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Bottle of olive oil


Item details

Object number M-142
Manufacturer Crescent brand
Place Made in Italy and bottled by Prahran UFS Dispensary, Melbourne.
Date 1960s
Donor Dr M Fredman
Category Medicines and therapeutics
Material Natural remedy - multiple uses


Corked bottle (3 oz) of Crescent brand finest Italian virgin olive oil – the imported oil would have been bottled by the UFS (United Friendly Society) Dispensary for re-sale. Until the 1960s in Australia, olive oil was generally only available from pharmacies - for medicinal purposes rather than for culinary use. It was used as a skin treatment, a lubricant, a mild laxative, as ear drops to remove ear wax or consumed by the spoonful as a health tonic.  With the influx of immigrants from Mediterranean countries through the 1950s and 1960s olive oil became more widely used for culinary purposes firstly within the immigrant population but then across the general population.