Australian Knitting Mills Limited: Richmond
In 1899 Thomas Murry &Co established a small knitting mill in Richmond. The mill expanded several times to keep up with increased production. In 1908 they began to produce Golden Fleece brand woollen underwear. These were made from 100% Merino Fleece. In 1910 the company changed its name to the Australian Knitting Mills. The Kookaburra brand (underwear made of wool/cotton mix) was established were established by 1917 (see the 2 buttons below). If you glance out the window of your train at Richmond station you can see the old mill building.
Bond’s Industries Limited, Sydney:
Around 1907 an American by the name of George Alan Bond came to Australia. From 1915 he started patenting and trademarking article of clothing. The firm of George A. Bond and Company was the start of what became Bonds Industries Limited. From 1932 to 1938 they advertised ‘Silver Ram’ pure woollen underwear.
“Our firm was established in 1895 in Sydney, and were one of the first tenants in the Strand Arcade. Over the years we have moved about within the city, and currently sell from our city store at 276 Pitt St as well as manufacturing and wholesaling from our factory/office at Marrickville.”
William Christie started his business as a specialist umbrella maker. His father had come to Melbourne from Scotland when William was young although he later moved to Sydney. The business also sold ladies wear, Scottish dress and accessories as well as military dress acessories and flags.
Dunlop Weatherproofs Australia Pty. Ltd.: Wagga Wagga
In 1944 the Dunlop rubber Co. Ltd took over a munitions factory in Wagga Wagga and registered a garment division of the company to make uniforms for the military. After the war they continued as the largest single employer in the region, only closing in 1977.
Fletcher Jones: Warrnambool
David Fletcher Jones, clothing manufacturer and retailer, was born in Bendigo in 1895. He purchased a tailoring and menswear business in Warrnambool in 1924. He moved his business into making quality fitted trousers, including for the army. In 1948 a new factory was constructed on the site of a former rubbish dump, with extensive gardens that became, and remain, a tourist attraction. In the late 1940s he changed the business into a co-operative with his employees, renaming it Fletcher Jones and Staff Pty Ltd. In the mid 1950s they extended into women’s clothes. Mr Jones died in 1977. The business was sold in 1998. Many of the stores, including the Warrnambool factory, were sold 2011.
Lincoln Mills: Coburg
Since around 1801, when convicts started making woollen blankets in Parramatta, mills have been a part of Australia’s industrial landscape. Lincoln Mills were built in Coburg in 1909.