The MILK BARS Book By Eamon Donnelly. Documenting Australia's fading Corner Stores.
15 years in the making, a richly nostalgic, colourfully illustrated, photography coffee table book celebrating an iconic Australian invention, the Milk Bar!
Hello, I'm Eamon Donnelly, an artist, designer and photographer from Melbourne Australia. For the past 15 years I have been documenting the last of Australia's colourful and fading Corner Stores, the Milk Bars.
This is a campaign to raise the printing costs to self publish my book MILK BARS, a large format hardcover, 400 page coffee table book. To be proudly printed in Australia, the book features photographs from an expansive 6000 image project documenting the last of the shopfronts, interiors, sun-kissed signage and ghost signs of Australian Milk Bars, Corner Stores & Mixed Businesses.
The book also showcases family photographs, archival imagery, nostalgic graphics and adverts dating back to the 1930s. It will bring back your Milk Bar memories and bring the colourful history of the Milk Bar, an Australian invention that took over the world, to life.
We all remember our childhood corner Milk Bar or the suburban corner shop. The lollies, the snacks, the sweets, the families that ran them, the memories and the milkshakes. Chock-a-bloc, fully illustrated, this technicolour book is a nostalgic trip back to those hot summer afternoons when you met your mates at the corner shop and spent your hard-earned pocket money on a bag of mixed lollies, an ice cream and a milkshake.
Just like the humble Milk Bar, I would love your community support to self-publish this book, to share such an important story of the Australian way of life. With your pledge towards a book, let’s celebrate the humble Australian Milk Bar story and immortalise its importance for generations to come.
I hope you enjoy my project!
“Eamon has a knack for capturing moments of Australian life like few others. Our past needs to be valued, documented and celebrated. The simplicity of the Milk Bar experience, a cherished memory of our childhoods, is one that should be elevated to a higher plane. Get behind this. I certainly am.” Tim "Rosso" Ross, Australian Comedian, writer, radio host, social commentator and design nerd.
The Milk Bar, you might not know, was invented in Australia. It was originally based on the American Soda Bars with the idea being brought back to Australia by a Greek born Sydney entrepreneur of the name of Joachim Tavlaridis or ‘Mick Adams.’ He brought the idea of Soda Bars to Sydney and in 1932, opened the Black & White 4d Milk Bar. Instead of sodas he sold milkshakes, thus calling his business a “Milk-Bar”. What became of the original Milk Bars that Adams invented is a rich a layered story with many reinventions and incantations over the past 75 years, this book is a document of the last of the Milk Bars across Australia, who in their hey-day were one of the most successful small businesses this country had seen.
This book began in 2002, with the first shopfront photo taken of my childhood Milk Bar. It was called “Dave & Peggy's”, run by the Hawkings in East Geelong, and had by then closed. This was such a strong and vivid personal memory for me. The photo was my keepsake of growing up with ‘Dave & Peggy’s’ around the corner, memories of Saturday afternoons spent riding my BMX up the lane to the Milk Bar with a pocket of 1 and 2 cent coins to grab a milkshake, ice cream, Big M or a bag of mixed lollies.
That closed shopfront of my childhood Milk Bar sparked my interest in other Milk Bars dotted in the suburb that I had grown up with. I noticed a change in Australia's suburban landscape; the Milk Bar, that humble corner shop which was such a big part of everyday life for Australia, was slowly fading away. This sparked a personal photography project to document the last of the Australian Milk Bars.
This book documents it all from the last of the traditional Milk Bars. From The Rio in Summer Hill to outback Bells of Broken Hill, The Olympia in Parramatta before its closing and down the back-streets-of-the-suburbs corner stores all across Australia. The project itself, my archive of photography, features over 6,000 photographs of shopfronts, interiors, details, lolly counters, milkshakes, rusted awnings, empty shop floors, faded adverts, hand painted signs, peeling stickers, ghost signs of a faded summers past.
Intro: Milkshakes, Memories & Mixed Lollies by Eamon Donnelly
Features Milk Bar memories from childhood, growing up in the 1980s, the brands, the ads, the essence of a corner store, the colour and design, the mixed lollies, milkshakes, the fading decline of the humble Milk Bar. All accompanied by brands and ads, archival and contemporary photography.
Foreword by Tim Ross:
“Eamon has a knack for capturing moments of Australian life like few others. Our past needs to be valued, documented and celebrated. The simplicity of the Milk Bar experience, a cherished memory of our childhoods, is one that should be elevated to a higher plane. Get behind this. I certainly am.” Tim Ross
Tim is a comedian, writer, television presenter and design nerd. His award winning documentary series ‘Streets Of Your Town’ was the most watched arts programs on television in 2016. Since 2011 he has performed his ‘Man About the House’ live show in architecturally significant houses across Australia and beyond.
History of the Milk Bar Essay by historians Leonard Janiszewski and Effy Alexakis
Documentary photographer, Effy Alexakis, and socio-cultural historian, Leonard Janiszewski, have been researching and collecting, interviewing and photographing, publishing and exhibiting on the Greek-Australian historical and contemporary experience since 1982. Their project and archives, In Their Own Image: Greek- Australians, is based at Macquarie University, Sydney. Greek Cafes & Milk Bars of Australia (Halstead Press 2016) is their most recent book.
