Australia in the 1920s

Consumer choices

In 1921, US products such as Life Savers ('the candy with the hole') and Kellogg's Cornflakes entered the Australian market. At the same time, an act of parliament was passed protecting the term 'Anzac' against commercial uses. By 1927, Anzac Day was declared a statutory holiday in all states.

In 1923, Vegemite was developed by an Australian chemist in order to compete with the British yeast and vegetable extract, Marmite. Vegemite did not take off immediately, having to wait for advertising campaigns in the 1950s to become a national commercial icon.

In 1928, popular enthusiasm for aviation was converted to an advertising campaign for Aeroplane Jelly, which was launched for the Australian market.

The sheet music for I Like Aeroplane Jelly

A snapshot of 1928

  • February
    • Bert Hinkler landed in Darwin after taking about 15 days for the first solo flight from Britain to Australia.

  • May
    • Charles Kingsford Smith flew across the Pacific Ocean from Oakland, California to Brisbane in 10 days.
    • Reverend John Flynn started flying doctors and nurses to the outback as a precursor to the first Royal Flying Doctor Service, which would be established in 1942.

  • June
    • The Commonwealth Savings Bank of Australia was established as a separate entity.

  • August
    • Australian Iron and Steel began production with a blast furnace in Port Kembla.

  • December
    • Speedo produced its first swimsuit and Aeroplane Jelly was launched.


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