Royal Reels: Gambling


Two separate vendors showed a copy of this printed-to-private order advertising wrapper and both stated that it was rare, for it is not listed in Higgins & Gage catalogue. This used copy has the name used for such an item on the flap, ‘The “True Shot” Postal Wrapper’, with the description, ‘The Most Effective and Cheapest Advertising Medium extant. Issued in series of 10,000.’ It was published by The Tasmanian Advertising Co., Hobart (Figure 1).

The wrapper can be folded at 2 side flaps and the bottom flap so that a regular appearance envelope is produced. What serves as the front and reverse of the ‘cover’ has a printed red 1d QV Tasmanian stamp canceled with a duplex HOBART/ A/ JA 25/ 93 with TASMANIA as the obliterator of the stamp on the front. There is a purple double oval W.D. PEACOCK/ CIRCULAR ONLY/ HOBART handstamp and it is addressed to J.G. Brown Esq, New Norfolk (Figure 2).

The reverse has an incomplete reception handstamp of NEW NORFOLK/ JA 25/ 93/ TASMANIA, and the flap has the part of this cancel which completes the postmark (Figure 3).

What constitutes the ‘inside’ back of the cover has multiple adverts re including a photographer, “Lion” Brand Tea, General Merchants, Criterion Hotel, Steam Laundry, Importers of Pure Drugs, a Wool, Grain and Hop Merchant and 2 Fruit Companies of which, W. D. PEACOCK , Fruit Export Agency, 11 New Wharf, Hobart, is part of the subject of this paper. It lists ‘Established Agencies in England. America, and Intercolonial Markets (Figure 4).

On the left flap there is also an advertisement for George Peacock and Sons, Ltd.(no relation to the above), Manufacturers of Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Sauces, Tart and Desert Fruits, Canned Tomatoes, Candied Lemon Peel, Fire Kindlers etc, which is also a subject of this paper. These Goods obtained First Prizes at Melbourne and Adelaide Exhibitions, 1888-90. The stores were at No. 9, 11, 15 and 17 Old Wharf, Hobart (Figure 5).

The second P.T.P.O. item differs from the first in that it is a mint copy on pink paper with the same red 1d QV stamp of Tasmania, of the exact same design, showing the same advertisers, including W.D. Peacock, as in the first item (Figure 6).

William Davidson Peacock (1847-1921) was a Tasmanian fruit exporter, born in Gloucestershire who emigrated to Hobart in 1869 and worked in his uncle’s jam factory. In 1885 he was dismissed after refusing to manage a jam factory attached to a distillery, which offended his strong temperance principles. He established his own jam factory, and in 1895 entered the European fruit export trade. W.D. Peacock was a pioneer in guaranteeing full cargo space to induce European ships to take on fruit in Tasmanian ports, whereas previously Tasmanian exporters had to ship fruit to the mainland, and thence onwards to Europe. By 1898, W.D. Peacock and (Sir) Henry Jones were sharing this high risk strategy. Their companies dominated the Tasmanian fruit export industry. In 1910, Jones purchased a controlling share in Peacock’s company, and on Peacock’s retirement in 1919, Jones took over his company. The W.D. Peacock company is well-known particularly for the wonderfully colorful labels on their crates of apples and pears, as seen in Figure 7.

Fruit exports peaked in the 1920s and 1930s, sent essentially to European markets. After Britain joined the European Common Market in the early 1970s, apple exports fell drastically, and the apple industry restructured with a ‘Tree Pull Scheme’, reducing the production by 50% and the number of orchardists by 700.

The firm of George Peacock and Sons Ltd was started by George Peacock (1824-1900), born in Bath, England who arrived in Hobart in 1850. He produced the first canned jam in Hobart in 1867 from berry fruits at the Old Wharf, before moving his business into the warehouses on Hunter Island in 1870; he also produced jam in Sydney. In 1882, George Peacock produced canned fish, but this business did not survive because of the high cost of refrigeration in the early process. (Sir) Henry Jones took over the jam business in 1887, with George’s son Ernest Alfred and Achalen Palfreyman and they formed the company of Henry Jones & Company, later changed to the well known IXL Jam Company. George died in Sydney in April 1900. An old can of George Peacock’s Raspberry Jam is seen in Figure 8.