Mrs. E. J. Curtis, Paralysed with Rheumatism – Restored to Active Health by Dr. Williams’ Pink Pills

Helplessley Crippled – Wheeled About in a Chair;
Hospital Treatment Hopeless. No Power to Move.
Restored to Active Health by


‘As bad a case of rheumatism as there is on record, in which the patient had given up hope of ever regaining health, has just been cured by Dr. Williams’ Pink Pills. The patient in question is Mrs. E. J. Curtis, of 1 Flora-st., Erskineville, Sydney, and the facts of her case are known to hundreds.’ Continue reading

Posted in 1910-1919, Flora Street, Good for what ails you, Remedies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Daisy’s Dripping Biscuits

Women's sphere The Sun Newspaper

In 1919, Daisy of Erskineville submitted her recipe for Dripping Biscuits to the ‘Women’s Sphere’ page of Sydney’s The Sun Newspaper. Daisy’s recipe appeared in the ‘Housewives’ Exchange’ column: ‘any kind of useful wrinkle concerning the home-cooking,
dressmaking, care of children-will find a place in this column.’ 

The recipe for dripping biscuits appeared amongst several recipes submitted by residents of Sydney, which included wheatmeal pastry, apple strudel, sponge cake, carrot pudding, and honey toffee.

Erskineville Dripping Biscuits

The Sun (Sydney) Sunday, 12 October 1919

Daisy’s recipe uses dripping, or beef fat in place of the butter or oil that most biscuit recipes tend to use today. In 1919 beef dripping would have been an inexpensive ingredient, a by-product of family cooking, dripping being the fat that dripped from roasting meat. Today, beef dripping is sold at the supermarket at great expense as a gourmet ingredient.

The recipe appears pretty straight forward right up until the direction is reached to add ‘sufficient flour’ and ‘bake in a brisk oven’ and finally ‘a little cornflour added to the flour is an improvement.’ How much? How hot? For how long?

Would that be a Britsh Imperial measure of sufficiency?

Well, there’s nothing for it but to pre-heat the oven to ‘brisk’ and get down to business with a beater and some rendered beef fat…

Daisy’s Dripping Biscuits
Erskineville Dripping Biscuits stack.png

There are some modern recipies for lemon-sugar biscuits that provide some guidance for this 1919 recipe. All use butter in place of the dripping, so if a slight departure from Daisy’s recipie is preferred consider this recipe for lemon sugar cookies, or these lemon and condensed milk biscuits.

1 cup (200grams) beef dripping
2 cups of caster sugar
Finely grated rind of two fresh lemons
1 cup of milk
2 large teaspoons of baking powder
3 cups of plain flour
1 cup of cornflour

1. Preheat oven to 180º Celsius. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
2. Place dripping in a mixing bowl, and using an egg-beater, beat dripping until stiff peaks form.
3. Start adding the two cups of caster sugar. Continue beating to incorporate the sugar into the dripping. Continue beating, adding the lemon rind and milk.
4. Sift flour and cornflour into the batter, incorporating one cup at a time.
5. For a firm dough chill in fridge for two hours prior to rolling. Otherwise, take teaspoons of dough and roll them into balls, then place them on a greased baking paper.
6. Bake at 180º Celsius for 17 to 20 minutes, or until starting to brown underneath. Allow the biscuits to cool on a cooling rack.

These quantities make about 1250 to 1300ml (5 cups) of biscuit dough (several sufficiencies worth). Left-over dough may be frozen following these instructions.

[A first trial of these biscuits baked in a ‘brisk oven,’ said to be round 220º Celsius produced burnt edges at the 8 minute mark].

The Metters ‘Triumph’ Oven
So we have established that Daisy’s recipe works in a modern oven; but how will it perform in a Metters oven? Given Erskineville’s association with Metters the opporunity to try Daisy’s recipe in a Metters stove could not be passed up!

Metters plaque and mosaic – Erskineville Road

Metters stoves were first produced in the late 1800s in Adelaide. With the success of the stoves a Perth factory was opened in 1896; and in 1902 a small factory opened in Alice Street Newtown. The Newtown premises was quickly overwhelmed and in 1906 20 acres of land was purchased in Alexandria and a new factory built. An additional 10 acres was added to the site in 1937 (The Story of Metters, 1965). The extent of the Metters factory extending from Alexandria and Erskineville is shown in the City of Sydney Building Surveyor’s Detail Sheets 1949-72. The residents of Erskineville and Alexandria could even tell the time of day from the factory whistle eminating from the Metters Factory.

