Sepia Saturday 354

"Steinmetz, Joseph Janney, 1905-1985. Assistant Niki Vasilikis at work in John M. Gonatos' curio shop in Tarpon Springs, Florida. 1942. Color transparency. State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory. Accessed 11 Feb. 2017.<>

The photo above is this week's theme for Sepia Saturday.  If you go to the link on Florida Memory you will see a general note that advises that Niki Vasilikis was also the first Greek member of the W.A.C. or Women's Army Corps.  There's some great information about the W.A.C. on this site and this site.

But I'm not going to focus on the W.A.C. today but look at another shop - this time from Brisbane.

Anyone who knows me well knows that I am a sucker for a good cake shop.  Check this out!

George E. Adams' cake shop, Brisbane Arcade, Brisbane, ca. 1938 John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Some cake shop huh?  Wait til you see the front window display!

Front display window of G. E. Adams' cake shop, Brisbane Arcade, Brisbane, ca, 1938 John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland 
Don't you think that's a lot of cake?  I do!  Did we eat more cake then or what?

Check out what I imagine must have been the first George Adams cake shop.  Isn't it sweet?

Adams' Cake Shop in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane, ca. 1925 John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland
I particularly like "Cosy and Quiet".  

Here is an advertisement from the times....

Advertisement for George Adams' Cakes, Queensland, 1930 Queenslander John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Let's see if we can map out the stores and factory in Brisbane...

According to this site, the Tivoli is the former site of the Adams Cakes factory. Who knew?

It's been a bit difficult to plot the site of the Melba Picture Theatre in the Valley.  The BCC Valley Heritage Trail plots 201 Wickham Street as the Valley Corner. Newspaper advertising from the time puts the Melba Picture Theatre in Wickham Street at the Valley Corner.  The Cinema and Theatre Historical Society database however plots the Melba in Duncan Street.

And because I am a Mexican (i.e. from down south and born in Sydney) I didn't know where Chapman's Corner was in Brisbane city but this newspaper article helped me figure that out.

"SOLD.. FOR £52,500" The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Qld. : 1933 - 1954) 9 October 1954: 8. Web. 12 Feb 2017 <>. 

Anyway that's enough for one day.  Bring on cake I say and another cup of tea. By the way, I have borrowed an excellent book on baking from my library if you like looking at cookery books.  It's called Bake Class and is by Anneka Manning.  Published by Murdoch Press it is laid out beautifully and has great photos.  It was recommended to me by a customer as she was returning it.  She pointed out that it is really important to figure out where the recipe was published as American measurements are very different from Australian measurements and that can be a whole world of difference in baking.  Australian teaspoons or tablespoons are not the same as American.  And check your spoons and cups...maybe they weren't made in Australia or America or wherever you live.  

Bake Class is an unusual book in that sets out chapters in terms of the method of cooking e.g. measure and mix, measure and beat, folding, rubbing-in etc.  Quite extraordinary.  I've never seen that in a cookbook before.  There's so many recipes I want to try.  I may just have to buy the book in the end.  And I'd love to do a class with Anneka too.  They sound fun.  

For more interpretations on the Sepia Saturday theme go here.


Boobook said…
Excellent and fun post Alex.
La Nightingail said…
Those cakes look so good. There's only one place better and that's a shop in Modesto (if it's still there? I haven't been down to Modesto in an age) that sells cheesecake in just about any flavor you could possibly imagine - lemon, orange, raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, maple, almond, coconut, hazelnut, caramel, rum, peanut butter, etc. etc., and of course, chocolate of all kinds. Oh dear. I think I have to go buy some cream cheese and butter and graham crackers!
Unknown said…
Love the sign underneath the display window that says "Butter RICH CAKES" -- Goodness; I think I gained five pounds just reading this post!
Wendy said…
And this is why I would never make it as a professional baker. I'd be afraid all that cake would be stale before it sold.
Barbara R. said…
Oh my goodness...cake! And recipes. I would love both. Maybe more leaning to the cakes.
Mike Brubaker said…
That's a LOT of cake. It's amazing how many varieties of regional and even national sweet stuff there are. In America I think the food industry's change from cane sugar to corn syrup has greatly influenced public tastes. I like the one company's description of quantities of ingredients.
Jofeath said…
I always wonder hiw long some of the items have been in the cabinets, and how they get things out without disturbing anything else in the packed display in these places, even today. Great old photos. By the way, New South Welshmen in turn refer to Victorians as Mexicans.
Crissouli said…
I have included your blog in Interesting Blogs in FRIDAY FOSSICKING at

Thank you, Chris

Alex Daw said…
Dear Chris - That is so kind of you. Thank you!

Dear Jo - me too! And yes I remember calling Victorians Mexicans too which is why I was quite offended being called one by Queenslanders...what goes around, comes around :)

Dear Mike - I hadn't thought about the change in tastes from cane sugar to corn syrup...interesting.

Dear Barbara - I always lean to cakes :) But I did experiment on the weekend with a bit of baking - some very nice ginger biscuits. Hopefully scones this weekend. I just wish it wasn't so blinking hot.

Dear Wendy - exactly - how do they judge the quantities and avoid waste. I guess they can't avoid waste if they want the display to look fabulous.

Dear Deb - Ha Ha! Indeed.

Dear La Nightingail - cheesecake. Now you're talking !

Dear Lorraine - Thank you so much for your very kind comments. It was fun to write.

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