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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]

Littlejohn and Son

Littlejohn and Son (Alexander Ironside Littlejohn and Peter Still), Watchmakers and Jewellers, 85 Lambton Qnay, Wellington. Telephone 53. Bankers, Bank of Australasia. Mr. Littlejohn is a native of Scotland, where he learned his trade with his father, Mr. Wilson Littlejohn, who came to the Colony in 1879, accompanied by the former, and founded the present large business in the same year. Mr. Still is also a native of Scotland; he is a nephew of the founder of the business, and has been associated with the latter since his boyhood's days. In the Old Land he learned the trade with his uncle, and on the latter's leaving to take up his residence in Wellington he was sent to the great centre of chronometer manufacture in London. Here he remained with several of the best and largest houses in the trade, for three years, and gained a large experience which for about twelve years past has been employed in the interests of the business in Wellington. Messrs. Littlejohn and Son have been prominent in the Empire City for many years. Their splendid establishment on Lambton Quay is noticeable to even the most casual observer. The building is a substantial three-story brick structure, with over 2500 square fect of floorage space, and was built by the firm to meet the requirements of an extensive and increasing manufacturing business. Every visitor to Wellington cannot fail to notice the cuphonious chimes proceeding from the turret clock in the Post Office every quarter of an hour. It is a revelation to those who anticipated a state of semi-barbarism to find such evidence of modern civilisation at the antipodes. But probably few will be disposed to believe that all the machinery contained in the clock in question was manufactured by the firm who are the subjects of this notice. No less than thirteen turret clocks manufactured by the firm, including those at Invercargill and Port Chalmera, are at present in use in the Colony. The firm have, more recently, completed a splendid clock for the Auckland Art Gallery. Messrs. Littlejohn and Son employ competent specialists for each department of their manufacturing trade, and have one of the largest and most complete establishments in the Colony for the manufacture of jewellery, chronometers, clocks, watches, instruments, and optical goods. The jewellery shop has all needful appliances for this department of the trade. In the mechanical workroom there is a good deal of machinery, including lathes and planing machines, for accomplishing the work required; while the optical department is kept entirely separate, and has contrivances for lens grinding, drilling, and all other needs of this branch of the business. Sixteen skilled workmen are employed in connection with the firm's trade, and from £130 to £150 are paid per month in wages. The handsome shop is elegantly furnished with immense show cases, which display useful as well as ornamental articles of divers kinds. The firm are also large importers, from British and Continental markets, of such goods as they do not man ufacture on the premises.