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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Otago & Southland Provincial Districts]

Wheel Traffic

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Wheel Traffic.

The Dunedin Tramways: The Old System, And The New .—The Dunedin Tramway Service was originally established in 1881, by Mr. George Proudfoot, as a private venture, but two years later it was purchased by the Dunedin City and Suburban Tramways Company Limited, of which Mr. George Fenwick was chairman. The service controlled by this company was a horse-haulage one, having its main stables in Cumberland Street. and it extended from the centre of the city to North East Valley on the one side, and to St. Clair, Ocean Beach, and Caversham; via South Dunedin, on the other. At the time of its inauguration the system was by no means discreditable to Dunedin, but in the face of the improved methods of locomotion adopted in other parts of the world, and even in other parts of the colony, and with the increasing demand for a more speedy service in the city itself, it latterly came to be regarded as decidedly antiquated. In 1901, however, the property of the Dunedin City and Suburban Tramways Company, Limited, was bought by the Dunedin City Corporation, and late in the same year it was decided that a thoroughly up-to-date electrical tramway system should replace the one in use. In February, 1902, Messrs Noyes Bros., of Australia, were appointed to carry out the work of converting the old system of horse-haulage into that of electric traction, and to extend the service to suburban parts previously neglected; and in the following year, having completed all preliminary arrangements, they set about their task with a rapidity and thoroughness worthy of all admiration. The new system when complete, will comprise about twenty-five miles of line, a double track being laid in the busiest parts. The route followed within the city boundaries, commencing from the Central Post Office, will lie along Lower High Street, Castle Street, Howe Street, George and Princes Streets; it will thus form a complete ellipse, and so, by a most admirable and effective plan, tap every portion of the city. Outside of this area, the route adopted will be much the same as that followed by the old system, with a few important deviations and additions, such as that along Anderson's Bay to Queen's Drive, and that along Hillside road to Caversham, the full extent of which, however, has not been (January, 1904) definitely determined. In Princes, George and Castle Streets, as also in the North East Valley, the centre pole system has been adopted, but along the remainder of the route, side poles and span poles will be used, as being best adapted to the locality and circumstances. The material used throughout is of the very best order, and the workmanship, conducted under the direct supervision of Mr. W. G. T. Goodman, superintending and designing engineer, is of the most genuine and durable character. The steel rails, which are in lengths of forty feet, and weigh ninety-two pounds to the yard, are secured with tie-bars every eight feet, bounded at each joint, and cross-bonded every forty feet, whilst at corners and other positions, where additional rigidity is required, further strength-giving devices are applied. The sleepers, each 7 feet 6 inches by 9 inches by 4 1/2 inches, are of the very best Australian hardwood, and are spaced 2 feet 6 inches apart. The track is well ballasted with 2 1/2 inch metal, 1 1/2 inch tarred metal, with a top dressing of a half inch tarred screening, and the whole is thoroughly rolled. The rolling-stock will comprise fourteen box cars, fourteen cars of the Californian type, six open cars, and a sprinkling car, all the passenger carriages being of the very latest, safest, and most comfortable design. The carhouse in Market Street, and power house and converter station in Cumberland Street, are, however, perhaps the most interesting things connected with the system. The first-named is a substantial brick' building, three stories in height, and 165 feet square, and is one of the most efficiently equipped car-houses in the Southern Hemisphere. Its roof of the “saw-tooth” kind, has been so arranged as to give the greatest possible amount of light, and the ventilation of the building could not be improved upon. The portion of the carhouse to be actually used for the storage of cars is calculated to hold fifty-two carriages. It contains thirteen roads, and a traversing track running down the centre facilitates the moving of cars from one portion of the shed to the other. The floors are concrete, and are channelled so as to prevent an accumulation of surface water. Eight examination pits, bricked, and approached by flights of steps are provided, so that the cars may be examined from underneath with the same facility as from other positions. There are several rooms, chiefly for storage and repairing purposes, close to the car-house. The machine shop is thoroughly well fitted up, and contains many modern American tools, selected and purchased by Mr. Goodman when in America. A hydraulic wheel press, capable of a pressure of one hundred tons, has been installed for the purpose of fitting the wheels to the axles. A twelve feet lathe, and one of a smaller type, have been fitted up, and the equipment includes also a planing machine, two drillers, etc. An overhead crane is used to lift the pieces of machinery. The general office and the strongroom are on the ground floor, and the office is furnished with red pine fittings. To the rear of the main offices are the rooms for the chief engineer, the draughtsmen, and the clerks. The power house and converter station in Cumberland Street is, also, of two stories, built of brick. Here the generation
Opening Run Of The Dunedin Electric Tramcars, December 16Th, 1903.

