The Australian National University has released a massive online resource of images and information on pubs of Tooth & Co during the 20th century.
One of Australia’s great brewery success stories, Tooth & Co. Ltd began in 1835 and remained a leader in the industry for over 150 years.
Beginning operations at the legendary Kent Brewery on Parramatta Road in Sydney, it expanded to own more than 700 hotels at its peak, supplying many more under the ‘tied house’ system.
It was formerly common practise for breweries to advance loans and product to prospective publicans, on the promise that the pub would sell only, or at least a quota of, the brewery’s beers. Although still common in other parts of the world, including the UK, the system was abolished in Australia under the 1977 Commonwealth Trade Practices Commission.
For many decades, Tooths kept detailed records on all of its pubs and clients on yellow cards, updating them periodically with information such as the hotel’s name, location, owner, licensee and a graph depicting the amount of beer supplied.
A vast collection of the yellow cards have now been digitised by the Australian National University (ANU), their locations mapped and the information embedded, as part of an online interactive tool.
The information offers historic insight into the workings of the big brewery and its clients through the heyday of the Aussie pub.
Find the ANU online history of Tooth and Company Hotels (here).