They have written an exclusive never before published essay for the book titled ‘The Birth of the Milk Bar’ which charts to beginnings of the first Milk Bar opened in the world in Sydney in 1932, through to the invention of the Milkshake, the architecture of original Milk Bars, social changes of the times, influence of the Milk Bar throughout the world, all accompanied with rare archival photography, never before seen adverts, graphics and clippings from the archives of CAMBA (the Convenience and Mixed Business Association) dating back to the 1930s.
"We are thrilled to be involved with Eamon's book. His commitment and passion in documenting the fading days of the milk bar is evident. Having lost a few iconic Milk Bars in recent years this book is a timely reflection and a valuable keepsake of an era that is slowly disappearing. Eamon's photographs are influenced by his designer's eye - the shop exteriors show a high sense of drama with intense colour and counterbalanced by very graphic images of the advertising and signage." Effy Alexakis
Memories from behind the counter top
Features memories and stories from past owners I have interviewed accompanied by their intimate family photographs from behind the counter top.
The Milk Bars Project: Faded Facades, Sun-kissed Signs & Inviting Interiors
300 pages of ghost signs, shopfronts, interiors and details from Milk Bars across Australia.
Pledge the $65 reward
- Print Run will be 1000 books
- Estimated delivery of book to backers in September 2018
- Pages: 400
- Size: 250mm wide x 240mm high
- Weight 2.2kg
- Proudly Printed & bound in Melbourne, Australia by Ellikon ellikon.com.au
Pledge the $120 reward
- Signed & Numbered from 1 to 100
- On a card placed on the mixed lollies opening end papers of the book
- The card is designed to replicate the old mixed lolly bag we all remember plus, it has a bonus scented ink in Vanilla!
- Size: 297 x 420 mm / 11.7 x 16.5 in.
- Giclée Fine Art Print on Canson Platine Fibre Rag Archival Paper which is a glossy art paper, 310gsm in weight and 100% cotton. Printed in Melbourne by Lantern Printing.
- Prints are signed, titled and dated on reverse of print by Eamon Donnelly.
- Prints come with a Signed Certificate of Authenticity and are an open edition.
Each Print comes with 1 copy of The MILK BARS Book.
- Size: A1 594 x 841 mm 23.4 x 33.1 in
- Limited Edition of 5, signed and numbered - 1/5.
- Giclée Fine Art Print on Canson Platine Fibre Rag Archival Paper which is a glossy art paper, 310gsm in weight and 100% cotton.
- Printed in Melbourne by Lantern Printing. Prints are signed, titled and dated on reverse of print by Eamon Donnelly.
- Prints come with a Signed Certificate of Authenticity and are an open edition.
- Each Print comes with 1 copy of The MILK BARS Book.
- March - April - May: Finalise design, layout, writing and finished art ready for proofing with editor and printer.
- June: Book on the presses in Melbourne. Print, Production and Delivery of books estimated to be 6 weeks.
- September: Estimated delivery of first books to backers. Book to be officially published with book launches across Australia, including in many Milk Bars from summer 2018 / 2019.
This campaign is a ‘kickstart’ for the book, to get it off and running with your help and generous backing, the campaign goal is for the printing costs for 1000 copies.
Proudly, “Milk Bars” will be printed in Collingwood, Melbourne, Australia by Ellikon Fine Printers. Situated poignantly behind the old MacRobertson’s Chocolate Factory, a big stockist of Milk Bars in their hey-day, Ellikon have previously delivered publications for the National Gallery of Victoria and National Gallery of Australia. An Australian story printed in Australia!
Any funds raised above my printing goal of $30,000 will go towards, some special Milk Bar surprises, extra special finishes in the book design and towards launches in Milk Bars around Australia. Any funding above the initial goal will also help me cover my own expenses for usage and clearance rights for archival brands advertising and archival photography, hiring a professional editor, digital proofs, commissioning sign writers to paint titles and time to allocate towards the finished design of the book in the coming months before it is sent to print.
Please share this campaign with your family, friends and fellow Milk Bar lovers and link back to @milkbarsbook or #milkbarsbook
And on the following socials pages:
Opening Milk Bar commercial courtesy of Peters Ice Cream.
TODAY Show footage courtesy of Channel 9.
Bells Milk Bar footage courtesy of Southern Cross News SA.
Song by Leo Rossa titled "Ice Cream" how poignant.
Risks and challenges
In 2015 I ran the successful Kickstarter campaign to publish the book Angus O’Callaghan MELBOURNE, acting as the designer for both the campaign and book itself, Melbourne went on to sell out of the first edition of 3,000 copies within the first 6 months after the campaign.
With this previous experience in running a crowdfunding campaign from design, printing, proofing and publishing a book, I don’t foresee any risks and challenges for “MILK BARS”. If changes do occur I will contact backers with updates to publication date or fulfilment of orders of the MILK BARS Book.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (36 days)