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Franklin St 1877


Little Collins Street , Melbourne

The 1868 directory shows the address of Alfred Shaw & Co as 42 Little Collins St West, likely a temporary premises arranged for the period Alfred was overseas. The following year the firm was at 13 Little Collins Street West (later renumbered to 360 Little Collins) where the firm was to maintain a presence until well into the following century. The indications are that in 1869 he used a bluestone warehouse already on the site before incorporating it as part of the ground floor of a new three story building. During the construction he used 38 Elizabeth Street around the corner as his business address. The new building, completed in late 1871 had "a frontage of 40 ft. to Little Collins-street and a depth of 127 ft., containing a cellar, ground floor and two upper flats, each floor being occupied by all the various articles of a complete wholesale hardware business" (Sutherland).

The bluestone wall along Gill's Alley with its arched cart entry is still standing having been incorporated into a 1930s renovation carried out when the building passed to Guest's Furniture Removalists. Benjamin Hill whose family jewellery business bought the building in the 1970s recalled evidence of stables being discovered when the rear of the building was excavated for a truck rental company.


Franklin St 1877


Franklin Street, Melbourne

"In 1874 the firm started the Australasian stamping factory in Franklin-street, being the first in the colonies to manufacture heavy stamped ware such as milk dishes, frying pans and the like. The factory is a substantial building, covering nearly a quarter of an acre and employing about 80 hands" 1. In March 1877 The Illustrated Australian News published this picture and noted that it "shows the factory on the corner of Franklin and Stewart Streets known as the Australian Tin Stamping and Japanning Works; three storey building, iron bars over the ground floor windows." The sign on the building shows "Shaw & McNaughton", the McNaughton probably being Duncan McNaughton an Ironmonger at 99 High street, St Kilda in 1870 and then later at Argyle St, St Kilda. Sands & McDougall directory entries for Alfred Shaw & Co included 8 Franklin St until 1896.

With the renumbering of central Melbourne in the late 1800s number 8 Franklin Street became 79-81 Franklin Street. Sometime after 1896 and Alfred Shaw & Co sold the building and in 1911 it was purchased by Currie & Richards, ironmongers. In the early 1980s it was converted into offices. The building still stands and is on the Victorian Heritage Register (see H0440 in the Heritage Council Online Database).

Franklin St 1977
Franklin St c1980
Franklin St 1984
Franklin St 2007




   1 Alexander Sutherland, Victoria and its metropolis : past and present 2 v. (Melbourne : McCarron, Bird, 1888).

   2 State Library of Victoria, J.T. Collins Collection, La Trobe Picture Collection, Currie & Richards Warehouse   (Viewed 1/7/2007)

   3 Heritage Council of Victoria, VHR Register H0440,   (Viewed 1/7/2007)

   4 State Library of Victoria Wood engraving published in The illustrated Australian news., MESSRS. SHAW AND McNAUGHTON'S NEW WAREHOUSE    (Viewed 1/7/2007)

   5 Australian Government, Dept of Environment & Water Resources, Australian Heritage Database   (Viewed 1/7/2007)

   6 State Library of Victoria Wood engraving published in The illustrated Australian news., New Warehouse of Alfred Shaw and Co    (Viewed 1/7/2007)