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Private Revenue Perfins of Victoria

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

J

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J.McE./& Co./PTY. LTD..a

 

User: James McEwan & Co

General Ironmongery, (later) Furnishings

Address: Bourke St, Melbourne, VIC

81-83 & 319 Elizabeth St, Melbourne, VIC

4-6 & 10 Little Collins St, Melbourne, VIC

Revenue Use: 

1911 Series 3d

1915 Series 2d

1930 Series 2d

Rarity Scale:

 

1911 Series 3d R4

 

1915 Series 2d R4

 

1930 Series 2d R3

Background: During the long economic boom of the 1870s and 1880s, the leading Melbourne hardware store James McEwan & Co began distributing a comprehensive bound catalogue to its city and country customers. All types of domestic appliances, ironmongery, lighting fittings and even agricultural machinery were included.

Device: Handstamp

Related Patterns: Nil

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JOHN CONNELL Co. Pty. Ltd. Melbourne..a

User: John Connell Co. Pty. Ltd

Importers

Address: 578-584 Bourke St, Melbourne, VIC

Revenue Use: 

1886 Stamp Duty Series 1d

Rarity Scale:

 

1886 Stamp Duty Series 1d R4

Background:

Device: Handstamped

Related Patterns:

John Connell & Co Pty Ltd.b

Connell & Hogarth Pty Ltd.a

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JOHN CONNELL Co. Pty. Ltd. Melbourne..b

User: John Connell Co. Pty. Ltd

Importers

Address: 578-584 Bourke St, Melbourne, VIC

Revenue Use:

1886 Stamp Duty Series 1d

Rarity Scale:

 

1886 Stamp Duty Series 1d R4

Background:

Device: Handstamped

Related Patterns:

Connell & Hogarth Pty Ltd.a

John Connell & Co Pty Ltd.b

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JOHN/McILWRAITH/INDUSTRIES/LTD.a

 

User: J McIlwraith Industries Ltd

Address: 48-56 Lt. Collins Street, Melbourne, VIC

Revenue Use: 

1915 Series 6d

1930 Series 3d

1966 Series 5c

Rarity Scale:

 

1915 Series 6d R4

 

1930 Series 3d R3

 

1966 Series 5c R4

Background: John McIlwraith was born in 1828 in Ayr, Scotland, where, on finishing school he entered his father’s plumbing business. He arrived in Melbourne aboard the ‘Janet Mitchell’ in January 1853, and immediately set off for the goldfields. McIlwraith formed a partnership with brothers Alexander and Francis Graham, painter and glazier by trade; the partnership of Graham, McIlwraith and Graham was dissolved in March 1854. For a few months in 1855 he was trading as McIlwraith and Davidson, before setting up on his own account in June 1853 at 112 Swanston Street, Melbourne.

McIlwraith married in March 1854, and lived in Collingwood, from where he briefly carried on business, in a prefabricated iron house shipped out from Ayr. In November 1854, he moved his business premises to 147 Russell Street, where by 1857 he was advertising as “plumber and gasfitter” and “importers of all kinds of plumbers’ materials”. In 1859, McIlwraith purchased land in Little Collins Street and erected a building at 167-169 Little Collins Street, “opposite the Melbourne Club” into which he moved in November, 1861. John McIlwraith’s company would occupy the Melbourne Lead Works for the next hundred years.

 

In 1865 J. McIlwraith & Co. advertised as “manufacturers of sheet lead and lead pipes, plumbers’ brass work, pumps, gas fittings”.

 

In 1887, John formed a partnership with his brothers Andrew and Thomas in the Australian office of the shipping firm McIlwraith McEachern. In 1895, a bitter family row saw John McIlwraith force Andrew, to buy him out of the business. (Thomas McIlwraith was an astute businessman and politician, and one time premier of Queensland. He was given a knighthood.)

 

In 1890, McIlwraith formed a partnership with the Crane family of Sydney (G.E. Crane & Sons Ltd), which in 1893 saw the establishment of what later became called the Sydney Lead Works Ltd at The Glebe. (In 1903, when the Melbourne lead shot manufacturers Barker and Causey were commissioned to get the new shot tower for the Sydney Lead Works operational, the outcome was a takeover of the company by McIlwraiths.) In December 1937, Sydney Lead Works Ltd was absorbed into McIlwraith Industries Pty Ltd.

