Collection: Macquarie University History Museum

Bendigo Pottery Demijohn

Bendigo Pottery Demijohn for Elliott Bros. Ltd Pharmaceuticals

Accession # AHM007210
Creator Bendigo Pottery
Period late 19th Century
Date c.1873-1885
Provenance Bendigo and Sydney
Material/s Pottery
Dimensions 38.36cm (l) x 21.65 (w)
Collection Macquarie University History Museum
Source AHM, Macquarie University
Classification Container
Click here to inspect 3d item.
AHM007210 is a large brown-glazed bottle with one handle and a stopper (lid), known as a demijohn. Based on the markings we know that it was produced by Bendigo Pottery, one of Australia's oldest pottery production firms, and was used commercially by Elliott Bros Ltd, Sydney, for transportation of large amounts of their pharmaceutical product. Elliott Brothers Ltd produced mainly medical chemicals and compounds for hospitals, physicians and apothecaries, as well as a more mainstream product of perfume and men's cologne. Bendigo Pottery is very significant to the history of Australian made ceramics, this demijohn gives us insight into the type of wares used in the second half of the 19th Century. The bottle was made using local clay deposits and a wood fired kiln, it has a short narrow neck, rounded shoulders, a cylindrical body and a flat base.
  • Syllabus Links
    • Stage 3 Syllabus Links
      • describe and explain the significance of people, groups, places and events to the development of Australia (HT3-1)
      • describe and explain different experiences of people living in Australia over time (HT3-2)
      • identify change and continuity and describe the causes and effects of change on Australian society (HT3-3)
      • apply a variety of skills of historical inquiry and communication (HT3-5)
    • Stage 3 History - The Australian Colonies
      • The impact of a significant development or event on a colony; for example, the gold rushes, and the advent of rail(ACHHK095)
      • The reasons people migrated to Australia from Europe and Asia, and the experiences and contributions of a particular migrant group within a colony (ACHHK096)
    • Historical concepts
      • Empathetic understanding - an understanding of another's point of view, way of life and decisions made in a different time, eg differing attitudes and experiences of living in an Australian colony
      • Significance - the importance of an event, development or individual/group, eg determining the importance (significance) of various peoples' contributions to the development of a colony.
    • Historical skills - Comprehension
      • chronology, terms and concepts respond, read and write to show understanding of historical matters sequence historical people and events (ACHHS098, ACHHS117)
      • use historical terms and concepts (ACHHS099, ACHHS118)
    • Historical skills - Analysis and use of sources
      • locate information relevant to inquiry questions in a range of sources (ACHHS102, ACHHS121)
      • compare information from a range of sources (ACHHS103, ACHHS122)
    • Historical Skills - Empathetic understanding
      • explain why the behaviour and attitudes of people from the past may differ from today
    • Historical Skills - Research
      • identify and pose questions to inform an historical inquiry (ACHHS100, ACHHS119)
      • identify and locate a range of relevant sources to support an historical inquiry (ACHHS101, ACHHS120)
    • Historical Skills - Explanation and communication
      • develop historical texts, particularly narratives and descriptions, which incorporate source material (ACHHS105, ACHHS124)
      • use a range of communication forms (oral, written, graphic) and digital technologies. (ACHHS106, ACHHS125)
  • Educational Resources
  • Online Resources
  • Bibliography/References
    • Bowes, C.R. (1988) "Elliott Brothers Balmain Chemical Works; Early Days from 1865" in Chemistry in Australia vol. 55, no. 7, 1988, pp. 235-238
    • Ford, G (1995) Australian pottery; the first 100 years, Salt Glaze Press, Wodonga.
    • Heritage Council Victoria (16/07/18) Victorian Heritage Database Report; Bendigo Pottery
    • Kelloway, S., & Birmingham, J. (2010). Profiling nineteenth-century Australian potteries; Approaches to provenancing ceramics and identifying potting practices. Australasian Historical Archaeology, 28, 35-42. Retrieved from
    • Snell, S (1988) The life and adventures of Edward Snell Angus & Robertson and The Library Council of Victoria

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Macquarie University History Museum (2020). Bendigo Pottery Demijohn, AHM007210. // (accessed on: 14 June 2020).

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