Keen's Curry Powder


An enlargement is necessary to see it clearly, but the Keen's Curry advertisement appears on the hill behind Hobart, centre left (AOT, PH30/1/6136)

Keen's Curry Powder, today a nationally recognised condiment, was first developed by Joseph Keen (181992) in the early 1860s. He and his wife Annie, and many of their sixteen children, ran a small grocery and manufacturing outlet from their Kingston store for fifty years. By 1866 the curry powder was already an award-winning product with a medal from the Inter-Colonial Exhibition, Melbourne. Louisa, their sixth daughter, and her husband Horace Watson took over the business. Horace purchased land in the foothills of Mount Wellington overlooking Hobart where, in 1905, heavy stones were collected from the site, painted white, and used to make 15-metre letters to form the words Keen's Curry. It caused an uproar, but Horace won the right to use it as an advertising sign. The sign remains today.

Further reading; J Edwards, Out of the blue, Sydney, 1982.

Lynn Davies