Gaby, Herbert, and Co.,
Star Enginering Works, Crawford Street, South Wellington. Trade mark, “a fivapointed star.” Bankers, Colonial Bank of New Zealand. The proprietor of these works, whose portrait appears below, is a native of Bath, England. On completing his education he was articled to the legal profession, but finding mechanics more in harmony with his disposition, he gave up the former, and put his whole time to the study of engineering, and rapidly became expert in that profession. In 1857 he embarked in the ship “John McVicar,” bound for New Zealand, and on his arrival here he was pleased to find the Colony up to his expectations. He followed up the engineering for several years, till, in 1862, he ventured in the sawmilling business at Pelorus Sound, where he continued in that trade with fair success up to 1868, when he again returned to the engineering. In 1871 he came to Wellington, and erected Soap Works, tending to carry on that industry himself. The product of his factory was not encouraged by the local merchants and others who could make more profit by the imported article. However, he conducted these works for four years, when he sold out to Messrs. Kitchen and Son, since which time protective tariffs have greatly assisted local industries. From the date of his arrival in Wellington he has resided in the locality now known as South Wellington, which at that time could only boast of about a dozen houses, but is now the most populous part of Wellington. In 1886 he established, on a small scale, the above works. adding from time to time, as occasion demanded, new and various machinery of the latest principle. In 1891 he let the whole works, but again came into possession in 1893. Until recently the premises might have been easily passed by but for the whirr and buz of the machinery within, and on inspection the observer is astonished to find such important engineering works in this locality. The premises now present quite a different appearance, having been considerably enlarged to meet the increasing demand for space in consequence of the greater business done. They contain about 4500 square feet of floorage space, are built of
iron, and two stories high. The plant is a most perfect one in every respect, and comprises five lathes, one six-foot stroke planing machine, one twelve-inch shaping machine, one shearing and punching machine, two drilling machines,
Mr. H. Gaby.
one band saw and circular saw, and one set of rolling mills specially designed for the making of the wrought iron split pulleys. The engineers' department occupies the top floor, sixty feet by thirty feet, the smiths' shop, pattern room, and foundry, occupying the base. All the machinery, including fan for the blast furnace, is driven by a seven-horse-power steam-engine. There are from six to eight hands employed. The establishment is specially adapted for mechanical engineering and the manufacture of mechanical tools, which may be shown by the fact that for the past five years work of this character has been done, including postal dies and stamps for the Government contractor. A most important feature in this establishment is the manufacture of wrought iron split pulleys, with which all parts of the Colony are supplied by Mr. Gaby, who is to be congratulated on having completely stopped the importation of this article in Wellington. At the rear of the works, but in another street, is the private residence of Mr. Gaby, and he may well feel proud of the commanding position it occupies, and the well laid out gardens with their concrete footpaths and splendid approach. It is also worthy of note that this gentleman is connected by marriage to one of Wellington's most prominent citizens, known and styled as “The father of Wellington,” viz:, Mr. John Plimmer, whose eldest daughter he married. Besides attending to his private duties, Mr. Gaby takes a lively interest in local affairs, and at the present time holds the position of secretary of the Wellington Hospital.