C. J. Ziebell, Britannia Pharmacy, Fitzroy


Interesting if sad story in that C. J. Ziebell apparently committed suicide due to the German defeat in World War One. Initially it would be assumed that Ziebell had been born in Germany but instead it seems that he was born in Wollert, VIctoria (according to his probate records). Also given his bottle has Britannia Pharmacy proudly embossed the initial reaction would be that he was distancing himself from his German ancestry at a time when there was obvious ill-feeling towards such people. Yet despite that, if the report of his suicide is to be believed he still held strong feelings towards what presumably had been his parents homeland.

Charles John Christian Ziebell.
Registered as a Pharmacist 13th April 1892 (Certificate No. 1076, Final exam. Vict., 7th March 1892)
Listed at Brunswick-street, Fitzroy 1898-1918.

The Mercury & Weekly Courier (Fitzroy/Collingwood). 16th November 1893.

Fitzroy Council – correspondence.

From Parker Fyfe, secretary of the A. U. Alcock Electric Lighting Co., asking permission to erect three poles down Fitzroy-street to carry a current along a right-a-way to Brunswick-street to light the shop of Mr. Ziebell, chemist. There were also other communications on this question, one being an offer from the same company to supply….and it was decided to refuse permission to light up Mr. Ziebell’s shop on the ground that such permit, if given, would be the “thin edge of the wedge”.

The Melbourne Argus: 23rd November 1895.


Ziebell-Unmack – On the 23rd ult., at Bendigo, by the Rev. F. Leypoldt. Charles J. Ziebell to Sophie, youngest daughter of Mr. C. Unmack, Bendigo.

The Melbourne Argus: 28th June 1901.

Situations Vacant.

Boy, 15, smart, respectable, must have references. Apply, after 9, Ziebell, chemist, 19 Brunswick-st.

The Melbourne Argus: 16th April 1902.

A discriminating burglar.

Mr. Charles Ziebell, chemist, of Brunswick street, Fitzroy, discovered yesterday morning that his shop had been entered by burglars during the night. The catch of a back window had been forced, and a careful inspection made of the contents of the shop. Whether the large number of bottles and packets labelled “Not to be Taken” frightened the intruder from his purpose can only be conjectured, but the fact remains that, with the exception of 30/ which lay in the cash drawer, and a box of perfumed tooth paste, the contents were not disturbed. Mr. Zeibell has reported the occurrence to the police.

The Adelaide Advertiser: 26th June 1909 Part of a larger advertisement featuring Melbourne properties for sale. Also published in the Argus.

The Melbourne Argus: 22nd November 1918.

Chemist Ends his Life.

At an early hour yesterday morning Charles J Ziebell, 48 years of age, chemist, of Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, ended his life by cutting his throat. He was of German descent and for some time he had been worrying over the war. During the week he had been particularly despondent, and he was being carefully watched, as it was thought that he might attempt suicide. He was found in the bathroom by his wife, and two medical practitioners who were summoned, ordered his removal to the Melbourne Hospital, but he died before reaching there.

Probate records show the full name as Charles John Christian Ziebell and gives place of birth as Woollert (Wollert?) Victoria.

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