The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Otago & Southland Provincial Districts]
Bills, Mrs C. , Wire-Mattress Maker, George Street, Dunedin; factory, 72 Cumberland Street. This business was established by the late Mr. Charles Bills, and is now carried on by his widow and son. The business was established on such sound lines and was so well conducted, that in 1903 it became necessary to move into the commodious premises now used in connection with the industry. The machinery and appliances include a patent weaving machine, of which Mrs Bills has the sole right for Otago and Southland. With this machine the factory can turn out five hundred mattresses per month. The manufacture of wire mattresses, children's cots, and stretchers is an important branch of the business, but other articles in which wire is utilised are also manufactured. Wire shutters for shop fronts are made a specialty and also ripple-matting for gold saving on dredges; kiln floors, sand and malt screens, flower stands, bird cages and rat traps. The whole machinery is driven by a seven horse-power gas engine, and ten persons are employed on the premises. The factory, which occupies a floor space of 100 feet by 60 feet, is divided into two compartments—the weaving room, and the general wire-work room. For the woodwork manufactured in connection with the industry over 30,000 feet are kept in stock, so as to be thoroughly dried and seasoned before use. The webs are woven by the Bill Brothers' multiple weaving machine, of which Mrs Bills holds the sole rights for Otago and Southland. This machine twists from one to twelve wires at one operation, and turns off two, four, or six-ply wire, according to the strength required. Only the best plated steel wire is used. The wire shutters now so much in use are turned out in great numbers; indeed, a specialty is made of this particular branch. A large kiln-floor, weighing five tons, was recently manufactured for the Wanganui Meat Freezing Company, and the directors were so pleased with the remarkably good workmanship that they presented Mr. Bills with a gift of £10 over the contract price, “as showing their appreciation of real good work.” All the machinery at the factory is of the latest design. It includes a crimping machine, and straining rollers. Since the death of Mr. Bills in January, 1904, the business has been carried on by Mrs Bills, who has practically managed it for some years.
Four Generations: The Late Mr. C. Bills, His Mother, Daughter, And Grandchild.
Davis, Hugh , Boatbuilder, Jetty Street Wharf, Dunedin. This business was established in 1864, by Mr. Ben Davis, who at his death was succeeded by his son. The premises are situated at the water's edge, while close by, riding at anchor or moored to buoys, is a large flotilla of sailing and pleasure boats. Among the many first-class yachts which Mr. Davis has built are the “Roma,” “Carina,” and “Ripple,” and among other yachts he has altered and brought up-to-date the “Leader,” “Winifred,” “Mistral,” and “Pastime.” Mr. Davis makes a specialty of building oil launches, and has successfully filled orders from Picton and Akaroa for craft of that description. He has also built three fishing boats for The Nuggets, Port Molyneaux. The Dunedin and Port Chalmers sailing and rowing clubs entrust most of their building and repairing to Mr. Davis, and as he is a practical workman in all branches of his trade, the work turned out is of a high class order. Twenty-seven pleasure and sailing boats are kept on hire. Mr. Davis was married, in 1902, to a daughter of Mr. W. Robinson, an old colonist, and has one son.