Opening Run Of The Dunedin Electric Tramcars, December 16Th, 1903.

page 369 of power for the entire system takes place, and for this purpose there is machinery of the most up-to-date and elaborate character, imported from different countries, including two 250 Kilowatt units of the Westinghouse type, three boilers, storage batteries, boosters, etc. The steel chimney, set in a concrete foundation in the centre of the building, is 125 feet in height, and 5 feet 9 inches in diameter, and is the largest steel stack in the city. The temporary steam plant will be used for the generation of electrical power until the completion of the hydraulic works at the Lee Stream, when the natural power thus harnessed will be inaugurated as the chief factor in the conduct of one of the most important departments of the municipal service in the city. The Dunedin Electrical Tramway system will, when complete, provide one of the finest electrical traction services in New Zealand, and will be a credit to Messrs Noyes Bros., and their superintending engineer, Mr. W. G. T. Goodman, and a lasting honour to the city of Dunedin. It was formally opened on the 16th of December, 1903, when a half-holiday, asked for by the Mayor, was recognised by most of the business houses in the city. The Mayor and City Councillors, local members of Parliament, and many leading citizens took part in the proceedings, which included an opening trip with cars full of invited guests, and a fete held in the Botanical Gardens in the evening.

The Dunedin And Roslyn Tramway Company, Limited . Directors: Messrs John Roberts, C.M.G. (chairman), John Ross, Robert Glendining, Thomas Brydone, James Hazlett. J. Thomson, and J. T. Wright. The present company was formeg in 1902, when it took over the assets, plant, and rolling stock of the original company, which had been in existence for several years. This cable line of tramway connects Dunedin city with the suburb of Roslyn, and from the Town Belt there is a junction electric line that runs to Maori Hill. The power-house is situated in the Kaikorai Valley, but a contract has (April, 1904) recently been entered into with the Waipori Falls Electric Company for the supply of power. The company has six cable cars, and three electric cars; and, running from 7.30 a.m. to 11 p.m., the cable cars complete eighty-nine return trips daily, while the number of passengers carried averages over 21,000 per week. The present directors have expended large sums of money in building new cars, providing new cables, and in generally renovating the plant and line.

Mr. David Ronaldson Eunson , Manager of the Dunedin and Roslyn Tramway Company, has also for many years been manager for the Dunedin City and Suburban Tramway Company and the Mornington Tramway Company. He was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1860, and entered the establishment of Messrs. James Bertram and Sons, engineers, as an apprentice to the mechanical branches of the trade. On coming to New Zealand for his health, he was employed for a term as accountant by an engineering firm in Dunedin. He was associated with the formation of the New Zealand Manufacturers' Association in 1883, and became honorary secretary to that society; and was local secretary to the New Zealand Industrial Exhibition in 1885, and for the Indian and Colonial Exhibition of the following year. In 1887, he went as a delegate to the conference on intercolonial free trade held in Adelaide during the Exhibition, and was appointed manager of the Mornington Cable Tramway Company in the same year. It is well known that the Mornington company, under Mr. Eunson's management, became a dividend paying concern. Mr. Eunson takes more than a passing interest in educational work, is a member of the committee of the technical classes association, and finds recreation in giving object lessons, illustrated by working models or optical views. Mr. Eunson married a daughter of Mr. Archibald Barr, J.P., and has one daughter.

