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Private Revenue Perfins of South Australia

An Elsmore Coath Howard production

The authors would welcome your comments additions or input into this work

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Section 2 - Commercial Overprints

G

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Godfrey's Ltd..a 

User: Godfreys Ltd.

Vacuum Cleaners

 

Address: 57 Gawler Pl, Adelaide, SA.

             101 Commercial Rd, Pt. Adelaide, SA.

Revenue Use:

1920 Series 2d.

Rarity Scale:

 

1920 Series 2d R4.

 

Background: Godfrey Cohen founded the first Godfrey’s store in 1931 in Prahran, Melbourne. The business expanded within Australia as demand from customers increased after World War Two, and the product range grew from solely bagged vacuum cleaners to include steam mops, carpet shampooers and bag less vacuum cleaners over time. Godfrey’s was sold to private equity companies Pacific Equity Partners and CCMP Capital Asia for $350m in 2006.

 

Device: Handstamped

 

Related Patterns: Nil

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G & R WILLS CO. LTD..a 

User: G & R Wills Co Ltd

 

Wholesalers

 

Address: Rundle St, Adelaide, SA.

Revenue Use: Nil

Railway Use:

c1940 Series 6d, 7d, 11d.

Rarity Scale:

 

c1940 Series 6d R4, 7d R4, 11d R4.

 

Background: *Brothers George and Richard Wills arrived in Adelaide from Devon (England) in 1847 and with the soft goods they had brought with them, they started G&R Wills from small premises in Rundle St. By 1858 they had created a buying office in London and George returned to England to run this office. Richard stayed in Adelaide but died in 1862 aged just 33. However the company grew in Australia and in 1866 they opened a branch in Fremantle and this was soon followed by branches in Broken Hill, Kalgoorlie and later Melbourne.

 

By 1881 the shipping concerns of the company had grown to the point that they were moved to a separate company named, George Wills and Co.  Richard (junior) died in Adelaide in 1901 and George (senior) died in 1906 in England and his estate saw the distribution of his shares to his sons Charles, George (junior) and John as well as William Brocksopp and George Jury.

 

Later in 1913 the Adelaide Softgoods Warehousing business was renamed G&R Wills and Co and the London buying office was launched as a separate business named George Wills and Sons Ltd. This buying office expanded to become a worldwide network of trading offices in the Far East, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, the West Indies, South America and the USA.

 

In Australia the soft goods business continued to expand and it was floated as a public company in 1946 under the direction of Sir Kenneth Wills, son of Richard Wills (Junior). The company then embarked on a substantial apparel manufacturing operation with factories in Adelaide and Perth as well as offices in London and Singapore. This was initially successful and the company manufactured the popular “Ezi Fit” brand but since the 1980's the G & R Wills business was gradually broken up and sold off and today there are only small scale operations in Darwin and Alice Springs.

G & R Wills & Co. Ltd. building on North Terrace photographed in 1878.

The building extended from Rundle Street (now Rundle Mall) to North Terrace.

 

Device: Handstamped

 

Related Patterns: Refer to other G&R Wills patterns in:

WA: Perfin section – GR/W.a

 

*grwills.com.au

 

*'These Hundred Years' printed by The Advertiser Printing Office (1949) compiled by H N Huffadine for G&R Wills and Co

 

*Trove.com.au  Digitalised Newspaper Archive

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Government O.S..a 

User: O H M S

 

Address: St, Adelaide, SA.

Revenue Use:

1876 Postal Series 1/-.

1920 Series 2d.

Rarity Scale:

 

1876 Postal Series 1/- R4.

 

1920 Series 2d R4.

 

Background: Government issues are beyond the scope of this publication, and are shown here for completeness.

 

Device: Handstamped

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G.W./S. & Co..a 

User: G. Wood & Son Co. Limited.

Wholesale Grocers

 

Address: 206-208 North Terrace, Adelaide.

Revenue Use:

1904 Series 1d.

Rarity Scale:

 

1904 Series 1d R4.

 

Background: Gilbert Wood was born in Shetland in 1828 and came to Melbourne in 1853 as chief officer aboard the ‘Seaton’, of which his brother Charles was master. About to embark for the Victorian goldfields, Gilbert was offered his own command and until 1854 was an intercolonial coastal trader before acquiring premises in Angas Street, Adelaide, near the new Law Courts and founding the business of G. Wood, grocer.

 

In 1857, larger double fronted, two storey premises were acquired at 198 Rundle Street, which were occupied by the firm until Gilbert’s death. The business was initially too small to be an importer, but by 1875, when Gilbert Wood took into partnership his eldest son, Peter Wood and James Gartrell, (forming G. Wood, Son & Co.) the company was an importer under its trademark brand of an anchor with entwined hawser.

 

When Gilbert Wood died at his residence (‘Seaton’) in 1886, G. Wood Son & Co., wholesale grocer, was one of the largest commercial houses in South Australia. Wood left an estate of £25,776. He was “one of the best known commercial men in the city. He gave largely to deserving institutions, for the relief of the distressed; in all his transactions he acted in a straight-forward and highly principled manner.”

