Following my last blog article on Framroz's Aerated Waters, I am writing about Phoenix Aerated Waters this week.
Photo of Mr Navroji R. Mistri (1885-1953) by courtesy of Mr & Mrs Noshir Mistri. Originally published in National Heritage Board's newsletter here.
Phoenix Aerated Waters was started by Mr Navroji R. Mistri in 1925. Mistri was trained as an engineer. From 1913-1923, he was working in a fellow Parsi's company Framroz Aerated Waters as a manager. Relation between Mistri and Framroz soured as the former had signed an undertaking not to start a similar business after leaving Framroz. The matter was brought to court which ruled in Mistri's favour.
Mistri was also a philanthropist. In 1952, he donated a princely sum of $950,000 to the government. The money went towards the erection of a 4-storey building for sick children in Singapore General Hospital which was named Mistri Wing in his honour. Sadly, Mistri passed away a year later. Today, the Mistri Wing houses the National Heart Centre.
Phoenix Advertisements in the Newspapers:
22 Feb 1930 Straits Times:
"Delightfully different, Phoenix Orange Pop made entirely from best California oranges. Healthful and refreshing. Phone 3463 for your trial order. Phoenix Aerated Water Works, Singapore."
5 Nov 1930 Straits Times:
"Have you tried our new fresh fruit drink? Phoenix Aerated Water Works Singapore. Trademark. Guaranteed made from fresh California lemons. Product of The Phoenix Aerated Water Works."
However, the most classic advertisment of all must be this one from a Chinese newspaper dated 10 Mar 1926:
The following information is revealed in the last advertisement of Phoenix Aerated Water Works:
1. Its tagline was "There's joy in every glass!"
2. Its contact details were - "Office and Works, 63 Anson Road, Singapore. Telephone 3463, Telegram Phoenix."
And the piece de resistance is a kind contribution by "Anony-mouse" - a 1957 photo of him sitting on stacked-up crates of Phoenix bottles:
Hmm... how come I've never played with such a cute face mask when I was a kid?
And they certainly don't make such strong glass bottles anymore!
1. Infopedia entry on Navroji R. Mistri
2. National Heritage Board (NHB) publication Flame of the Faith - An Insight into the Parsi Zoroastrian Tradition.
3. Street Directory's Entry About Parsi Road
4. A Story about Rival Parsi Water Sellers
5. The Parsi Community in Singapore