Ipswich Libraries

Hudson’s Eumenthol Jujubes

You have probably heard of Hudson’s Eumenthol Jujubes, or even consumed them for a sore throat. These cough drops or throat lozenges are internationally known however they were first known in Ipswich and developed here by George Inglis Hudson.

Image courtesy of Australian Town & Country Journal, 9 December 1903, p.53

Image courtesy of Australian Town & Country Journal, 9 December 1903, p.53

Hudson – Chemist & Druggist kept premises in Brisbane Street around the turn of the 19th/20th centuries, opposite A.J.S. and Royal Banks, & just a few doors from the Palais Royal Hotel which was then situated on the corner of East and Brisbane Streets. This location would have been in O’Sullivan’s Buildings now approximately 100 Brisbane Street. Hudson was born in Tasmania in 1863, and educated in Sydney. He was trained in chemistry and dentistry and commenced his working life at Glebe before relocating for health reasons. In the early 1890s he landed in Ipswich and proceeded to establish his business as druggist and “surgical & mechanical dentist”. His residence was Rose Hill at Limestone Hill.

O'Sullivan's Buildings, 100 Brisbane Street, Ipswich 1960

O’Sullivan’s Buildings, 100 Brisbane Street, Ipswich 1960 – Image courtesy of Picture Ipswich

Joseph Lister the 19th century founder of antiseptic medicine influenced Hudson’s development of Eumenthol Jujubes. His experience as a dentist led him to believe that an antiseptic for the mouth would aid oral hygiene, destroy bacteria and decrease tooth decay. His search for antiseptics that were both non-caustic and safe for regular human consumption revealed eucalyptus and menthol, hence the unique brand name. These became the active ingredients of Eumenthol Jujubes. Development and production began in the late 1890s. The jujubes were being advertised by early 1899 and were exhibited at a medical conference in Brisbane in October 1899. By December 1899 the product was well known in Ipswich and demand was heavy in North Queensland. Distribution had also commenced in N.S.W.

The lozenges were advertised as a remedy for influenza, asthma and bronchitis as well as a soothing medication for public speakers and singers.  It was even claimed that Eumenthol Jujubes could prevent consumption. It seems that from the start the product had the endorsement of medical and dental practitioners and was actually prescribed by doctors. Reviews appeared in The Lancet and The Australasian Medical Gazette.

Image courtesy of Daily Telegraph, 25 March 1899, p.6.

Image courtesy of Daily Telegraph, 25 March 1899, p.6.

Some of the success of Eumenthol Jujubes was due to its energetic promotion by the business proprietor.  In the following few years George Hudson registered his trademark in many overseas countries and developed a large export business, introducing the Jujubes to London in 1904. The business grew so much and the product was so popular that by 1906 George decided to divest himself of his local business interests and concentrate on manufacturing and promoting Hudson’s Eumenthol Jujubes. The chemist shop in Brisbane Street was sold to W.I.R. Troughton, and dental practice to Mr G. Rylatt who had been Hudson’s assistant for many years.

In January 1907 George Hudson became the first Australian to receive a Certificate of the Incorporated Institute of Hygiene, London – awarded for the purity and quality of Eumenthol Jujubes.

Over 100 years later Hudson’s Eumenthol Jujubes still exist, are now available in 3 flavours and are manufactured in South East Asia.

A Eumenthol Jujubes tin pack is held in the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney highlighting the significance of Hudson’s Australian invention.

Image courtesy of Daily Standard

Image courtesy of Daily Standard (Bris.), 26 May 1930, p.10.

Information taken from:

Queensland Times, Ipswich Herald and General Advertiser, 28 January 1896, p.2. Advertising.
http://www.brandsofhudsons.com/
Queensland Times, Ipswich Herald and General Advertiser, 13 May 1899, p.1. Advertising.
Daily Telegraph (Sydney), 25 March 1899, p.6. Advertising.
Queensland Times, Ipswich Herald and General Advertiser, 23 December 1899, p.4. Eumenthol Jujubes.
Queenslander, 11 January 1902, p.80. Hudson’s Eumenthol Jujubes.
Australian Town and Country Journal, 9 December 1903, p.53. Hudson’s Eumenthol Jujubes.
Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser, 17 June 1903, p.1497. Hudson’s Eumenthol Jujubes.
Queensland Times, Ipswich Herald and General Advertiser, 17 January 1893, p.6. Advertising.
Queensland Times, Ipswich Herald and General Advertiser, 7 June 1904, p.9. Eumenthol Jujubes in London.
Queensland Times, Ipswich Herald and General Advertiser, 27 February 1906, p.4. An old established business changes hands.
Queensland Times, Ipswich Herald and General Advertiser, 3 March 1906, p.4. Business announcement.
Daily Standard (Bris.), 26 May 1930, p.10. Advertising.
Brisbane Courier, 29 March 1907, p.4. Eumenthol Jujubes.
https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/125272530?searchTerm=%22o%27sullivans%20building%22%20hudson%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20&searchLimits=l-state=Queensland|||l-title=377

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