 

In 1893 John McIlwraith became a co-founder with Harold Crofton Sleigh (H.C. Sleigh & Co.) of a company formed to supply the Australian market with motor spirit under the ‘Golden Fleece’ brand (much later acquired by Caltex). The first delivery however did not occur until 1913.

 

John McIlwraith died in September 1902, while on a visit to Ayr, and was succeeded by his son Jack (John), his other sons, Thomas and David, also being involved in the family business. From the early 1900s, McIlwraith’s product range was sold through agents in most Australian states. On 20 August 1910, the family company became John McIlwraith and Company Proprietary Limited, with all shareholdings restricted to family members only.

 

By 1939, the company owned semi-retail stores in several Melbourne suburbs, but the first inter-state office did not open until the early 1950s, an era of rapid expansion for the company, when distribution outlets were acquired through take-overs and, in Victoria, through opening direct outlets. Some 21 companies would be acquired.

 

On 27 October 1950, John McIlwraith Industries Ltd was registered as a public company with a nominal capital of £2.5 million. Its purpose was to acquire the businesses of John McIlwraith & Co Pty Ltd and a number of subsidiaries, and J.D. McIlwraith Investments Pty Ltd, to further the expansion of the company, which was trading in all Australian states. The new entity was located at 48-56 Lt. Collins Street, Melbourne.

 

On 30 October 1950, a former John McIlwraith Industries Ltd subsidiary was spun off and registered as a private company, McIlwraith- Davey Pty Ltd. Located at Revesby, N.S.W. in 2017, the company manufactures metal sanitary ware products.

 

In 1951, a major share was acquired in Goldberg Brothers Pty Ltd (South Australia), and outlets were opened in Geelong and Dandenong, in Victoria.

 

In 1952, the Sydney Company became a wholly owned subsidiary. Etna Electrical Appliances Pty Ltd (Sydney) was acquired in 1953, followed by Coburg Iron Foundry Pty Ltd (Melbourne) (1954); L.J. Morgan Pty Ltd (Melbourne) (1954); Cistern Manufacturers Co. Ltd, (Brisbane) (1958); F.J. Wadham & Sons Pty Ltd (Adelaide) 1959; Jury & Spiers Ltd, (Adelaide) 1959; Hobart Plumbing Supplies Pty Ltd (1959); Metal Products Holdings Pty Ltd (Brisbane) (1960); Brent Industries Pty Ltd (Vic) (1960); Copper Products Pty Ltd (Vic) (1960; Buchanan, Cameron & Roberts Pty Ltd (Vic) (1960); L.D. Mee Investments Pty Ltd (Melb) (1961); C.R. Palmer Pty Ltd (Perth) (1961); E.A. Harper Pty Ltd (Sydney) (1962); Donson Products Pty Ltd (Sydney) (1962); Hazelhurst Pty Ltd (WA) (1963) Gibbs Pty Ltd (SA) (1964); Fred Clark Australia Pty Ltd (NSW) (1972).

 

Between 1968 and 1971, the company had a half interest in copper mines at Kitticoola (SA).

 

In March, 1972, John McIlwraith Industries Ltd acquired controlling interest in General Industries Ltd and so got rid of a difficult competitor and achieved dominance of enamel bath manufacture in Australia.

 

In 1974, Blue Metal Industries Ltd launched an unsuccessful take-over bid for John McIlwraith Industries Ltd and in 1977 sold their remaining shareholding to Oliver Davey Glass Ltd. By July 1978, a merger of the two companies was completed; the new company was called McIlwraith- Davey Industries and on 26 July 1979, John McIlwraith Industries Ltd de-listed by the ASX.

 

John McIlwraith was elected to Melbourne City Council as councillor for Albert Ward in 1870, becoming Mayor in 1873-74. He became a magistrate in 1874 and was a Melbourne Harbour Trust Commissioner in 1877-82. In 1876, he was Victorian commissioner at the Philadelphia Exhibition.

 

In 1954 to mark the centenary of the company’s founding the Chairman of Directors, John McIlwraith Smith, grandson of the founder endowed the University of Melbourne with £5,000 to establish a training centre for architects.

Device: Handstamp

Related Patterns: Nil

Sources:

Trove

National Library of Australia.

Australian Dictionary of Biography,

https://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/mcilwraith-john-4098

www.delisted.com.au

Nixon, N.V., Water and gas – a Scotsman from Ayr, publ. John McIlwraith Industries Ltd, 1977.

