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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]

Wilkins and Field

Wilkins and Field (Thomas Field, Thomas A. H. Field, and Henry Montague Field), Hardware Merchants, Wholesale and Retail Ironmongers, Manners Street, Wellington. Retail department and offices, Manners Street; wholesale department, Farish, St. Hill, and Old Customhouse Streets. Branch establishment, Nelson. Telephone: Retail 642; wholesale 218. Bankers, Colonial Bank of New Zealand. This large business was established nearly thirty years ago in Westport by Mr. Thomas Field, but about the year 1880 Mr. Field entered into partnership with Mr. W. C. Wilkins, in Nelson, when the style of this old-established business was changed to Wilkins and Field, in which name it is still carried on, although Mr. W. C. Wilkins retired from the firm after a few years through ill health. The head office was established in Wellington in 1889. The splendid premises, of which an interior view appears in the illustration, were originally erected for an arcade, and having been purchased, were altered to suit the business by Messrs. Wilkins and Field. The showrooms are said to be the largest and finest in the Colony. The total floorage space of the retail department amounts to little less than 20,000 square feet. Behind the retail shop is situated the large wholesale premises and factory. The whole of these extensive buildings comprise nearly the entire block formed by Manners, Farish, St. Hill, and Customhouse Streets. The wholesale promises include about 15,000 square feet additional floorage space. The firm are large manufacturers of spouting, ridging, wire mattresses, perambulators, and everything in their line that can be made in the Colony to compete with imported goods. For the purpose of this manufacturing trade, the firm possess a full plant of machinery of the latest and most approved description, and a large staff of competent workmen are regularly employed. There are no less than from fifty to sixty hands engaged in the different departments. Messrs. Wilkins and Field are large importers from the best markets of the Old World, but they do all they can to encourage colonia industry, and anything that can be manufactured in the Colony to advantage has the preference. Their trade extends throughout the greater portion of New Zealand, their travellers paying regular visits to customers in Nelson, Marlborough, Westland, Taranaki, Hawkes Bay, every part of the Wellington province, and other districts. The firm are patentees of Yarrall's patent spray pump for spraying fruit trees, patent kerosene lamps, milk-strainers, and a host of other specialties. The Nelson firm are local agents for the Royal Insurance Company for the provincial districts of Nelson and Westland. Messrs. Wilkins and Field are a progressive firm, and may be relied upon at all times to supply goods of the best value at the lowest possible prices.