Thomas Dowd had commenced business in 1907 from a rented premises at 380 Queens Parade, before purchasing this site in 1909. The title of this building was transferred to Dowd’s wife, Gertrude in 1915.
Thomas John Dowd (Tailor)
The following is sourced from the work of Virginia Noonan for the Nomination to Heritage Victoria – Queens Parade Shopping Precinct, p.20 “The business prospered and by 1920 Dowd was employing his brother-in-law Charles Germer. He had also extended his business to 402 Queens Parade, where Gertrude Dowd and her sister Theodora Germer operated a ladies drapery. It is at these premises in 1929, that the business of Dowd, Newport and Co. Pty. Ltd. was founded and, shortly afterwards, Thomas Dowd opened new premises in Victoria Street, Fitzroy. Until 1937, the firm of Thomas H. Dowd was registered at 398 Queens Parade. In 1938 it became an international entity when it merged with corset manufacturers A. Stein of New York and the Kabo Corset Company of Chicago to form the Hickory Foundation Garment corporation. This was organised by Thomas Dowd’s brother Arthur Sydney Dowd, who since 1912 had been the manager of the Kabo Corset Company. Thomas Dowd lived at Healesville in his later years and died in Queensland in 1955. His wife Gertrude and two sons Maurice and Bernard survived him. He was a generous donor to charities, as were his descendants. In 2002 Carl and Wendy Dowd established the Dowd Foundation for the benefit of three main subjects of philanthropy: the arts, education and medical research, each area managed by a family member. One of the major beneficiaries is the Florey Institute for research into neuroscience.”