Long-time Brisbane residents will recognise this bottle that was dug up during renovation work on a building in Leichardt Street, Spring Hill in 2007.

It’s a Tristram’s soft drink bottle and it would bring back memories of a very different Brisbane when it was a popular refreshment for the population of a much younger, growing city and throughout the state.

The iconic Brisbane business was sold to Cadbury Schweppes in the 1970s.

Back in time at the corner of Boundary and Mollison Street, South Brisbane, also known as The Markets and now the Soda Factory. The Tristram’s building was constructed in 1930 for soft drink manufacturer Thomas Tristram. Picture: Brisbane City Council

Brisbane City Council records the following: “This unusual Spanish Mission style factory was constructed in 1930 for Tristram’s Ltd, aerated water and cordial manufacturers. The business itself was established in 1875 by Thomas Tristram.”

“Tristram arrived in Brisbane in 1864 and worked for Gardner and Keid, aerated water and cordial manufacturers, for ten years. In 1875 he started his own business, and in 1877 in partnership with Owen Gardiner, opened a factory in Hope Street, South Brisbane.”

It goes on to say: “Designed by prominent Brisbane architectural firm Atkinson, Powell and Conrad, this unusual Spanish Mission styled factory building was constructed in 1930 for soft drink manufacturer Thomas Tristram. The building remained in use by Tristram’s until 1979 and has since been converted into a market.”


The Tristram’s soft drink bottle which was unearthed during renovation work in Spring Hill 15 years ago now takes pride of place in a Brisbane history enthusiast’s office.

The proud guardian of the bottle said the find was all the more important for her as she is a self-confessed Brisbane history ‘tragic’.

“My family have been in Brisbane for nearly 150 years so it’s lovely that something that has been lost to history like this bottle can suddenly reappear, miraculously still intact, all these years later.”

“I wonder how old it actually is and what other historic gems are buried under these old buildings?”

“My great-grandparents probably drank from a bottle like this. It’s great when history becomes alive,” she said.

Discover more about Tristram’s and Brisbane’s history by visiting the link below.



  1. Interesting that the manufacturers of Tristrams were in Hope Street, South Brisbane because the bottle was dug up in Hope Street, Spring Hill! What a coincidence.

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