Bacon, David , Proprietor of the Livery, Bait, and Letting Stables, 18 Great King Street, Dunedin. These stables occupy a quarter of an acre of land and are magnificently equipped, the centre floor, which is kept scrupulously clean, being of concrete, inclined so as to drain. The proprietor imports his saddlery and harness from England and America, and great care is taken in seeing that everything is in first-class order before a team is allowed to leave the stables. A large number of carriages and conveyances of all kinds are kept ready for the use of patrons, also a number of high-class horses for riding or driving; and a shoeing forge is attached to the premises. During the visit of the Prince and Princess of Wales to Dunedin, Mr. Bacon supplied the horses and carriages used by the Royal pair in their drives around the city, and he has also catered for the Governor of New Zealand.

Mr. Bacon was born in Debden, Essex, England, in April, 1841, and arrived in New Zealand in 1858 by the ship “Nourmahal.” Before establishing his business he was engaged in lightering in the harbour with a small vessel owned by himself. In 1868 Mr.
Wrigglesworth and Binns photo.Mr. D. Bacon.

Wrigglesworth and Binns photo.
Mr. D. Bacon.

Bacon established his present business, and now claims to be the oldest livery stable proprietor in Australasia. As a Freemason, he is a member of Lodge Otago Kilwinning, 417, Scottish Constitution. Mr. Bacon resides at 10 Cargill Street, and has a family of two sons and three daughters. [After these articles were linotyped, Mr. Bacon's business passed into the hands of Mr. James Jeffs.]

Mr. James Jeffs formerly owned the Rink Livery and Letting Stables, and Criterion Stables, Moray Place. At the Rink Stables he had three Bradley carts, eight single buggies, five double buggies, three waggonettes, two drags, and three landaus, besides dog-carts, gigs, and brakes. Though forty-five horses were kept, they were found to be none too many for the large demand. At the Criterion Stables. Mr. Jeffs kept about ten horses and six or seven traps. He had a blacksmith's shop at both places, as well for his own use as for the convenience of customers. He started in the livery stable business in Palmerston South, where he was also a coach proprietor, running lines of coaches to Naseby and to Nenthorn, the centre of the reefing goldfields, thirty-five miles distant from Palmerston. He retained this business till October, 1897, when, finding that the two large concerns in town required his whole attention, he sold out. Mr. Jeffs purchased the Criterion stables in December, 1894, and the Rink stables two years later from Messrs. Parker and Finlay. After he assumed control, the business and plant were doubled within twelve months. Mr. Jeffs employed an expert for the breaking-in page 370 of horses for his business, and also undertook that class of work for customers.

Crust And Crust , 3 Manse Street, Dunedin (Telephone, 1072; Bankers, Bank of New Zealand) trading with J. M. Heywood and Co., Christchurch, Colonial Carrying Co., Wellington, and W. and G. Winstone, Auckland, in combination as the New Zealand Carrying Company. The property of the firm consists of the business offices and eight sample rooms in Manse Street, five large sample rooms in Dowling Street in premises adjoining Messrs Sargood, Son and Ewen's warehouse; seven sample rooms in Stafford Street; commodious furniture store, stables, etc., also in Stafford Street; and complete working plant of lorries, furniture vans, spring drays and express waggons. Messrs Crust and Crust's twenty sample rooms are all conveniently situated, well lighted and equipped for the convenience of commercial travellers. They have ample storage accommodation, a large plant, and a first-class staff, affording every facility for properly conducting the various departments of their large business in all its branches; namely, sample rooms, carrying, customs, shipping, and forwarding agency, storage and furniture, packing and removal; the latter being a branch of the business in which Mr. Crust has achieved an enviable reputation, he having always devoted special personal attention to it. The New Zealand Carrying Company has agents in all the leading commercial centres of the world, and these, with the co-operation of the firms named at the head of this article, and other good firms in various parts of the colony and abroad, enable the combination to collect goods at any place, and forward and deliver the same to any address, without trouble to either consignor or consignee. Messrs Crust and Crust enjoy a well earned reputation for reliability, promptitude and economy, and the large amount of business that flows in to them from commercial houses, travellers and the general public is therefore not a matter for surprise. Mr. Henry Crust has been in the carrying and forwarding business, (originally as Campbell and Crust) for nearly forty years, and the firm of Crust and Crust owes much of its prosperity to the progressive and thorough-going principles pursued by its enterprising proprietor. During the visit of the Prince and Princess of Wales to New Zealand, the New Zealand Carrying Company was appointed cartage contractor to their Royal Highnesses throughout the colony and was warmly commended for the general efficiency with which it carried out its important duties.

