Our history (advertisements cira 1925 - 1941)
Rankin and Bond Pty Ltd has a proud history, operating in Launceston, Tasmania for over 100 years.
Rankin and Bond Pty Ltd has a long history. The name is forthcoming from a business partnership between Alex Rankin and George Bond, who both completed apprenticeships in Launceston brass foundries.
G. Bond completed school at St Joseph’s School in Launceston and was a noted sportsman. He was apprenticed by W. J. Ikin (often referred to as J. W. Ikin). The foundry of J. Ikin was had been in operation for over six years in 1888 with five employees. Upon completion of his apprenticeship G. Bond moved to work as a brass finisher with the city council under J. W. Corin, who was the City Electrical Engineer. Upon the passing of W. Ikin, he returned to the foundry as manager, which was later sold to W. Foster in 1893. The foundry was acquired by C. T. Stephenson in the early 1900’s and operated in associated with the W. Foster name.
A. Rankin worked at the foundry under both ownership of J. Ikin and later W. Foster. In the evening of Wednesday the 2nd of November 1892 five employees at the Cimitiere Street foundry were seriously injured when a steel drum being pressure tested with steam, exploded with what was noted as terrible force. A. Rankin who was working on a lathe within the workshop received a broken ankle when he was struck by part of the drum that had passed through the factory wall. G. Bond received hot water burns and a head injury when struck by a flying iron bar. Another three workers received various other injuries. The explosion was heard across a considerable area of Launceston city. A new Tamar Street (possibly 37 Tamar Street) foundry was declared open on Saturday the 30th November 1907 by A. Rankin. He was well known throughout his trade after many years of managing the foundry owned by W. Foster and would oversee his foundries operations. The modern facility was fitted with an array of machinery and an electric turbine providing the electricity. The foundry would manufacture sluicing nozzles and fire hydrants as well as other custom fittings for mining, agriculture, and plumbing.
In 1912 G. Bond and A Rankin acquired the C. T. Stephenson, W. Foster business, thereby naming it Rankin and Bond Pty Ltd. This partnership would carry on for the remainder of both of their lives. Just two years later there was a most spectacular incident. On the evening of Thursday the 30th of July 1914 Launceston Police were notified of thieves entering the foundry. At approximately 2225 three Police Officers arrived, one heading to the rear of the premises, whilst two await out front. One of the two thieves ran from the building only to be grabbed by the Constable and both consequently fell to the ground. The Inspector rushed over to help detain the thief, who pulled a revolver and shot the Inspector in the shoulder before both escaped. Police later traced the men to the American barquentine James Johnson which was alongside the cities wharves. One T. Warren and one S. Hawkes were charged with being found on the property with intent to commit a felony with T. Warren also charged with the attempted murder of the Inspector. With the bullet removed and presented in court as evidence S. Hawkes was sentenced to two years imprisonment and T. Warren four years imprisonment for unlawfully and maliciously wounding the Inspector who is said to have been saved by the wearing of his braces.
On Friday the 4th of March 1932 G. Bond passed away in his Launceston home aged 61 years. A. Rankin too lived to 61 and passed four years later than his business partner on Wednesday the 26th of August 1936. The large attendance at the funeral of A. Rankin saw it noted as evidence of his wide esteem.
Rankin and Bond Pty Ltd remains at the 20 George Street site to this day. Unfortunately the foundry is no longer operating, but the business continues to custom fabricate brass fittings and fixtures for a variety of industries and clients. The company operates a retail business suppling leading brands of plumbing supplies, gas fittings, hardware, ladder systems and much more and hopes to be doing so for many years to come.
Above: The 136 Cimitiere Street foundry circa ~1900 as W. Foster (top image) and circa ~2000 as Rankin and Bond Pty Ltd (bottom image). More images of inside the foundry just prior to its close are featured at the bottom of the page.
Left: The article regarding the foundry explosion as published in the Examiner newspaper 3/11/1892.
Below: An original leather bound accounts book held at Rankin and Bond Pty Ltd with the Salisbury Foundry account dating back to December 1907.
The working foundry.
20 George St, Launceston, TASMANIA, 7250 |
Business Hours: Monday - Friday, 07:30 - 17:00
- Est. 1912 - |