Donaghy's Rope And Twine Company, Ltd. , Lower Rattray Street, Dunedin. Directors, Hon. A. Lee Smith, M.L.C. (chairman), and Messrs J. L. Passmore, G. L. Sise, A. Lee Smith, junior, and H. F. Passmore. Secretary, Mr. A. Lee Smith, junior. Telephones: office, 178; factory, 1263. P.O. Box, 94. Bankers, Bank of New Zealand. Cable Address, “Donaghy,” Dunedin. Codes, A.B.C., A 1, and Western Union. Factories, South Dunedin, Auckland and Invercargill. The large manufacturing business now conducted by the Donaghy's Rope and Twine Company, Ltd., was founded in 1876 by the late Mr. M. Donaghy, of Geelong, who carried on the business till 1881, when he sold his interest to Mr. A. Lee Smith, and a late partner. Three years later Mr. J. L. Passmore and his brother joined the firm, and work was continued as a private concern till 1889, when it was registered as a limited company under the title of M. Donaghy and Company, Ltd. This company was the pioneer of the binder twine manufacture in New Zealand, and for many years it has been at the head of the general cordage trade of the Colony. The present company dates from 1895, when it was incorporated for the purpose of amalgamating the old Donaghy Company with the Auckland Fibre and the Southland Rope and Twine Companies. At their works in Auckland and South Dunedin the company manufacture all kinds of cordage, the Invercargill factory being devoted exclusively to the manufacture of binder twine. The works at South Dunedin and at Invercargill are built in brick, the motive power being derived from steam engines of two hundred and fifty and thirty horse power respectively. The Auckland premises are built of wood, contain a forty horse power steam engine, and, like the works in the South Island, have complete and up-to-date machinery for the manufacture of the various ropes and twines. The whole of the factories of the company are built on freehold land. Besides doing a great deal to supply local requirements, the company export a considerable quantity of their produce to the Australian colonies and the South Sea Islands. An effort is being made to establish a trade in binder twine with Great Britain, and in this some success has already been achieved.
The Hon. Alfred Lee Smith , Chairman of Directors of Donaghy's Rope and Twine Company, Ltd., is noticed in another article as a member of the Legislative Council. He was born in Yorkshire. England, and arrived in Wellington, New Zealand, in 1868.
Gregg, W. and Co., Ltd. , Coffee, Spice and Starch Manufacturers, General Merchants and Importers Lower Rattray Street, Dunedin. This business was founded in Princes Street by the late Mr. Gregg, in 1861, and was removed some years later to the premises it now occupies. In 1897 the business was merged into a limited liability company under the style of W. Gregg and Co., Limited; Mr. Gregg, the founder, acting as managing director until his death in May, 1901, when Mr. William B. M. Fea assumed the management. Amongst the many specialties for which the company is noted, are its high class coffees, pure pepper and spices starch, soda crystals, flavouring essences, etc., etc. W. Gregg and Co., Limited, were the first in New Zealand to manufacture wax vestas and starch. Gregg's “Eagle” starch has been for the last fifteen years the leading brand in the colony, whilst the firm's “Club” coffee, (its special brand household word throughout New Zealand. Messrs W. Gregg and Co. make it a standing rule that not one ounce of anything adulterated leaves any of their factories, and the most modern machinery obtainable is used in the manufacture of their various goods. They have been awarded a gold medal, a special gold medal, and over fifty medals and awards for the excellence of their manufactures at the following Exhibitions:—New Zealand, 1865; Christ-church, 1872; Sydney International, 1879; Melbourne International, 1880–81; Wellington Industrial. 1885; New Zealand and South Seas, 1889–90; Wellington Industrial, 1896–97; and Otago Jubilee, 1898. The company's chicory farm of fifty-six acres, and drying kiln are situated on Inchclutha. Its coffee and spice mills, and warehouse, are in Lower Rattray Street, and its starch, soda crystals, flavouring essences and kindred manufactures are carried on at its extensive works at Pelichet Bay, convenient to rail and wharf.
The Late Mr W. Gregg.
Mr. W. B. M. Fea.