Metters Limited – The “Triumph” Gas Range – Double Oven

Legend has it that this stove first saw service in a pub in Mittagong. Today in retirement, it does occasional service in a shearers’ quarters kitchen not far from the NSW town of Crookwell.

Whilst there is not much information available to establish just how old this particular oven is, ‘The Triumph’ does feature in the 1936 Metters gas stove catalogue:

Metters’ Gas Stove Catalogue October 1936

‘This range represents the last word in efficient capacity cooking equipment,
and is very suitable for pastry cooks, restaurants, hotels, etc.’

Keen-eyed Metters enthusiasts might have noticed that this stove is fitted with an accessory plate rack and an automatic oven heat controller (‘why cook by guesswork?’). Not that the temperature guage serves anything more than a decorative purpose today. This oven has two settings only: ‘Off’ and ‘Flaming gates of hell.’

Metters Limited – ‘The Triumph’

The combination of Daisy’s Erskineville biscuit recipe and the Erskineville oven was met with success! Well, initial success… The first batch of biscuits came out perfectly after the standard 17 to 20 minutes, but given the lack of temperature modulation (and baking without the convenience of an oven window) saw the subsequent batches well-cremated!

Any news of attempts at Daisy’s recipe; or any of the other recipes featured in the the October 1919 ‘Housewives’ Exchange‘ will be gladly received!

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Chamberlain Terrace – 64, 66 & 68 John Street Erskineville

Chamberlain Terrace Erskineville.JPG

Chamberlain Terrace Erskineville

Chamberlain Terrace (64, 66, & 68 John Street Erskineville) is located on the western side of John Street Erskineville, near Albert Street. The terrace makes its first appearance in the 1885 edition of the Sands Directory, indicating it was likely completed the previous year.

Chamberlain Terrace Erskineville 1884 to 1887.png

Sands Directory – John Street Erskineville 1884 – 1885 – 1886 – 1887

Three new residences are seen to appear north of the property of James and Elizabeth Cranston in the 1885 edition of the directory. In 1886 and 1887 the name of the terrace appears as ‘Cumberland terrace.’ In the 1888 edition of the Sands Directory the name of the terrace appears instead as Chamberlain terrace:


Sands Directory – John St Erskineville – 1888




So, a change of name or  some less than accurate record keeping by the Sands Directory transcribers?







Turning to the Council Asessment and Rate Books gives some insight into the name of the terrace and the likely derivation of the terrace’s name. The first appearance of the terrace is in the 1885 edition of the Macdonaldtown Assessment Book. The entry for John Street ‘West Side going South’ records for the first time three brick houses of five rooms each:


Macdonaldtown Assessment Book – John Street- 1885 (City of Sydney Archives)

The 1885 Assessment Book shows in the second column the ‘name of person in occupation,’ which appears to align with the 1886 Sands Directory. The name of the owner of the three houses is shown as ‘J. Chamberlain,’ overwriting the crossed out A. (Albert) Coote. J. Chamberlain is also listed as the payee of the rates.

J. Chamberlain’s association with the property appears to have been short-lived, with J. Chamberlain listed as having paid rates on the property once more in the 1886 Assessment Book, albeit with A. Coote listed in 1886 and in subsequent years as the property owner.

The name of the terrace appears to have stuck however, with advertisements for a household mangle placed by Mr. and Mrs. Coote making three apearances in August and September 1889:

18980827 Household Mangle John Street Macdonaldtown

Evening News (Sydney) Tuesday, 27 August 1889

18980829 Household Mangle John Street Macdonaldtown

Evening News (Sydney) Thursday, 29 August 1889

18980914 Household Mangle John Street Macdonaldtown

Evening News (Sydney) Saturday 14 September 1889
(No. 3 Chamberlain terrace, now 68 John Street)

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Arnott’s Living Pictures – Edna May McEnerney -“Adaville” – Victoria Street Erskineville

Arnotts living pictures Erskineville.png

Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate Friday, 2 June 1916

The lovely daughter of Mrs. McEnerney made her appearance as ‘An Arnott’s Milk Arrowroot Biscuits Girl’ in 1916. Advertisements featuring young Edna May McEnerney appeared in newspapers around Australia from about May 1916 to May 1917 (and once more in October 1917). More than a dozen appearances have been identified.

