Private Revenue Perfins of Victoria
An Elsmore Coath Howard production
The authors would welcome your comments additions or input into this work
Section 2 - Commercial Overprints
User: Law Book Co Pty Ltd(now LBC Informaton Services)
Suppliers of Law Books
Address: 560 Lonsdale St, Melbourne, VIC
1915 Series 2d
1932 Series 3d, 6d
1915 Series 2d R2
1932 Series 3d R3, 6d R4
Background: The Law Co. of Australasia Ltd was established in 1901, shortly after Federation with the purpose of selling (and buying second-hand) and publishing all manner of books pertaining to law and its practice. The firm was located at 425 (-427) Chancery Lane, in the heart of Melbourne’s legal quarter, later altered to 425 Little Collins Street.
In 1942, the firm became styled as Law Book Co. of Australasia Pty Ltd, and was still at the same address in 1957. With the later re-development of the area, the firm moved to 160 William Street, an imposing converted bluestone warehouse building of several storeys.
Device: Handstamp in Green, Black or Violet recorded
Related Patterns: Nil
L. H. & S..a.b
User: L, H & S Unknown
.a 1911 Series 3d
.b 1918 Series 3d[in blue or black]
.a 1911 Series 3d R4
.b 1918 Series 3d R4[in blue or black]
Related Patterns: Nil
THE LEVIATHAN LTD..a
User: The Leviathan Ltd
Clothiers and Cutfitters
Address: 99 Swanston St, Melbourne, VIC
Cnr Bourke and Swanston Sts
1915 Series 2d(.a), 3d(.b)
1915 Series 2d R2, 3d R3
Background: In October, 1855, Lewis (Louis) Sanders and Abraham Levy, trading as Sanders & Co. announced the arrival of a shipment of men’s clothing. Advertising as “Superior Ready-made Clothiers and Cutfitters” the business was located at 99 Swanston Street and at the corner of Bourke and Swanston Streets (nos. 64-66).
In November, 1861, Sanders & Co. opened the “Golden Boot” in Pall Mall, Sandhurst (Bendigo) “two doors from Abbott’s Lyceum”. In July, 1863, however, the company gave up the Bendigo business and sold off all the shop “fixtures, counter, shelving etc”, intending to focus on expanding their Melbourne operations.
In 1862, Sanders & Co., now including Michael Sanders, “Boot and shoe importers, clothiers and outfitters”, had a second Melbourne store on the corner of Elizabeth and Collins Streets which they vacated in March, 1863.
Sanders & Co. moved all their business to 64-66 Bourke Street, and 109-111 Swanston Street, “all forming one establishment”. In April, 1863, the company announced the completion of extensive alterations to the Bourke Street building and added 109 and 111 Swanston Street to their “former premises”. Renovations included enlarging the premises and enabling direct “communication” the Swanston Street building.
Sanders & Co., proclaimed their store as “the largest clothing, outfitting, tailoring, boot and shoe establishment in the colonies” and naming the store “The Leviathan” in November, 1863.
The store went by various names – Leviathan Clothing Co. (1878) and Leviathan Clothing and Boot Co. (1880) but was in fact still Sanders & Co. (L. Sanders, L. & A. Levy.)
In 1910, after years of leasing the Bourke Street corner site, the company purchased the out-of-date building. A grand re-building sale, at the Bourke Street corner buildings, took place in 1912 and lasted nearly 4 months, The Leviathan Stores re-opening in temporary premises at 272-274 Little Collins Street, “near Cole’s Arcade” in August, 1912.
Lewis/Louis Benjamin Sanders, “merchant tailor”, died in 1911, at the age of 77. At the time of his death he had a half interest in Sanders & Co. His executors were his son Algenon (b. 1884 d. 1938) and Nathaniel Lewis Levy. Settlement of the estate saw the sale of the freehold site of The Leviathan Stores for £96,000 to a proprietary company, the newly formed (1920). Leviathan Pty Ltd.
In May, 1913, Leviathan Stores sold all the fittings of their temporary store and moved to the splendid new Leviathan Stores designed by architects Bates, Pebbles & Smart. Designed in an eclectic mix of Beaux Arts, classical and Edwardian Baroque styles, the five storey high building, finished in pure white cement, was built by J. Hollow.
