Official Launch of The Milk Bars Book. Volume II: A Sweet History

Official Launch of The Milk Bars Book. Volume II: A Sweet History

"I’ll have one of those, and one of those,
umm . . . and two of them . . . umm,
no, three of them, please? How much is that?"

Announcing the official launch of The Milk Bars Book. Volume II: A Sweet History [2023], the sequel to Eamon Donnelly's highly sought-after and now out-of-print first title from 2018. Volume II continues the choc-a-block journey down milk bar memory lane, offering even more milk bar goodness in a 356-page technicolour tome. Donnelly has meticulously chronicled over a century of cherished Australian milk bar moments, from 1900 to now, the ads, the brands, and the sweet treats we all remember — a century of sweet history, decade by decade.

Each chapter boasts a visual feast of carefully selected material: from shopfronts to shopfloors, advertising and point of sale ephemera, trade announcements from industry journals, new drinks, new ice creams, new lollies, competitions, fads, technology, packaging, and social trends of the time.

The advertising direct to the milk bar trade will take you behind the counter with marketing campaigns never before seen by the public, from the very first ads for “Freddo” in 1939 to the origins of the thirst-crushing Solo in 1958 or when the Milky Bar Kid first aired on TV. Learn how these brands were marketed by the industry over the decades to entice us to spend our treasured coins on a sweet treat at the milk bar.

Ever wondered what a milk bar looked like in the 1950s? Or how ice cream was made in the 1900s? Or what types of drinks were being mixed up at the old soda fountains? Remember household names like MacRobertson’s, McNiven’s, Marchants, and Tarax? Do you remember that first bite into a Peters Choc Wedge or a Cadbury Crunchie, that new Big M flavour, winning a competition at your shop, or choosing your favourite mixed lollies selection? Whether it was at the milk bar, the corner shop, mixed business, soda fountain, convenience store, deli, or the confectionery aisle at the supermarket [depending on your age], these sweet memories are all etched into our collective consciousness and are universal.

Run by hardworking families, these establishments served as more than just places to shop, drink, or chew; they were an integral part of our lives. These shops provided not only all of our essential items and indulged our sweet tooths; they gave us a sense of belonging; they were the fabric of our communities, with “one on every corner.”

This book, much like Volume I, aims to serve as a conversation starter, capturing the elements that made the milk bar so special. "Volume II" is a celebration of Australian small business, family, food, community, advertising, and childhood memory, a visual feast that reminds us of what we once had and the precious fragments of our past that have gradually faded away.

What sweet treats did you spend your coins on?

Detailed Specs: ISBN: 978-0-646-86236-1. Published: December 2023. Size: 300mm x 240mm x 35mm / 11.8 x 9.4 x 1.3 inches portrait. Pages: 356pp. Number of Illustrations: 426. Format: Hardcover. Head and tail bands: White. End papers: Fluorescent orange. Packaged in a clamshell collectable cardboard box. Includes an autographed card from the author. Available in 4 cover colour options: Raspberry Spider [Fluorescent Pink], Lemon Sherbet [Fluorescent Yellow], Orange Fizz [Fluorescent Orange], Milk [White], + Limited Edition Signed and Numbered [1/50] All White. Author / Designer / Finished Art / Archives / Research: Eamon Donnelly. Publisher: EAMON DONNELLY PUBLICATIONS. Image Researcher / Archive Assistant: Monique Le Grand. Cover Stock: WIBALIN® Fine Linen. Text Stock: 157gsm Gold East Matt Art. Title & Cover Type: Audimat 3000 by Jack Usine. Typeset in: Space Grotesk by Florian Karsten. Printed and bound in China by Australian Book Connection. Subjects: Milk Bars; Shops; Australian History; Retail; Food; Photography; Culture; Advertising; Packaging; Graphic Design.

Shop All Editions Here 🥤