Alex Findlater and Co. started life in 1823, trading whiskey, wine and beer. The company expanded rapidly, adding general groceries to its alcohol trade, and became a major institution, with branches all over the city.
This delivery bicycle was used by the company in the 1930s. (It was also used to launch the first annual Bloomsday Messenger Bike Rally in 1993.) Ultimately, pressure from supermarkets became too much for Findlaters’ more traditional service – as William Findlater had predicted at a 1902 staff meeting:
“This brings up the question of packet goods, which is one of the curses of the trade, unless they bear our own brand. If this is encouraged much further it will mean the passing out of the grocer, and he will be replaced by a mere hander-out of packet goods, or, we will have nothing but girls behind our counters, which may be unpleasant to many of the young men present!”
With thanks to Alex Findlater