3rd October 2019

Paramatta Woollen Mills Ltd, Sydney:

 

 

 

 

 

In August 1803 Governor King appointed a Scottish convict weaver to run a weaving establishment. This was the beginning of an organised woollen industry in Australia, although female convicts had been spinning and weaving before this, sheep having been brought out with the first fleet in 1788. From 1804 female prisoners  at the ‘Female Factory’ were set to work weaving woollen cloth, sewing clothes and washing laundry.

In 1869 John French started producing tweed fabric at Darling Mills,originally a flour mill. His son Alfred  produced tweed at the Cumberland Woollen Mill, also originally a flour mill, from 1870.

This building was demolished in 1974.

In 1887 brothers William and J. H. Murray bought Darling Mill and renamed it the Paramatta Woollen Mill. They later bought the Cumberland Mill.

The business prospered. By 1900 they won  a gold medal for uniforms they had made. They provided uniforms for troops serving in the Boer war, for water police and for hospital attendants. In 1911 they were taken over by the Sydney Woollen Mills which had been  established in 1870. In 1975 the piece goods division was sold off, with the company in liquidation by 1984.

The World’s News, 10th October 1953. Part of the Sydney Woollen Mills.

https://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/convict-sydney/convict-women-female-factory

http://arc.parracity.nsw.gov.au/blog/2014/10/08/harveys-mill-the-cumberland-steam-mill-and-dares-mill-parramatta/

http://arc.parracity.nsw.gov.au/blog/2015/11/17/parramatta-woollen-mills/

http://www.ausbuttonhistory.com/?p=3250  (This last link is of a post showing an example of the Boer War buttons.)

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