The Arnott’s celebrates 150 years website describes the ‘Living Pictures’ advertising campaign as running from 1892 until the 1950s and having involved tens of thousands of proud mums sending in testimonials with portraits and photographs of their well–fed babies. The lucky few would have portraits of their children featured in print. When an image of Edna was used in a full page advertisement in The Sun newspaper in April 2017 the number of unsolicited testimonials and photographs was put at 14,000:

Arnotts - Facts are stubborn things.png

The Sun (Sydney) Sunday, 1 April 1917

So whereabouts along Victoria Street was ‘Adaville?’ A check of the Sands Directories shows Cecil ‘McEnery’ residing in Victoria Street in the 1912 to 1926 editions of the directory.

Victoria Street Erskineville North side 1912 to 1915.png

Victoria Street Erskineville (North side) 1912 – 1913 – 1914 – 1915

The un-numbered residences ‘Pitiote,’ ‘Idaville,’ and Rockleigh’ make their first apperance in the Sands Directories in 1912, suggesting they were constructed or completed and tennanted in 1911. The first appearance in 1913 of ‘Mikado’suggets it was completed in 1912, or remained untennanted at the time the 1912 edition of the Sands Directory was compiled. The location of these residences is difficult to ascertain from these directories, the four houses seemingly squeezed between number 2 Victoria Street and the intersection of Campbell (now Rochford) Street. The location of the four houses does not become clear until the publication of the 1919 edition of the Sands Directory, after which consistency in the location of the four houses is established:


Victoria Street Erskineville (North side) 1919 – 1920 – 1921 – 1922

The four houses can be identified on the North side of Victoria Street, between Turtle’s Lane and Pleasant Street (now Morrissey Road) as shown on this map. The modern day numbering of the houses is as follows:

“Mikado” 26 Victoria Street Erskineville
“Pitiote” 28 Victoria Street Erskineville
“Adaville” 30 Victoria Street Erskineville
“Rockleigh” 32 Victoria Street Erskineville

Victoria Street Erskineville.JPG

Left to right: Mikado – Pitiote – Adaville – Rockleigh

McEnerney? McEnery?
A check of the NSW registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages shows Edna M. McEnerney was born to Cecil G. and Amy C. McEnerney in the district of Newtown in 1914.

Adaville? Idaville?
As for the name of the house, generally the Sands Directory entries for Erskineville are a little rough, as previous explorations have shown. Cross checking the details against another source provides clarification. Further insight can be provided by the meticulously compiled rate books generated by the Erskineville Council. Here below is an extract of the Erskineville Council Rate Book for the year ending 31 December 1914:

Erskineville Rate Book 1914 extract.png

Erskineville Rate Book  1914 (City of Sydney Archives)

Whilst the quality of the scan may be low, the names of the occupiers and of the houses can be identified, and correspond with those listed in the 1915 Sands Directory. The surname ‘McEnerney’ is further confirmed, and Cecil McEnerney’s occupation can be identified from the middle column as ‘Pipe Moulder.’ The name of the McEnerney residence appears more than likely to be ‘Adaville’ – a comparison of writing drawn from elsewhere in the Rate Book suggests the first letter of the house name is an ‘A’ rather than an ‘I:’

Atherton v Inspector.png

For comparison: Atherton & Inspector


Adaville – 30 Victoria Street Erskineville



Happy and Healthy Arnotts Famous Milk Arrowroot Biscuits.png




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Mrs. Lane’s Prize-winning Passionfruit Delight

Making Good Wives Better.png

In 1946 Mrs. A. Lane, of 33 Rochford Street Erskineville submitted her recipe for Passionfruit Delight to a weekly competition held by the Truth newspaper within its ‘Making Good Wives Better’ section. For her efforts, Mrs. Lane came third, missing out on the £3 first prize to a recipe for Liver and Onion Pudding; and missing out on the £1 second prize to a recipe for Plum Charlotte; coming away with the admiration of the Truth readership and 10 shillings:

1946 - Passionfruit Delight.png

Truth (Sydney) Sunday, 24 February 1946

As I have previously shown, despite not being much of a cook (nor a housewife) I hope Mrs. Lane and the Truth readership do not mind if I don the apron on this occasion and make an attempt at Mrs. Lane’s recipe.

