The Cyclopedia of New Zealand : industrial, descriptive, historical, biographical facts, figures, illustrations. [electronic resource]
Printers, Stationers, Paper Merchants, ETC.
Bock, William Rose– 725 –
Bock, William Rose, General Engraver, Die Sinker, Designer, etc., 11 Brandon Street, Wellington. Private residence, 47 Austin Street. Mr. Bock, whose fame as a high-class engraver, designer, and illuminator, has spread throughout the Colony, and, indeed, even beyond New Zealand, was born in Hobart, Tasmania. He learned his business with his brother, Mr. A. Bock, of that city. Mr. Bock might almost be said to have been born and brought up an engraver, for he was thrown into contact with the work from infancy, and had a natural inclination for it. His father, Mr. Thomas Bock, was an engraver and portrait painter, of Birmingham, coming to the colonies in the very early days, when there was little call for the class of work in which he excelled. On one occasion, in order to provide work for his genius, he compiled a book on the lives of the bushrangers of the early days of Australia, and this book he illustrated by lithographs from his own chalk drawings. These pictures were among the first lithographs executed south of the line. Mr. Book, sen., was also the first daguerreotypist in Tasmania, Daguerre being discoverer of the process of producing pictures by the aid of the sun. With advantages like these, it is not to be wondered at that when the subject of this sketch left his home for Melbourne, after serving an apprenticeship of two and a-half years with his brother, he turned out some excellent work. Mr. Bock came to Wellington as early as 1868, and entered the employ of Mr. James Hughes, with whom he stayed some five or six years. He then took up the management of the litho. and printing department of Messrs. Lyon and Blair, with whom he remained till the end of 1878, returning then to his former employer, Mr. Hughes. After a year here, Mr. Book established himself in Lambton Quay as an engraver and lithographic printer. Finding the business growing beyond his power of management, owing to his having to do the greater part of the general work himself, Mr. Bock took into partnership with him the late Mr. Henry Elliott. This partnership, however, did not exist very long, and on Mr. Elliott's retirement Mr. Cousins, a practical engraver, took his place. The two engravers were together till 1889, when a dissolution took place, and Mr. Bock carried on the business alone under the title of Messrs. Bock and Co. till 1891, when he disposed of his business, and started again in Brandon Street, in premises nearly opposite to his former establishment. While in control of the large concern referred to, Mr. Bock did a great deal of high-class work in all branches of his business, including a large number of illuminated addresses, many of which were sent from these shores to distant parts of the world. Two jubilee addresses to Her Majesty the Queen-one from the Legislative Council and the House of Representatives in New Zealand, and the other from the Masonic bodies of New Zealand were beautifully prepared by Mr. Bock. The address to His Holiness the Pope on the occasion of his Jubilee, from the Catholics of New Zealand, was also executed by him. One of the finest, if not the finest, specimens of chromo-lithographic letterpress printing ever produced in this Colony was executed under Mr. Bock's direct control and superintendence. It is entitled Featon's Art Atbum of New Zealand Flora, and contains some forty plates, each being in itself a work of art. The letterpress of the same work is also done most beautifully in every particular. It is questionable if a more creditable production has ever emanated from a Colonial office. Mr. Bock now confines himself to designing, engraving, and die sinking, including seals, crests, etc., brass plate cutting, illuminating, embossing, and everything in the engraving line generally. He also undertakes lithographic and letterpress printing, maps, plans, etc. The dies for the present postage and inland revenue stamps were with one or two exceptions designed and engraved by Mr. Bock, as were also the dies for the present beer duty stamps. The designs for the medals and certificates of 1885 for the Wellington Exhibition, were executed by him, besides a great part, of the best work in these lines which is turned out in Wellington. His latest achievement as a designer was in connection with the competitive designs called for by the Government for a series of eleven revenue and postage stamps, when, out of 200 sets of designs, Mr. Book attained the premier position, being awarded three first prizes, two second prizes, and three honourable mentions out of his set of eleven stamps. Mr. Book was Vice-President of the Master Printers' Association during the existence of that Society, and was for ten years Sergeant-Major of the D Battery artillery volunteers. He was one of the inaugurators of the Wellington Amateur Operatic Society, and takes a lively interest in matters social.