Fitzgerald, Thomas, And Son , Livery and Bait Stable Proprietors, 123 Maclaggan Street, Dunedin. These stables were established in 1876 by Mr. Thomas Fitzgerald, and have been held in popular esteem for many years past. What strikes the casual visitor most, in regard to the premises, is the thorough cleanliness of the whole of the establishment, for the proprietors rightly believe that scrupulously clean quarters are necessary to keep a horse in good condition. The Messrs Fitzgerald keep about twenty-three horses, which, for their work, are the best that money can buy. There are about fifteen conveyances on the premises, including carriages, cabs, waggonettes, singles, station waggons, and a double buggly; also a landau, which cost £240, and was the second carriage built in Dunedin.

Mr. Thomas Fitzgerald was born in Limerick, Ireland, in 1850, and arrived in Victoria, in 1863, by the ship “Waiteanga.” He remained in Australia for seven years, and found plenty of employment as a coachdriver. In 1870 he came to Dunedin, where he was the first licensed carriage driver. Subsequently he was engaged to drive Sir Julius Vogel through to Christchurch, a feat which was accomplished without accident. Mr. Fitzgerald has been a member of the A.O.H. since 1891. He was married in 1876, but his wife died in 1900, leaving one daughter and one son.

Mr. Michael Fitzgerald , who is associated in business with his father, was born in Dunedin, and educated at the Christian Brothers' school. After serving an apprenticeship as a coach painter with Messrs J. Robin and Co., he joined his father in the present business, and has done much to increase the popularity of the stables. He is a member of the Wingatui Racing Club, the Tahuna Park Trotting Club, and the Forbury Racing Club. Mr. Fitzgerald has also been an enthusiast in cricket and football.

The New Zealand Express Company, Limited , General Carriers, Customs, Shipping, Baggage, and Express Forwarding Agents; Head Office, Crawford Street, Dunedin; P.O. Box, 24; Telephone, 1152; Bankers, Bank of New Zealand. Directors: Messrs James Brown, Robert See, E. J. Duthie, C. S. Owen and James Duthie. Secretary, Mr. Charles S. Owen. This important institution has branches and agents in all the principal towns in the colony, and is also represented abroad. The establishment of the company dates back to the year 1867, when operations were commenced in a modest way under the style of Campbell and Crust, general carriers. Twelve years later when the present name of the company was added to the firm, they began to undertake the collecting and forwarding of goods and parcels to any address at through rates. In 1895 the firm was incorporated into a limited liability company. The policy adopted at the initiation of the company, and which has since been successfully adhered to, is to advance with the times, to make every provision for all possible requirements, to further extend its operations, and to meet the demand of its ever-increasing traffic. Operations were first extended from Dunedin to Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland, and gradually to every town of importance in both islands, and the well known carrying business of Messrs James Duthie and Co., of Dunedin, was acquired and incorporated in the firm. Several thousands of pounds have been expended in connection with the various branches of the New Zealand Express Company in providing and fitting up well-lighted and commodious sample rooms for the use and convenience of commercial travellers. By this excellent arrangement the company is enabled to forward travellers' samples right through the colony, and thus save its clients the trouble of arranging for transport and securing sample rooms. Goods and parcels are collected and forwarded to any address at through rates, without trouble to the consignor or consignee, and shippers find the company's service the best means to forward small consignments. The custom house and shipping agency department offer advantages to importers, commercial travellers, and tourists, inasmuch as the clearing of goods through the Customs is effected by the company, and all documents pertaining to their importation are confidentially treated. The general prosperity of New Zealand has naturally been one of the main factors of the success of the New Zealand Express Company, but this success has been enhanced by the capable management and enterprise of the company's directors. To-day the firm stands among the large employers of labour in New Zealand, and its continued prosperity is necessary to the welfare of the hand of employees connected with its various branches