Royal Reels: Gambling


I have been intrigued by printed to private order (P.T.P.O.) covers and postcards, particularly those that have a ‘collar’ of advertising matter around the printed stamp, and I have noted that this format is seen particularly in the companies that sell alcohol. The Resch name is well known to most Australians in relation to breweries. Both of the two P.T.P.O. covers do not show the Resch name on the front, but advertise WATSON’S DUNDEE WHISKIES, and the printed blue 2d N.S.W. stamp is not centrally printed in it’s ‘collar’ and has an indecipherable ‘Rays’ cancellation. The cover is addressed to a client in Blayney, N.S.W. (Figure 1).

The reverse has a blue RESCH’S/ WAVERLEY/ BREWERY/ SYDNEY insignia on the flap as well as an arrival cancellation of BLAYNEY/ MY 8/ 6 AM/ 09/ N.S.W. (Figure 2).

The second cover has a printed well centred red 1d N.S.W. stamp in the ‘collar’ and it is canceled with a duplex SYDNEY/ JA 4/ 6.30 P.M./ 99/ 41 with the barred N.S.W. obliterator. It is addressed to a client in Sydney and the identical Resch’s insignia is on the flap (Figure 3).

The Resch family brothers Edmund (1847-1923), Richard Frederick Edward Nicholas (1851-1912) and EMIL KARL (1860-1930), brewers, were the sons of Johann Nicolaus Resch, ironmaster, and his wife Julia Bernhardine Louise Wilhelmine, both of Saxony. Edmund was born at Horde, Westphalia, and arrived in Australia in 1863. In 1871, after mining in Victoria, he moved to New South Wales where he and his workmate were the first to strike copper at the Cobar South mine. He went to Charters Towers, Queensland, where he built, then operated a hotel for four years. He sold out because of ill health and about 1877 bought with a younger brother Richard Frederick a cordial and aerated water factory at Wilcannia, New South Wales. Next year he visited Germany, where at Munich, on 17 October 1878, he married Carolina Rach (1855-1927).

His business flourished, for Wilcannia was a busy river port and centre of a vast pastoral district. In September 1879 Edmund and Richard opened the Lion Brewery and in 1883 purchased a brewery at Cootamundra, renaming it the Lion Brewery; by 1885 they had branches at Silverton, west of Broken Hill, and Tibooburra on the Mount Browne goldfield. On 11 August 1885, however, the partnership was dissolved by mutual consent, Richard carrying on at Cootamundra and Tibooburra and Edmund at Wilcannia, where he built up an enviable reputation as a skilful brewer.

In 1892 Edmund Resch installed a manager and retired to live in Melbourne. In 1895, however, he moved to Sydney to manage Allt’s Brewing & Wine and Spirit Co. Ltd. In 1897 he purchased the brewery for about £67,000 and in 1900 also acquired the business and plant of the New South Wales Lager Beer Brewing Co. Ltd., assisted by his sons Edmund (1879-1963) and Arnold Gottfried (1881-1942), who had both studied modern brewing methods in Europe and the United States of America. Edmund Resch Sr. embarked on a large building program, centralizing his combined interests in Dowling Street, Redfern (known as Resch’sWaverley Brewery, Sydney).

Resch’s second business career was even more successful than his first. In 1901 he told Richard Meagher of the Legislative Assembly select committee on tied houses, that he was the only brewer in N.S.W. who did not use ‘salicylic acid and other antiseptics’ in his beer, and, not surprisingly, that he was against tied houses. He successfully advertised in 1904-14 as ‘brewer by appointment to His Excellency the Governor-General’ and his ales, beers and stout captured much of the State’s market. From 1903 to October 1913 he was consul in Sydney for the Netherlands government. Wealthy, but uncultivated, he lived in great style at Swifts, a Gothic mansion at Darling Point. During World War I Resch contributed generously to the war effort and made up the difference in pay for about sixty employees who had enlisted, but in November 1917, following an indiscretion, he was arrested and interned in Holsworthy camp. Edmund Resch died at Swifts on 22 May 1923, survived by his wife and sons. In 1929 Resch’s Waverley Brewery was taken over by Tooth & Co. Ltd in exchange for shares issued to the Resch family.

Emil was born in February 1860 at Aalen, Württemberg, and after serving his apprenticeship in the brewing and malting trade he arrived in Australia in 1882. After a short time in Melbourne he joined his brothers at Wilcannia, and in 1885 took over their Lion Brewery on Umberumberka Creek, Silverton. In 1888, when the brewery had an annual output of over 90,000 gallons (409,148 L), he opened a cordial factory in Argent Lane, Broken Hill. He became an original trustee of the German Club at Broken Hill in 1892 and next year returned to Germany where at Aalen he married Emma Schwartz.

Retaining his brewing interests at Broken Hill, in 1898 Emil Resch went to Melbourne and became general manager of Melbourne Brewery and Distillery Ltd (Victoria Brewery). He was naturalized in December 1899. In 1905 Emil Resch with other brewers representing the Victoria and Carlton breweries, began discussions which led to the formation of Carlton & United Breweries Pty Ltd on 8 May 1907. Emil had bought the Victoria Brewery and incorporated it in the merger in exchange for shares in the new company, and he was general manager of Carlton and United in 1907-14. Emil Resch died on 17 April 1930 at his Kew home, survived by his wife, one of his two sons, Carl, and five daughters. An example of one of the Resch’s beer labels is seen in Figure 4.

I acknowledge that all this information on the Resch brothers and family was extracted from the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

Categories: Business, Family History