In 1920, Algenon Bernard Sanders, director of Leviathan Pty Ltd gave a glimpse of how the company worked – goods were “largely imported but local goods were purchased direct from one mill only and also from wholesale houses. Leviathan worked round the percentage they fixed for profit, if they could buy well they made a larger profit”.
Leviathan Pty Ltd ceased trading in 1972.
Related Patterns: Nil
LONDON STORES LTD..a
User: London Stores Ltd
Address: Prahran & Dandenong, VIC
1915 Series 3d
1915 Series 3d R3
Background: Frank Samuel Meyers was born in Adelaide in July, 1869, his parents marrying in London in 1851 and migrating sometime before 1861.
Frank Meyers served his tailors’ apprenticeship (seven years) under J.G. Rowell (no. 1 Rundle Street), and in 1892 was “recently returned from London where he has had first class experience, and gained the highest diploma of the Technical School of Cutting”.
In late 1892, aged 23, Meyers opened his own business as ‘The Premier Tailor’, at 29 Hindley Street, Adelaide, opposite the Theatre Royal. In late 1894, Meyers ceased trading under his own name and formed the London Tailoring Depot, 29 Rundle Street, Adelaide, of which he was the proprietor.
In January 1898 Meyers entered into a partnership agreement with James Charles Park, also a tailor, and moved to Melbourne, where in August 1898, he opened the London Tailoring Depot, in Flinders Street, “the 3rd establishment from Swanston Street” and “next to Young & Jackson’s”.
The partnership with Charles Park was dissolved in August, 1900, Park buying “all the shares and interest” of Meyers, which include stores not only in Adelaide but also Moonta, Port Pirie, Mount Gambier and Broken Hill. In the meantime, Meyers opened a second city store in Bourke Street, “exactly opposite the (old) G.P.O.”, which became the “head depot”.
In April, 1901, a branch of London Tailoring Depot opened in Castlemaine, followed in March, 1902, by one in Murray Street, Colac, “under the management of Angus Macafee”.
At the end of August, 1902, State Supply Stores, “the expansion of the present business” of London Tailoring Depot, opened as a separate business specialising in men’s outfitting. It occupied a new building facing the G.P.O. on the site of the historic Beehive Clothing Company. The arrangement of the ground floor (the other floors were reserved for stock) “is novel and unique, the counters, top and sides, are all of transparent glass”.
In February, 1903, a London Tailoring Depot store opened at 86 St John Street, Launceston. Two years later, the store moved to 96 Brisbane Street, Launceston. Surprisingly, Hobart did not have a branch of the company.
In early 1906, London Tailoring Depot and State Supply Stores were amalgamated to form London Stores, “the latest development of trading enterprise”. They took over the premises (a jeweller’s) separating the two Bourke Street businesses, the buildings being “merged into one and thoroughly renovated, beautified and equipped on the latest American lines”. The 18 huge plate glass windows were of particular comment, as were the number (200) of employees.
In early 1911, a Chapel Street, Prahran, store was opened; simultaneously, an “end of extension sale” took place in May, “so contractors can complete the extensions to the Bourke and Elizabeth streets headquarters”.
Also, in May, 1911, London Stores was in the process of becoming a public company. The prospectus explained the company was being formed to take over the businesses (in Melbourne, Prahran and Launceston) currently conducted by Frank Samuel Meyers, who would receive 60,000 £1 shares over 2 years, and stay on as managing director for 7 years. Assets of the business were stated as £35,341 while liabilities were a miniscule £2,462.
In August, 1923, London Stores Ltd overcame legal obstacles to the purchase, from the Benjamin estate the site the company had occupied since 1902. By March, 1924, architects W.H and F.B. Tompkins had been commissioned to design a new 132 foot, (maximum permitted) 10 storey plus basement palazzo style building of reinforced concrete on the Bourke and Elizabeth streets corner. (Three floors were for shopping, the remaining 7 floors were intended for offices.) It is about this time that the Launceston store closed.
Building commenced in January, 1925, the company carrying on “business as usual” in the adjoining wings, and using “temporary frontages”. Within 6 months, the first 3 floors of the new building were open and the whole structure completed by March, 1927.
Frank Meyers, still managing director of London Stores, died at his St Kilda Road home in December, 1931. A keen patron of thoroughbred racing, his personal estate of £55,482 included 7 racehorses.
His son Valleck Meyers continued the London Stores business and was still Chairman of Directors in 1953. In 1960, London Stores Ltd also had premises in Dandenong.
Related Patterns: Nil
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