 

By 1888, the company had branches established in Port Adelaide, Perth, Fremantle, Broken Hill and London, with its head office in Adelaide.

 

In 1890, G. Wood Son & Co. became pioneers in the nascent dried fruit industry when the firm became agents for the Fruit Packing Union of growers in the Renmark area. Dried fruits were packed under the ‘Ark’ brand. From 1907, the company heavily financed the packinghouse at Renmark, which it operated for Fruit Packing Co.

 

By 1927, the company was pioneering the export trade and representing the Australian Dried Fruit Association and the Commonwealth Dried Fruits Control Board overseas. In September 1935, G. Wood Son & Co. entered into partnership with E.N. Seary to form Wood Son Seary Ltd, which erected a new packing shed in Renmark. Packing sheds were also operated at Berri and Loxton.

 

In 1896, a site in North Terrace, “opposite Parliament House and the new Railway Station,” was purchased and a four-storey building housing offices, the counting house, sample room, cellar, bulk store and packing store was erected. In March 1897, G. Wood Son & Co. moved from Angas Street to Rundle Street. Later, the Anchor Building was built on the adjacent block and leased out.

 

In 1920, the partnership was dissolved and G. Wood Son & Co. became a limited company. In the same year a large warehouse of 140,000 square feet was built at Port Adelaide where ‘Anchor’ brand groceries were produced. In 1924, increased demand necessitated the construction of a new ‘Anchor’ factory at Port Adelaide. On its completion, the original Anchor building in North Terrace was leased, and sold in 1927, the adjacent warehouse being retained. Other brands produced by the company were Snowflake, Mah Jongg and tastiest Tea Tips.

 

In 1946, G. Wood Son & Co. became agents for a number of interstate hardware manufacturers, and the agency department, trading in Adelaide and Perth under the business name of Woodell Agencies (S.A. & W.A.) in 1954 represented over 20 hardware and fancy goods manufacturers both in Australia and overseas.

 

In 1951, the goods section of the company was transferred to Port Adelaide to a bulk warehouse. This enabled the company to move, in 1952, to Anchor House, the adjacent big building being leased was leased.

 

Other states

In 1888, G. Wood Son & Co. advertised in Broken Hill’s ‘Silver Age’ newspaper, as a result orders to supply the remote areas poured in. The company quickly established a store and office on Blende Street, Broken Hill, to supply the new grocery stores springing up in the new boomtown. In 1925, G. Wood Son & Co. bought out the Klemm family grocery interests in Broken Hill and formed Klemms Ltd but wound up the business in 1928. By now, G. Wood Son & Co. held many hardware and machinery agencies and in order to expand their growing hardware business in Broken Hill, the company acquired the adjacent property of A.A. Brice & Co. in Blende Street in 1935.

 

G. Wood Son & Co. were to play a major role in supplying the goldfields and south western areas of Western Australia. In late 1892, G. Wood Son & Co. opened a store in Fremantle at Lilley House in Cliff Street, in what had once been a church. (Jackson & Hodgson had previously been acting as agents for Gilbert, Wood, Son & Co.). With the discovery of gold in Western Australia this building was quickly outgrown and in 1897 the company built a two-storey office, bulk iron store and warehouse in Cantonment Street. The Fremantle premises were twice burnt out, in 1914 and 1921, being rebuilt and enlarged each time. As the manufacturing side of the company developed an extra storey was added to the Fremantle warehouse in 1946.

 

In 1903, the centre of trade having moved to Perth, the company built offices and sales rooms at 352 Murray Street. Further growth occurred as the company followed the slow extension of the rail link to Kalgoolie. In 1939, G. Wood Son & Co. purchased the business of Hunt Brothers in Hannan Street, Kalgoolie, which continued to trade under the Hunt name. In 1952, the company purchased the adjacent property and after it was remodelled, the original building was sold.

 

In 1948, when the Great Southern district was opened up for soldier settlement, the company opened in Albury in premises rented from Elder Smith & Co. A new warehouse and offices was built in Collie Street, Albany, in 1954.

 

In 1952, G. Wood Son & Co. (W.A.) Pty Ltd was incorporated to take on the activities of G. Wood Son & Co.

 

In 1954, Holsum Products Pty Ltd, corner of Margaret and Short Streets, Brisbane is named by G. Wood Son & Co. as subsidiary company. Holsum’s first appears in the records in 1948.

 

References:

Trove, National Library of Australia

Sign of the Anchor: the story of G. Wood Son & Co. Ltd, 1854-1954, Griffin Press, 1954.

 

Device: Handstamped

 

Related Patterns: Refer to other G.W./S.&Co.b

G. Wood

G Wood 1869

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G.W./S. & Co/LTD..b 

User: G. Wood & Son Co. Ltd.

Confectionery Suppliers

 

Address: 206-208 North Terrace, Adelaide.

Revenue Use:

1916 Series 2d.

Rarity Scale:

 

1916 Series 2d R4.

 

Background: See G.W/S.&Co.a

 

Device: Handstamped

 

Related Patterns: Refer to other G.W/S.&Co.a

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