Box, Colouring

An empty cardboard box for Sykes's Venetian Red. The rectangular cardboard box is covered in red paper with black text. " SYKES'S / VENETIAN / RED / Imparts a warm and cheerful / appearance to / FIREPLACES AND ALL / KINDS OF BRICKWORK / that are not exposed to the weather. It does not rub off / and become dirty like whiting./ Imported and Packed by / A.E SYKES & SONS LTD. / Manufacturing Chemists / NEW PLYMOUTH " is written on one side of the box. " Use " LESWORK" Cleaners / For WINDOW SHINE / DRY CLEANER / FLOOR POLISH / Sold Here " is written on two other sides of the box. The interior of the box still has some red residue on it.
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Alfred E Sykes' chemist shop on King Street, New Plymouth, was ahead of the game when it came to product development. Opened in 1893, Sykes' sold chemist products including cough remedies and laxatives, veterinary supplies and domestic items. They also sold this box of red colouring which would give a “warm and cheerful appearance to fireplaces and all kinds of brickwork”, according to the packet! Changing export and health regulations, and the development of penicillin, from the 1940s meant that the home and farm elements of Sykes' business were replaced with a focus on their much loved cordials. The brand was sold to the Western Bottling Company in 1976.
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