Passionfruit Delight

85g packet of lemon-flavoured jelly
285mL (half a pint) boiling water
1 cup of milk
1 egg yolk
1 egg white
3 passionfruit

1. Empty contents of jelly packet into a bowl and add 285mL (half a pint) boiling water. Stir to dissolve crystals. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature (do not place in the fridge).

Once jelly has cooled to room temperature:
2. Combine beaten egg yolk and milk. Add to jelly mixture.
3. Beat egg white in a bowl until stiff peaks form (see Beating Egg Whites for more)
4. Gently fold-in stiffly beaten egg white and passionfruit into the jelly mixture so volume is not lost.
5. Refrigerate until set.

It’s pretty good! Worth 10 shillings any day… Nice one Mrs. Lane!

Mrs. Lane’s Passionfruit Delight recipe is one of several published on the day. Other recipes published  include two suggested by the Department of Health Dietitian (tomato puree and stuffed tomatoes); the recipe for Liver and Onion Pudding from Mrs. Tobin of Rose Bay; and the Plum Charlotte recipe from Miss Hunt of Petersham.


It might be hard to fathom a recipe for liver and onion pudding winning over anything these days, but it would seem that Mrs. Lane was not too hard done by. It is pointed out that Mrs. Tobin’s liver and onion pudding required no coupons – a handy advantage in the years immediately after the Second World War.

Making good wives better ii.png


Posted in 1940-1949, Rochford Street, Truth Newspaper | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Larrikin Disturbance at Erskineville – the Macdonaldtown Push

 ‘A rowdy gang meet their match’

Erskineville, May 1898:

The lower part of Erskineville, formerly known as Macdonaldtown, has long been troubled by a gang of larrikins known as the “Macdonaldtown Push,” says the Sydney Daily Telegraph of the 17th instant. The character of the suburban “pushes” varies a good deal, but this particular division of larrikins is described by the police as one of the worst of all.

Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld) Wednesday, 25 May 1898


Reports published on Monday 16 May 1898 and in the days and weeks that followed told the story of an ‘affray with larrikins’ on the streets of Erskineville, near the railway bridge at Macdonald Street. The disturbance is reported to have occurred at half-past 11 on the evening of Saturday 14 May 1898. Constable Daniel McKelvey, newly transferred from Redfern to Newtown confronted the miscreants, and ordered them to move on. Continue reading

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Eden Terrace – 10 to 14 Charles Street Erskineville

Eden Terrace (10 to 14 Charles Street Erskineville) is located on the eastern side of Charles Street (known as George Street prior to 1912), between the railway line and Albert Street. Originally a row of seven two-storey terraces, three remain today.

The first mention of the row that would become Eden Terrace is an invitation for tenders for brickwork by Peter James of Swanson Street in February 1887, and a subsequent tender for plastering and plumbing in March 1887:

1887 - Eden Terrace Macdonaldtown Brickwork Tender Invitation

Sydney Morning Herald Wednesday, 9 February 1887

1887 - Eden Terrace Macdonaldtown Plastering and PlumbingTender Invitation Sydney Morning Herald Friday, 25 March 1887
(also appearing Saturday 26 March 1887)

By July 1887 the houses appear to have been completed, and were offered for rent for 10 shillings a week:

To let houses Macdonaldtown.png

Sydney Morning Herald Saturday, 23 July 1887

The first mention of the houses as Eden Terrace occurs several weeks later, with two remaining houses offered for rent:

To Let - Eden Terrace Macdonaldtown 1887

Sydney Morning Herald Saturday, 3 September 1887
(also appearing Monday 5 September 1887)

Here are the first appearances of the residents of Eden Terrace in the 1888 Macdonaldtown Council Assessment Book; and the 1889 edition of the Sands Directory:

Macdnaldtown Assessment Book 1888 Extract.png

Occupants of 1 to 7 Eden Terrace and owner (Peter James)
Macdonaldtown Assessment Book 1888 – North Ward
City of Sydney Archives item 610/10

Macdonaldtown Sands Directory 1889.png

Eden Terrace – 1889 Sands Directory
Occupant of 2 Eden Terrace not listed,
Occupants incorrectly listed south of Thomas (now Albert) Street

Subsequent references to Eden Terrace depict the regular goings-on of suburban Sydney life. Lost animals, births, rental advertisements and some on-the-quiet home business activities. The original numbering of the terrace (as 1 to 7 Eden Terrace) corresponds with the modern numbering of the street (as 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 & 14 George/Charles Street).