Mcleod Bros., Ltd . (W. P. Watson, managing director), Soap and Candle Manufacturers, Cumberland and Castle Streets, Dunedin. Telephone, 3. P.O. Box, 229. Bankers, National Bank of New Zealand. The large and important industry conducted by this well known company was established on the present site by Messrs McLeod Bros. in 1869, and the business was continued as a private firm until 1883, when it was incorporated as a limited company under the provisions of “The Companies Act, 1892.” One acre and a half of freehold land, extending from street to street, is almost wholly covered by prominent and extensive brick buildings, which are mostly of two and three stories in height. The plant is up-to-date in every respect, and capable of turning out large quantities of soap, candles, and other products. There are four large boilers, which supply steam for working a five ton still and heating the various vats, etc., and for driving four horizontal engines, and pumps, chiefly required for working four large presses used in the works. A recent valuation of the machinery and plant of this extensive factory showed the actual value to be between £11,000 and £12,000, while the value of land and buildings alone was in excess of that amount. The candles, soap, glycerine, and culinary essences produced by the company are well known and largely used throughout the Colony. Two travellers are regularly moving about New Zealand in the interests of the company, the leading wholesale merchants and retail houses being large purchasers of the various brands, which are all marketed with the two islands. The principal kind of soap made by Messrs. McLeod Bros., Ltd., which is in great demand, goes under the trade mark “Laundrine,” besides which there are commoner qualities, as well as fancy and toilet soaps. In candles there are the “Gold Medal” stearine candle, and the “Imperial” paraffin candle; the former entirely made from locally produced tallow. From fifty to sixty hands are regularly employed by the firm of Messrs McLeod Bros., Ltd., at their extensive factory. During recent years, the produce of these soap and candle works has been brought to the test of competition, both within and beyond the Colony. At the great International Exhibition held in Melbourne in 1888, Messrs. McLeod Bros., Ltd., gained a gold medal for their soaps and candles, and, at the Dunedin and South Seas Exhibition of 1889–90, two first and three second awards were secured for their various manufactures.
Mr. Charles Ziele , formerly Managing Director of Messrs McLeod Bros., Ltd., was born in Germany in 1840, and arrived in Melbourne by the ship “Europe,” in 1856. After five years' experience in Victoria, Mr. Ziele crossed the Tasman Sea and settled in Otago. He was for nine years on the Otago goldfields, and in 1870 he went to Dunedin, where he entered into business as a wholesale grocer and wine and spirit merchant, under the style of Messrs C. [gap — reason: illegible] and Co., in Rattray Street. In 1883 Mr. Ziele disposed of his business, and acquired a large interest in McLeod Brothers Limited, of which he became managing director. In 1868 Mr. Ziele married a daughter of the late Mr. William Fincher, a very early and well known settler at Bendigo, Victoria, and had two daughters and three sons. He died in March, 1902.
The Late Mr. C. Ziele.
Zealandia Waterproof Company (Richard Radcliffe Taylor, manager), Water-proof Clothing Manufacturers, etc., Stafford Street, Dunedin; Bankers; Bank of New Zealand; Private residence, High Street, Roslyn. This company was established in premises in High Street, in November, 1889, but, as the business and the demand for its manufactures rapidly increased throughout the Colony, the proprietor was in 1893 compelled to add considerably to his plant, and removed to new and more commodious brick premises in Stafford Street. These premises afford upwards of 6,000 square feet of floor space, and contain all the necessary plant for turning out large quantities of ladies' and gentlemen's waterproof garments, and other rubber articles. The company has a business extending throughout the Colony, and has made a reputation for high class goods. It may be mentioned here that at the New Zealand and South Seas Exhibition, held in Dunedin in 1889–90, the company exhibited waterproof in the piece, and garments made up in various styles, such as “Universal,” “Stanley,” “Onslow,” “Hussar,” and “Chesterfield;” and these exhibits gained the first and only awards, with special notice in the “Otago Daily Times” of February, 1890, and in the press of the Colony generally. Mr. R. R. Taylor justly claims to have been the founder of this industry in New Zealand.
Mr. Richard Radcliffe Taylor , Manager of the Zealandia Waterproof Company, was born in Preston, Lancashire, England, where he received his education and was apprenticed to the wholesale business (including waterproofs, etc.). After arriving at Port Chalmers by the ship “Auckland,” in 1878, he was appointed manager to Messrs Sargood, Son and Ewen's clothing and woollen department. Mr. Taylor held that position for upwards of ten years, and then resigned to establish the Zealandia Water-proof Company.
Mr. R. R. Taylor.