George Marchant


1857 – 1941


Who was George Marchant?

George Marchant was an Australian soft-drink manufacturer and philanthropist.

Marchant was born in Brasted, Kent, England, the son of a builder and hotel keeper. As a boy he become interested in the temperance movement. He arrived in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia on the Ramsey on 9 June 1874 at age 16 with only a few shillings. He worked as a gardener and then a station hand in the country until returning to Brisbane for employment as a carter in an aerated waters factory, himself purchasing the ginger beer manufacturing business of John R. Palmer in Elizabeth Street, Brisbane in 1886. Marchant then opened a factory in Bower Street, Spring Hill, Brisbane and his soft-drink business eventually became the largest in Australia, with other plants in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Newcastle.

Marchant believed in social equality and had read Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward: 2000-1887; in 1890 Marchant founded a Bellamy Society. Marchant chaired meetings which raised funds for striking workers and women in his employ were paid more than the average in the food industry. Most of the profits of his business were distributed amongst the employees.

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Nov 17, 1857
  • Australia
Lived in
  • Brisbane
  • Brasted
Sep 5, 1941

on July 23, 2013


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