Souvenir Glass, "The Sunshine State" (Qld), "Go with Caltex"

Production date
See full details

Object detail

Souvenir tall glass tumbler, with coloured transfer advertising Queensland 'the Sunshine State' and the Caltex oil company. The transfer has the Queensland floral emblem, the Cooktown orchid, and badge, the Maltese Cross.
DOMESTIC EQUIPMENT Food and Drink Consumption glass, tumbler
Production date
Production place
114 H x 67 diam.
Media/Materials description
History and use
This souvenir glass tumbler with coloured transfer, is a rare collectible that advertises Queensland as 'the Sunshine State' and the Caltex oil company. The transfer has the Queensland floral emblem, the Cooktown orchid, and a feature of the state badge - the Maltese Cross. The features of the transfer allow us to estimate a possible time frame for when the glass was in circulation, and links this humble piece of souvenirware to Queensland's history.

The badge of Queensland, with the Maltese Cross at it's centre, was adopted as part of the state flag on 29 November 1876, and was designed by William Hemmant, the Queensland Colonial Secretary and Treasurer at that time. But obviously, this glass dates from much later that the 1870s, as it is a classic souvenir of the "road trip" and purchases made in service stations. The next clue is perhaps the logo "The Sunshine State" which has been used in Queensland from possibly the 1930s and came into regular use in the 1950s.

The history of Caltex is another line of evidence to identify the approximate age of the glass. Caltex, a supplier of fuel for motor vehicles, introduced the brand name Caltex in Australia in 1941, and developed service stations in Queensland from the 1950s, a decade which also saw the growth of popular service station restaurants. The 1950s was also a time when driving holidays became more popular, allowing family travel that was unrestricted by train and bus routes, and aided by increasingly more affordable cars.

The final clue is the Cooktown Orchid, featured at the centre of the front panel. The Cooktown Orchid was selected as Queensland's floral emblem in 1959, to mark the centenary of the state. The floral emblem has continued to be a popular motif on tourist souvenirs ever since.

While the glass was added to the Queensland Museum collection in the 1990s, it seems likely that it dates somewhere between 1959 and the mid to late 1960s. Regardless of the specific date, this everyday items links us to key political events and changing social practices of Queenslanders.
Registration number


My shortlist


Explore other objects by colour