Sunday, February 22, 2009

Perrett's Chemists - Perrett's Corner, Manners Street, Wellington

Typical Chemist Shop in New Zealand, early 1900s. An unidentified chemists shop in Christchurch, NZ, Perrett's chemist shop would have looked similar with chemical compounds arrayed in neatly labeled bottles and most merchandise on the retailer's side of the counter.
Photo: Steffano Webb, Alexander Turnbull Library, ref.

Claude H Perrett and his brother Edwin established their chemist shop and mail order business at the corner of Manners and Willis streets some time after Turner's chemists vacated the premises. They had moved down to Wellington from Wanganui. Newspaper advertising of their various patent remedies - or what today we might refer to as quack medicines - appears in The Evening Post as early as 12 August 1908.

Soon the corner became known as Perrett's corner - and remained so long after the business was sold in 1964 and the building demolished in 1971. Indeed, although housed in a new building on the site, Perretts Corner lives on in the name of a cafe, Perretts Corner Cafe, at the spot.

Evening Post, 1909, Papers Past, National Library of New Zealand

Wellington's population flocked by - and out of towners mailed in orders based on the mail catalogues the Perretts mailed around the country - to get such tonics as Vitalis, Guderin, and Microbin that would reinvigorate them, cure them of hysteria, fainting spells, and nervousness, or simply ensure good dental hygiene.

Evening Post, 1908, Papers Past, National Library of New Zealand

Evening Post, 1913, Papers Past, National Library of New Zealand

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