202-210 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy

This location is the factory building and terrace next to the Perseverance Hotel on Brunswick St. Both the factory and the terraces have been since removed.

Google Image – April 2022
MMBW 1900 Map – You can see the Persevrance Hotel only occupied the corner block. The factory was at 202-204 with two small buildings at 206 and 208. These today occupy spots 206-210 Brunswick St
Image from (The Cylopedia of Victoria, 1903-1905, Vol 2, p. 138-139).

Allan’s, Iron Merchants

Located at “202 and 204 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy. (Archd. P. Allan, David L. Allan) This well-established and prosperous business which ranks among the leading ones of its kind in the State, was founded as far back as the fifties by the late Mr. A. P. Allan, sen. Born in Glasgow on the 16th of February, 1826, on the completion of his school career he worked at his trade as tinsmith until the outbreak of the gold fever in Victoria, when he and a number of his fellow townsmen purchased and chartered the ship “William Molesworth,” and sailed for Melbourne, arriving early in 1853. Mr Allan visited the goldfields in Bendigo and the surrounding district, but his career as a minor was a failure, and after losing considerably, he walked back to Melbourne, where he started business at his own trade in Fitzroy, near the site of the present premises. In those days the building trade in Melbourne was very brisk, and he commenced the manufacture of metal roof tiles, in which line he did remarkably well. Some of the tiles, after nearly fifty years’ wear, are still in use in Fitzroy. By hard work and capable management he was enabled a few years later to purchase the site of the present business in Brunswick Street, where up to the time of his lamented death in March, 1901, he carried on a successful trade in galvanised iron and hardware, together with a manufacturing business in all kinds of ironware and tin goods. A plumbing, gas-fitting, and bell-hanging department was also another adjunct to the business”. The business was continued by his sons Archibald P Allan and David L Allan (The Cylopedia of Victoria, 1903-1905, Vol 1, p. 585-586).

There is significantly more information on this business in the The Cylopedia of Victoria, 1903-1905, Vol 2, p. 138-139. Every form of ironware, from milking buckets to sinks, stove tops to pots and pans. They also made cyanide vats for use on the goldfields. The most ingenious invention they had was A.P. Allan’s “Nodor” patent meat safe which enabled people to keep their meat supplies fresh, which was said to be in demand across the Commonwealth.

They also made iron fireplaces and chimneys, rabbit traps, irrigation tanks and a cool chamber, considered the next best thing to an ice chest.

They company also managed repairs from their site. The factory and repairs operated from Kent Street. The offices and sales depot fronted Brunswick Street. They also had an iron store in Young St.

B Elms Engineer & Blacksmith

Image held by Fitzroy Library. Taken from Fitzroy Municipal Rating Study. 1948

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