The above image shows the advert for John Wheatley & Son in the 1868 Red Book.
Black beer (a kind of dark, heavy beer which nowadays is called malt) and soft drinks were produced in the same local factory, before the days of big international brands. Some of these drinks were of very high quality – peppermint, raspberry and gingerette cordials are not generally available today. I’d love to know what Potass and Lithia and German Seltzer waters actually are. The small writing in the centre reads, ‘J. W. & Son, having put down improved and more powerful machinery respectfully solicit a continuance of the public favour and wish to call the attention of Private Families to the Soda Water and Lemonade manufactured by them, which will bear comparison with any.’ A dozen bottles of drinks sell for two shillings, at a time when many people earned fourpence a day in the words of the song. This would have been a week’s wages. A luxury for the rich. One major cause of death in 19th century industrial England was cholera, now known to be caused by drinking contaminated water. A bottle of pop would have been very welcome.
The brewery is listed as being on Henry Street in Broomhall. On a present day map of Sheffield there is a street called Henry Street between the Wellington Pub and Crookes Valley Park near Pensitone Road. Was this once part of Broomhall, or was there another street called Henry Street? Do any of the readers know? Please leave a comment below or contact us to let us know.
Advert courtesy of Sheffield Archives & Local Studies Library (SALS).