Local Barossa history

Spring signals the start of warmer weather and thoughts of spring cleaning. But be careful what you throw out!

Vintage paper and cardboard packaging can disintegrate easily under poor storage conditions. By chance some items have survived, making them a fascinating collectable.

In the early 1900s Greenock’s general storekeeper, Mr. R Tummel, was packing coffee in paper bags.

An empty bag still survives over 100 years later.

In fact, most old packaging has only survived because it intended to be reused.

I once bought a bag of old hair rollers at an auction, only because I wanted the bag they were in.

It was a plastic carrot bag with brilliant graphics of a ‘dancing carrot’, packed by Clem Hoffmann of Nuriootpa in the 1960s – the days when the Barossa still had some large market gardens.

Numerous local winery cardboard boxes can still be found at clearing and garage sales.

They were reused to hold a multitude of objects in cellars, lofts and sheds.

These boxes now tell a story of the Barossa’s past wine products – Kaiser Stuhl ‘Cold Duck’, Orlando Brandy, Yalumba ‘Four Crown’ and Seppelt’s vinegar.

Surviving packaging shows us that Seppelt’s winery also ventured into mixed peel production, located on Railway Terrace at Nuriootpa.

Also, Tanunda had two egg noodle manufacturers, Heim and Weich.

1950’s packaging from both companies is partly in German, attesting to the owner’s origins.

Paper bags exist from numerous Barossa stores with names such as Schrapel, Sheard, Hasting and Weckert.

A paper wrapper that went around a pound of butter advertises ‘Kretschmer’s Serv-wel Stores’ in Angaston, which ran from 1939 to 1961.

The building recently became part of the Angaston Hotel re-development.

Cereal boxes found locally dating from the 1940s – 1970s have eye catching colourful graphics. The boxes often promoted a plastic toy or swap card inside. The 1960s and 70s were the golden age of plastic cereal toys.

Old packaging can be more than just a box or bag – it’s a snapshot of the past.

Vintage cardboard and paper can evoke memories and it adds another dimension to our local heritage.


>> Barossa local and history enthusiast Luke Rothe