John McIlwraith

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JOSEPH GILL.a

 

User: Joseph Gill & Co

Woolbrokers

Address: The Olderfleet Building 447 Collins St, Melbourne, VIC

Revenue Use:

1897 Stamp Duty Series 15/-

Rarity Scale:

 

1897 Series 15/- R4

Background: Joseph Gill was born in Bradford, Yorkshire, in 1849, the son of Joseph, a “railway engine stoker”. By age 12, Joseph was already employed as an office boy (like his brother, John, born 1847, and his brother Samuel, born 1845, who had graduated to clerk.) He entered the wool buying trade at age 16, attending his first London sale as a buyer, representing a major Bedford firm, in 1868. Astute buying resulted in big profits and quickly established Gill’s reputation.

In 1876, Joseph Gill arrived in Melbourne, probably with his brother, Samuel. He took up residence in Dryburgh Street, Hotham (North Melbourne) and immediately went into business as a wool buyer being the principal agent for the Yorkshire account, an account he held for most of his life. Gill would become one of largest wool buyers in Melbourne and “one of the oldest and best known wool buyers in Australia”.

It was not until 1886, that “Joseph Gill, wool broker”, appears as an independent entity, located at 53 William Street, Melbourne, and was also an interim board member of China Traders Insurance Co. Ltd. In 1889, Gill re-located to 97 William Street.

In September, 1891, the firm of Joseph Gill & Co., agents for the Gulf Line of steamers, opened at 99 William Street. The agency was secured by Walter Herbert Sollas, a partner in the firm, who became the local manager for the Gulf Line. The Line had 16 steamers with a monthly sailing from London and 6 weekly sailings from Glasgow and Liverpool.

In November, 1892, Joseph Gill & Co. moved to The Olderfleet Building, 477 Collins Street, Melbourne (complete with telephone line) and became agents for the Greenock Steamship Co. Ltd as well. The wool-broking business was kept separate from the shipping business and it is not until 1898 that Joseph Gill, wool-broker, moves to The Olderfleet Building (475 Collins Street) occupying offices on the first floor.

In 1896, the Gulf Line had vessels capable of shipping 40,000 carcasses and Joseph Gill & Co. had successfully shipped to England the first cargoes of frozen mutton from both the Portland and Geelong works.

In January, 1921, Joseph Gill & Co re-located, for the last time, to 440 Little Collins Street. Joseph Gill died in April, 1926, aged 77, at his pastoral property ‘Winderradeen’ in New South Wales and was buried at Collector. The firm, Joseph Gill & Co., was carried on under a new partnership of Walter Herbert Sollas, William St Leger Burton and Eric Wheatley Sollas (W.H. Sollas’ son).

Joseph Gill & Co. had been trading since the 1900s as joint shipping agents with Gibbs, Bright & Co. and in 1928 the two firms amalgamated, the company name of Joseph Gill & Co ceasing to exist.

In February, 1931, William St Leger Burton (an executor of Joseph Gill’s Will) died aged 59, having spent more than 40 years with Joseph Gill & Co. Walter Herbert Sollas (the other executor of Joseph Gill’s Will) died in March, 1933, aged about 63.

Joseph Gill had purchased ‘Winderradeen’ (6,000 acres), between Canberra and Goulburn, and bordered by Lake George, in November, 1906. “Although he spent little time at the station, he spent large sums of money turning it into a well improved and up-to-date property”. His brother Samuel appears to have lived at ‘Winderradeen’ for a number of years before his death there in 1924.

Joseph Gill left an estate of £489,372, the chief asset being ‘Winderradeen’ station. In his Will, he left bequests to his two nieces, and legacies to Goulburn mechanics’ Institute, the Young Men’s Improvement Society, Girls’ Aid and Protection Society, Methodist and Anglican churches in Goulburn, a small legacy to the hall porter of Hotel Australia and ordered that permanent employees of Joseph Gill & Co. should each receive a sum equal to 3 month’s pay.

The bulk of his estate however, was left to the Salvation Army divided in equal shares between the Melbourne, Sydney and Goulburn branches. ‘Winderradeen’ continued as a working sheep station until 1937 when the Salvation Army sold it.

With the capital, Goulburn Salvation Army built a large brick meeting hall (later converted into a Senior Citizens’ Centre). In Melbourne, a former 5 storey tobacco factory at 217 A’beckett Street was purchased and converted to the Gill Memorial Home for Men (now a boutique hotel) while in Sydney, a residence named after the sheep station was provided for elderly women.

Device: Handstamp

Related Patterns: Nil

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