New beer serving device, ‘Pluto’ arrives in Melbourne

David Smith barman National Hotel Melbourne 1949 Picture Robyn Slater

“These pots have an extra good look about them, but don’t be hopeful. The picture shows a new beer servicing device known as “Pluto” in use in a Melbourne hotel [National Hotel]. It consists of six feet of transparent plastic hose and a release valve. The device is claimed to be fast, hygienic, and economical.”

– Brisbane Telegraph Wednesday 10 August 1949

* Robyn Slater provided the clearer picture above. She writes: “My great Uncle Dave Smith is the barman, at the National Hotel, opposite the Victoria Market. Note the first chap is wearing a market apron. Great debate in the papers at the time, as to who was the original inventor. The mystery is that the photo was published a year after Uncle Dave left the pub. Uncle Dave (originally an orchardist) fought in WW1 in the 59th battalion, and in his post-war years gave a lot of money (and probably beer) to his old soldier mates who were down on their luck and would frequent the area looking for work.”


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Categories: beer glasses, Melbourne Hotels

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