Kiwi: The Australian Brand That Brought a Shine to the World

Author(s): Keith Dunstan


You probably have a tin of shoe polish tucked under the laundry sink bearing the little bird logo that has been in homes around the globe for over a century. Founded in Melbourne by William Ramsay in 1906, Kiwi is one of the most iconic and enduring international brands ever to have come out of Australia. One of Australia's best-loved journalists, Keith Dunstan tells the remarkable story of the Ramsay family and how they created and nurtured the Kiwi brand. Always quick to seize a marketing opportunity, the Ramsays sent Kiwi to England with the Anzacs in World War I, putting a brilliant shine on belts, bridles and leggings as well as boots. Soon there was a Kiwi factory in London, and in time Kiwi ran 24 factories worldwide, selling more than 250 million cans of shoe polish annually. In his inimitable warm and chatty style, Dunstan follows the fortunes of the Ramsay family as they built the Kiwi brand over the decades: business decisions good and bad, grand houses, the latest cars, constant travel, and their marriages, quarrels and friendships. He also tracks the clever advertising strategies that kept Kiwi in the public mind, including the notorious sign that caused traffic accidents in Richmond in the 1960s. Richly illustrated in full colour, Kiwi is the fascinating inside story of one of Australia's great families, as well as one of its great brands. 'I have not previously read a business story or family history that is so pithy and observant, and written with such a mix of fun and seriousness.' Geoffrey Blainey


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Keith Dunstan OAM was a much-loved Melbourne journalist and book author. For 30 years from 1958, his daily column 'A Place in the Sun' was an institution in the Sun News-Pictorial. He also wrote for The Bulletin under the pseudonym Batman, and for the Courier-Mail and later The Age. Keith Dunstan wrote more than 25 books, including a quartet of books on the Australian character, pioneering works of sport history including The Paddock that Grew, about the Melbourne Cricket Ground, and The Melbourne I Remember. Kiwi was his final work, completed just before he died in 2013.

About this book Acknowledgements Foreword by Geoffrey Blainey Introduction 1. A voyage from humble beginnings 2. Marvellous Melbourne 3. Kiwi Annie 4. Mud, manure and shiny shoes 5. Kiwi at war 6. Looking after business 7. The French connection 8. World War Two 9. The roaming Ramsays 10. The sincerest form of flattery 11. Polishing the world 12. Changing times 13. Tom Ramsay retires - Kiwi merges 14. Building the Kiwi empire 15. The challenging future 16. The auction 17. Bringing a shine to the world Notes Index Picture credits

General Fields

  • : 9781760297282
  • : Allen & Unwin
  • : Allen & Unwin
  • : June 2017
  • : 290mm X 240mm
  • : Australia
  • : June 2017
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Keith Dunstan
  • : Hardback
  • : 617
  • : English
  • : 338
  • : 272