial business which continued for several decades.

In recent years, the 106-year-old Faulkners building which once produced these bottles has become a local business hub. Perhaps there are still chapters to come in this regional success story?