Grocers and storekeepers made an essential contribution to goldfields life, provisioning the mining communities.
Chinese shops were ubiquitous on the goldfields, providing food as well as goods and services to the community. An integral part of Victoria's engine of commerce, they represented a focal point of the international import-export trading relationship between Australia and China.
This invoice for groceries is evidence supplied by a Chinese grocer chasing a debtor through the local Creswick court to get paid for goods bought on credit over several months in 1865, a common practice for shop keepers in goldfields towns.
The court was provided with an English translation by its Chinese interpreter. The translation shows that tea, rice, pork, pig’s trotters, cabbage and ‘joss paper’, could be obtained in Creswick in 1865.
Pictured here is the court's translation of the grocery invoice.
With thanks to Liz Denny for parts of this text.