THE MILK BARS BOOK
By Eamon Donnelly
We all remember our childhood corner Milk Bar or the suburban corner shop. The lollies, the snacks, the sweets, the families that ran them, the memories and the milkshakes. Chock-a-bloc, fully illustrated, this technicolour book is a nostalgic trip back to those hot summer afternoons when you met your mates at the corner shop and spent your hard-earned pocket money on a bag of mixed lollies, an ice cream and a milkshake.
Successfully funded via a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter in April 2018.
The Milk Bar, you might not know, was invented in Australia. It was originally based on the American Soda Bars with the idea being brought back to Australia by a Greek born Sydney entrepreneur of the name of Joachim Tavlaridis or ‘Mick Adams.’ He brought the idea of Soda Bars to Sydney and in 1932, opened the Black & White 4d Milk Bar. Instead of sodas he sold milkshakes, thus calling his business a “Milk-Bar”. What became of the original Milk Bars that Adams invented is a rich a layered story with many reinventions and incantations over the past 75 years, this book is a document of the last of the Milk Bars across Australia, who in their hey-day were one of the most successful small businesses this country had seen.
This book began in 2002, with the first shopfront photo taken of my childhood Milk Bar. It was called “Dave & Peggy's”, run by the Hawkings in East Geelong, and had by then closed. This was such a strong and vivid personal memory for me. The photo was my keepsake of growing up with ‘Dave & Peggy’s’ around the corner, memories of Saturday afternoons spent riding my BMX up the lane to the Milk Bar with a pocket of 1 and 2 cent coins to grab a milkshake, ice cream, Big M or a bag of mixed lollies.
This book documents it all from the last of the traditional Milk Bars. From The Rio in Summer Hill to outback Bells of Broken Hill, The Olympia in Parramatta before its closing and down the back-streets-of-the-suburbs corner stores all across Australia. The project itself, my archive of photography, features over 6,000 photographs of shopfronts, interiors, details, lolly counters, milkshakes, rusted awnings, empty shop floors, faded adverts, hand painted signs, peeling stickers, ghost signs of a faded summers past.
- Pages: 424
- Size: 260mm wide x 250mm high
- Weight 2.3kg
- Proudly Printed & bound in Melbourne, Australia
Intro: Milkshakes, Memories & Mixed Lollies by Eamon Donnelly
The Birth of the Milk Bar by historians Leonard Janiszewski and Effy Alexakis from Macquarie University Sydney
Memories from behind the counter top
Features memories and stories from past owners I have interviewed accompanied by their intimate family photographs from behind the counter top.