The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Otago & Southland Provincial Districts]
The Furnishing Trade
The Furnishing Trade.
Martin, F. and F., (Francis Chapman Martin and Frederick Samuel Martin), Furniture and Piano Warehousemen, the Octagon, Dunedin. This business was established by Messrs Guthrie and Larnach, with the stock saved from their disastrous firein Princes Street in 1889. Mr. F. A. Hooper, who arrived from London under engagement to the firm, was installed as manager, find subsequently bought the business from his employers. In 1893, on account of the ill-health of his wife, Mr. Hooper disposed of the concern to Messrs F. and F. Martin, who had previously owned a large furniture manufactory in Moray Place, and a retail establishment in George Street. The show room of the premises is 165 long by 35 feet wide. and extends from the Octagon entrance to Bath Street. A large basement, filled with stock, is situated beneath the show room, and has an entrance on Bath Street, and another intermediate floor is used for manufacturing purposes. The whole establishment is crowded with every kind of household furniture, and the wants of the most fastidious are amply provided for in the array of high-class articles offered for inspection. Piaous and orgnus of English, German, and American manufacture, are also stocked by the firm. A largo staff of competent hands is employed in the cabinet-making, upholstering, mattress making and polishing departments of the business, and all articles sold can berelied upon as being exactly what they are represented to be.
Scoullar And Chisholm, Limited , (R. Chisholm, Managing Director), Cabinetmakers and Upholsterers, Furnishing Warehouse, Corner of Rattray and Maclaggan Streets, Dunedin. Telephone, 209. Post Office Box, 310. Bankers: National Bank of New Zealand. Factory: Rattray Street (above the warehouse and showrooms), Private residence: Mr. Chisholm, Ross Street, Roslyn. An interesting description of the firm is here reproduced from “New Zealand Scenery and Public Buildings.” published in 1895” by the Otago Daily Times and Witness” company, Ltd. “'The wellknown firm of Messrs. Scoullar and Chisholm. furniture manufacturers and importers, had its origin in a very humble way about thirtytwo years ago. Among many others who, in the sixties, came over from Victoria to seek their fortunes in the newly discovered goldfields of Otago, were Mr. Henry North and Mr. Arthur Scoullar, the original partners in the firm. Like good colonists, they were willing and ready to turn their hands to anything they could find to do, and the building trade being, on their arrival in Dunedin, particularly brisk on account of the demand for house accommodation, they had no difficulty in securing work for a time at remunerative wages as house-carpenters. Securing an unpretentious building at the corner of Canongate and Rattray Streets, which had for many years served the purpose of a slaughterhouse in connection with the butchering business then carried on by the late Mr. George Duncan, they subsequently started manufacturing furniture for the firm of Key and Beswick, then in business in Dunedin. Soon afterwards, however in 1863 Messrs, North and Scollar, with the view of commencing business on their own account, leased a wooden building at the corner of Rattray and Macclaggan Streets, which, though a onestorey, dilapidated structure, was dignified by the name of the Shakespeare Hotel, and this building they converted into a furniture warehouse. Success attended their efforts they had but little opposition—and they speedily found their business increase to such an extent as to necessitate their obtaining additional assistance. In July, 1868, Mr. R. Chisholm entered their service, and, the business continuing to prosper, the old Shakespeare Hotel had to give way to a substantial, three-storey stone and brick warehouse, while the old slaughterhouse, which had up to that time served as a workshop, was displaced by the extensive factory that now exists. A few years later the firm's business had assumed such dimensions that it was found necessary to extend the already large warehouse to the full extent of the land available, thus making it one of the largest furniture warehouses south of the Line. In 1880, Mr. North retired from the business, and Mr., Chisholm (who had for many years served the firm) becoming a partner, the name of the firm was changed to Scoullar and Chisholm. Such is the reputation of the house throughout New Zealand that its name alone is regarded as a sufficient guarantee of the workmanship and design of every article produced by the firm. At the Wellington Industrial Exhibition in 1885, Messrs. Scoullar and Chisholm obtained the only gold and silver medals that were awarded for furniture and furnishings, and their goods were in such demand, and were so much admired by leading citizens in Wellington during that exhibition, that they decided to extend their business to the capital. Securing a site on Lambton Quay, they erected a handsome, four-storey brick and stone warehouse, with the factory —a substantial brick building fitted up with machinery and all the latest improvements—behind it, and Mr. Scoullar removed to Wellington to take charge of the business there. At the New Zealand and South Seas Exhibition in 1880.90, the firm again took a first class award, and the Onslow pavilion, fitted up as a hall, dining-room, drawing-room and bed-room, constituted in itself page 314 an exhibition which was a centre of attraction to visitors. Messrs. Scoullar and Chisholm import extensively from England, the Continent, and America; they have, nevertheless, always given prominence to our beautiful native woods in the manufacture of their furniture. In 1887, when the city council of Dunedin decided to send to the Queen an offering on the occasion of Her Majesty's jubilee, the firm produced to the order of that body a casket which was a unique specimen of art cabinet work, made from about 200 pieces of twenty different varieties of New Zealand timbers; in the same year they designed and manufactured a remarkably fine specimen of cabinet work in the shape of a cabinet and album, as an offering from the Roman Catholic bishop and clergy of the diocese of Dunedin to His Holiness the Pope, on the occasion of his sacerdotal jubilee. In the cabinetmaking, upholstering, and polishing departments of their business, Messrss, Scoullar and Chisholm employ in Dunedin alone, at the present time, from fifty to sixty hands, and, as a result, they are enabled to make a magnificent display in their furniture warehouse. As one enters the spacious showroom on the ground floor, one immediately sees that special care is taken by the firm to convince visitors that they are determined to produce-and that they do produce-furniture and furnishings which, in point of variety, style, and finish, are equal to anything that can, be seen in the Old Country. In this room there are three distinct groupings of furniture—drawing-room, dining-room, and bedroom. The drawing-room furniture is conspicuous by the variety comprised in it, from the elaborate and elegant cosy corner to the more modest every-day articles. There is an almost bewildering variety of style in these goods, and the blending of shade and colour in the upholstery is excellent. The dining-room furniture is displayed in suites of red pine, oak, and walnut, upholstered in various colours of Morocco, buffalo, and roan, while the hand-some, massive sideboards—some with elaborately carved panels and mouldings—are placed on an elevated platform, so as to afford visitors an opportunity of seeing them to advantage. The bedroom furniture, which is chiefly in red pine, relieved with mottled kauri and bird's-eye maple, is so arranged that one can see at a glance wardrobes, duchesse tables, duchesse washstands, Parisian bedsteads, and infect every requisite for the bedchamber. Nothing short of a visit to the various rooms can, however, convey any adequate conception of their contents, which embrace pianos, carpets, floor-cloths, and other furnishings, as well as furniture of the kind already indicated. The firm's factory in Rattray Street is the largest furniture factory in New Zealand, and is a Dunedin land mark. The machinery in it is driven by a twelve horse-power (nominal) steam engine. The firm guarantee every article manufactured on their premises, and, that they may safely do so, they constantly have large piles of timber stacked on a hill at the rear of their factory undergoing thorough process of seasoning.” Quite recently the machinery at the firm's factory has been added to by the introduction of six new wood working machines of the latest and most approved type, from the well-known makers. J. Sagar and Co., of Halifax, England.
Mr. R. Chisholm.