Eden Terrace Macdonaldtown Lost Terrier.png

Evening News (Sydney) Friday, 14 September 1888
(Joseph Worrill, Bootmaker – No. 1 Eden Terrace/2 George Street – demolished)


Sydney Morning Herald Thursday, 15 March 1888
(5 Eden Terrace – known today as 10 Charles Street)


Evening News (Sydney) Friday, 3 May 1889
(No. 2 Eden Terrace/4 George Street – demolished)


Evening News (Sydney) Saturday, 29 June 1889
(No. 5 Eden Terrace – known today as 10 Charles Street)


Evening News (Sydney) Monday, 8 July 1889
(No. 1 Eden Terrace/2 George Street – demolished)

Silk tapistry and plush drawing room suite.png

Evening News (Sydney) Saturday, 7 December 1889
(Farren James, Upholsterer. 6 Eden Terrace – known today as 12 Charles Street)

Horsehair suite Macdonaldtown.png

Evening News (Sydney) Saturday, 16 November 1889
(Farren James, Upholsterer. 6 Eden Terrace – known today as 12 Charles Street)

Eden Terrace Macdonaldtown To Let.png

Evening News (Sydney) Saturday, 8 November 1890


Evening News (Sydney) Monday, 24 November 1890

Eden Terrace Madconaldtown Leonard Birth.png

Evening News (Sydney) Tuesday, 14 July 1891
(Wife of James J. Leonard, Printer. No. 3 Eden Terrace/6 George Street – demolished)

Wanted Eden Terrace Macdonaldtown.png

Sydney Morning Herald Thursday, 24 March 1892
(Wife of Henry Mills. No. 2 Eden Terrace/4 George Street – demolished)

No further references to the row as Eden Terrace have been identified from the newspapers, but of course life went on for the residents with pleas for the return of a lost diamond ring (1907); request for a sailing boat (1923); and furniture for sale (1924 & 1930).

In 1914 number 4 Charles Street Erskineville and the story of May Allport ‘the little girl with the Rickets’ appeared in advertisements around the country for Dr. William’s Pink Pills. Here below is the advertisement. There is more about May Allport at Neighbours Astounded – Little Girl Wonderfully Restored to Health.


The Argus (Melbourne) Friday, 20th February 1914

The original owner of Eden Terrace, Mr. Peter James J.P. passed away on 25 July 1891 aged 71 at his Swanson Street residence ‘Carlisle Villa.’

Peter James Macdonaldtown.png

The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser Saturday, 1 August 1891

The following commemoration appeared in the Evening News on 28 July 1891:

Peter James Macdonaldtown identity.png

Evening News (Sydney) Tuesday, 28 July 1891

Peter James was appointed as a ‘Trustee of the land at Macdonaldtown, resumed for the purposes of  a Public Park’ (Macdonaldtown Park) in 1885; and was for a time the Macdonaldtown Park caretaker. Following his passing Alderman John Baldwin passed a motion at a meeting of the Macdonaldtown Council on 10 August 1891 that a letter of condolence be sent to Peter James’ widow, further adding to the motion ‘that the deceased gentlemen had always taken a great interest in municipal work and had been the means of many improvements being effected.’

Peter James owned several properties in Erskineville and beyond, the extent of which was revealed at the dissolution of his estate (after the passing of considerable time) in 1902:

1902 Estate late Peter James Erskineville.png

Sydney Morning Herald Saturday, 12 April 1902

Lot 1 refers to Eden Terrace; Lot 2 refers to two cottages behind Eden Terrace (now demolished) on Thomas Street (now the park on Albert Street between Charles and Burren Street); Lot 3 on Burren Street was known as Railway Terrace (now demolished); and Lots 5 & 6 would later be subdivided and sold in 1903 as the James’ Estate.

The row originally contained seven houses adjacent to the original location of Macdonaldtown Station (depicted in this map of 1886). Number 2 was demolished around the time of the railway duplication and quadruplication works of 1891-2. Here is an extract of a map published in 1894 showing Eden Terrace as a row of six at the time (the two weatherboard cottages in Thomas Street are also shown):4-14 George Street Erskineville 1894.png

1894 – City of Sydney Section Erskineville – Sheet 6

Numbers 4; 6; and 8 would be demolished with the further widening of the railway in 1925.

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