Monday, March 23, 2009

The Cannery

We all know that a typical Australian hamburger has to have beetroot on it, right? Our American friends just don't get that, but it's been the proper way to eat hamburgers since before the American fast-food chain invasion began. The beetroot used normally comes sliced, straight out of a can - whilst fresh beetroot is one of my faves, when you are having a simple burger meal it's just easier to use the tinned variety. So, what about those tins? Here in Queensland, it would be a good bet to say that you would normally use the Golden Circle brand, tinned at their Northgate factory, which was built by a growers' co-op in 1947. Prior to that, there were a few privately run canneries scattered about South-east Queensland, as well as the State Canning Factory at Teneriffe. Here is a photo (below) of the Teneriffe canning factory site that, according to the information held with it, dates from around the year 1913. The Golden Circle history (click on the link above), however, says that the State Canning Factory was built in 1920.

(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #APE-045-0001-0003)

Even though the caption under the picture refers to Bulimba, the factory was in Vernon Terrace near the Teneriffe wharves - at that time Bulimba referred to both sides of the river. You can see the railway track in the foreground, which served not only the canning factory, but also the New Farm Powerhouse, the sugar refinery, and the wool stores. Along with the rest of the Teneriffe area, the State Canning factory has also undergone a metamorphosis. To satisfy Brisbane's apparently insatiable appetite for accommodation, it has been transformed into a range of over 200 one-bedroom to three-bedroom apartments. The complex is simply called "The Cannery", and this is the way it looks now.
(Photo: © 2009 the foto fanatic)

The main building, on the corner of Vernon Terrace and Dath St, has been retained, and an additional apartment block has been constructed behind it. You can compare the transport of the early twentieth century in the original photo with that of the early twenty-first in the later one. And, for people who live in apartments on this site, it should be mandatory to have tinned beetroot on their burgers.

Click here for a Google Map.


Next: Hostel and hospital

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