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Illustrated Guide to Christchurch and Neighbourhood

Messrs. Toomer Bros. & Co's. Boot Factor

Messrs. Toomer Bros. & Co's. Boot Factor

The premises of this firm, of which we give an illustration, are situated at 122 Lichfield-street, near High-street. They have a frontage of 66 feet, with a depth, through to Bedford Row, of 132 feet. The building is a three storey brick one, and was erected in 1877. Previously to then the firm, which commenced business in 1869, occupied the premises now used by Messrs. Bing, Harris & Co., in the same street. Entering by the front door we see the offices on the left, on the right is a large show-room, 31 feet by 40 feet, where the stock is kept. On the ground floor are also other store rooms, and the packing room. The first floor is one large room, 66 feet by 40 feet, with a partition six feet high running across it. One portion of this floor is occupied by "clickers," and the other portion by females, whose work consists of sewing, by machines, the "uppers" of the boots and shoes together. The top floor is devoted to "blockers" and the "finishers." Adjoining the main building at the back is a room 20ft. by 30ft, which is full of machinery, consisting of motive power (a gas engine of 2 h.p.), a sole sewing machine, presses, rollers, and all other plant necessary for the manufacture of boots and shoes. Adjoining this again is the riveting room, where from forty to fifty hands are employed.

This firm has, in connection with their boot factory, a tannery situated at "Woolston, where steam power is employed, and where they manufacture various kinds of leather for their own use.

Altogether the firm employs about 130 hands, their out-put being about 60,000 pairs annually. "Wherever they have exhibited they have always been able to secure "first" awards, and at the Dunedin Exhibition they obtained the only gold medal yet awarded in this colony (except those given by Messrs. Joubert & Twopenny, which the exhibitors had to purchase), being one offered by the Working Men's Club for the "best exhibit of colonial manufacture."