A History of Bristol Makers | Ribena

Saturday, May 12, 2012
Hello and welcome to Made In Bristol's first history lesson! No need for textbooks though, we just want to take a moment to celebrate Bristol's vibrant history, one invention at a time. It's no wonder there are so many wonderful makers involved with the Paper Scissors Stone Temporium considering the cities infamous manufacturing history.

First stop: Drink....
Did you know that Ribena was first made in Bristol?

H.W Carter & Company started making citrus fruit based drinks in 1872. With the advancement of the Second World War, oranges and lemons quickly became in short supply and Carter's scientists came up with an ingenious solution: a concentrated black current juice which was quickly named 'Ribena'. This drink was then launched for the first time in 1938, being distributed first in hospitals and schools, before being manufactured commercially within the first few years.

The H.W Carter Factory where it all began.
Ribena's initial popularity came from it's government backing - sighting the drink as highly nutritious and entirely homegrown - so much so that during the war it was given to children and babies for free as a sort of medicine. Soon enough Carter's small Bristol factory was unable to cope with the demand, and the business moved to the Forest of Dean before being bought out by Beechams in 1955.

A slightly amusing vintage advertisement - from historyworld.co.uk
Alas, Ribena's connections with Bristol have long since been severed, but should not be forgotten. If it wasn't for the Bristolian firm H.W Carter & Co we wouldn't be enjoying the iconic purple drink today.

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