Illustrated Guide to Christchurch and Neighbourhood
Messrs. Mason, Struthers & Co
Messrs. Mason, Struthers & Co.
This firm commenced business in Christchurch in. 1874 in premises known as Pratt's Buildings, in Colombo-street. After a short time they built their present warehouse, a three storey brick building, at the corner of Colombo and Lichfield-streets; and, subsequently, their brick warehouse (two storeys and a basement), No. 66, Lichfield-street. Besides these two establishments the firm also have large premises in St. Asaph-street, where they show the Deering's reaper and binder, they being page 178the agents for Wm. Deering, of Chicago. In pushing this well-known agricultural machine the firm have been eminently successful. In the first year of their agency they obtained for it five gold medals at various Agricultural Societies' meetings, and at trials where it was exhibited. As a proof of the estimation in which it is held by farmers, we may mention that there are over 700 of them at work in New Zealand.
The Colombo-street premises are devoted to hardware, plated goods, &c., from England, America, and the Continent. On the ground floor are the offices for clerks and for the members of the firm; and a large room fitted with counters and show cases, where are displayed a varied and large assortment of ironmongery, electro-plated ware, cutlery, lampware, carpenters' brass and iron fittings, and all the numberless sundries of the trade. Upstairs we find a large show room for larger articles, and a packing room where the wholesale orders are got ready for despatch. In the top floor of this building are stored all kinds of lighter ironmongery in wholesale quantities. Returning to the ground floor we come to the sheds where the wholesale stocks of bar and sheet iron, sheet lead, &c., are stored; and passing through the yard, where is more iron stacked in racks, we come to a shed 30 feet by 60 feet, filled with all kinds of American implements, in which the. firm do a large wholesale trade. There is also a fitters' shop, where are to be seen at work men busy making horse collars for gig, coach, cart and buggy harness.
The Lichfield-street establishment is next worth inspection. The basement of this is well stored with wholesale packages of hardware goods, heavy ironware, glass, oils, paints, &c. Upstairs is a large show room devoted to grates, ranges, marble mantelpieces, mangles, &c., in great variety of pattern and cost. On the floor above we come to the saddlery manufactory and show rooms. This industry, which Messrs. Mason, Struthers & Co. are the only ones to follow in Christchurch, forms a very considerable portion of the firm's business. Their dealings in it are entirely wholesale, their customers being the retail shopkeepers throughout the colony. So far as possible all the materials used are of colonial manufacture, so that the firm may be congratulated on having successfully started a valuable local industry. A glance through the show room will convince any expert of the excellence of the articles manufactured, and their superiority to the bulk of the imported articles with which they have to compete. We should mention that in their several establishments Messrs. Mason, Struthers & Co. employ over fifty hands.