Brown, Thomson and Co. (Richard Brown, and Robert Thomson)– 725 –
Brown, Thomson and Co. (Richard Brown, and Robert Thomson), Stationers, Booksellers, Printers, Engravers, Lithographers, Bookbinders, and Manufacturing Stationers, 111 Lambton Quay. Telephone 360; P.O. Box 175. Bankers, National Bank of New Zealand. London Agents, Sampson Low and Co. Private residences : Mr. Brown, Majoribanks Street ; Mr. Thomson, Rintoul Street. The business of Messrs. Brown, Thomson and Co. was established thirty years ago by the late Mr. Robert Burrett. It was in a very small way that Mr. Burrett commenced, but it was at just the right time-the time when nearly everyone was doing well; and in a very few years he had a splendid business. Twenty years ago Mr. Burrett was one of Wellington's thoroughly successful men. For the past eight or nine years the business has been in the hands of Messrs. Brown, Thomson and Co., who, conceiving the old site opposite the Government Buildings to be rather far from the centre of the town, moved into that handsome block of brick buildings erected by Messrs. Barry and McDowall, from plans prepared by the late Mr. Toxward. It is two stories, and very lofty. The shop is the finest of its kind in Wellington; and behind are the machine and composing rooms, the engraving, bookbinding, and manufacturing rooms being upstairs. The machinery comprises a double-demy and several smaller " litho " machines and presses, printing machines and presses, and a very fine arming press, or gold blocking machine. The hands employed, all told, number thirty, whose wages in the aggregate amount to about £200 per month. Besides doing a good town trade in all their branches– 726 –
Messrs. Brown, Thomson and Co. have a large country connection, their operations extending, by means of travellers, throughout the southern portion of the North Island. They are direct importers from the principal Home manufacturers of books, stationery, and all the raw materials and various appliances required for the business. Messrs. Brown, Thomson and Co. stock " Cowan's flat papers "-a term perfectly understood by the trade, but rather mystifying to outsiders. Messrs. Cowan and Co., as all the world knows, are very large manufacturers of papers, both writing; and printing. They are imported " flat " - which means " not folded into quires "-for convenience in ruling, cutting, printing, &c. Messrs. Cowan and Co. have agents all the world over for the sale of these papers, and Messrs. Brown, Thomson and Co. have a stock always on hand. As to the quality of these goods there is no need to speak. The name "Cowan " is the best guarantee of that. The agency of Valentine's (Edinburgh) photographs is also in the hands of this firm. The specialties of the firm are commercial and law stationery. Messrs. Brown, Thomson and Co. have at various times held contracts for the supply of printing, engraving, and manufactured stationery to the Manawatu Railway Company, the Harbour Board, The City Council, and other influential bodies, including all the departments of the New Zealand Government. The lithographic machine of the firm is said to be the largest in Wellington, and has been specially useful in the matter of the large maps issued by the Survey Department. Next to that of Messrs. Whitcombe and Tombs, the business of Messrs. Brown, Thomson and Co. is the largest of its kind in Wellington, and reflects very great credit on the proprietors. Mr. Brown is a native of New Zealand, and learned his business with Messrs. Lyon and Blair. He was twelve year, with that firm, during the last four or five of which he occupied the position of manager of the commercial department. On his severing the connection to go into business on his own account, he was presented by his fellow employees with a very handsome gold watch and chain, suitably engraved -a token of esteem of which Mr. Brown is naturally very proud. Mr. Thompson is a native of Glasgow, and arrived in New Zealand in 1875 per ship "Peter Denny," from Greenock. He was apprenticed to McKay - and Kirkwood of Glasgow, completing his apprenticeship in 1861. For several years previous to entering the present partnership, he was in the employ of the founder of the business and had charge of the binding and manufacturing department. Mr. Thomson is a prominent Freemason. Both partners are exceedingly attentive to business. Mr. Brown undertakes the commercial management, including the oversight of the shop, leaving Mr. Thomson free to concentrate his efforts on the control of the manufacturing and wholesale departments, and the superintendence of the engraving, lithographic, printing and bookbinding branches.
Cousins, Alfred M.– 726 –
Cousins, Alfred M., Postage Stamp Die Engraver, Die Sinker, Medallist, Copper and Brass Plate Engraver, National Chambers. Grey Street, Wellington. Private residence, 82 Taranaki Street. Mr. Cousins was born in Jersey, and served an apprenticeship to Mr. Samuel Stevens, engraver, Featherston Street, City Road, London. He arrived in Wellington in 1874, per ship " Conflict," and was employed at his trade successively by Mr. R. Burrett for eighteen months, Messrs. Lyon and Blair for six years and six months, and for Messrs. Bock and Elliott for a year-and-a-half. On the retirement of the latter, Mr. Cousins joined Mr., under the style of Bock and Cousins, which partnership continued for over six years, during which time Mr. Cousins engraved five of the large beer duty stamps a set of four postage dies for Tonga, with the profile of King George in each, and a set of postage stamps for Samoa, with a cocoa nut balm in the centre. In July, 1889, Mr. Cousins commenced in business solely. He engraved six postage (lies for the Government Insurance Department, bearing a lighthouse scene. His design for a twopence-halfpenny stamp secured the bonus, and he was then employed to engrave the die for this and for a fivepenny stamp. He was afterwards entrusted with the engraving of a new twopence-halfpenny stamp for Samoa, with King Maletoa on its face, taken from a photograph, and also a fivepenny bearing the Samoan flag. The five new Tongan and five new Cook Island stamp dies were executed by Mr. Cousins, and bore a three-quarter face of King George and Queen Makea respectively. The one pound New Zealand postal note is also from Mr. Cousins' design and graver, for which he secured a bonus. It was cut on a large steel die in relief, and the department was highly pleased with the work. The three-halfpenny die for the new letter card and the new halfpenny postage die with a representation of her Majesty, taken from the last issue of coinage, are Mr. Cousins' latest productions, and these have excelled his previous work. Mr. Cousins has a splendid collection of specimens of arms, crests, monograms, and medals, which be has executed, including a very fine New Zealand arms for the Premier, and a medal for the New Zealand Industrial Exhibition, He is competent to undertake every class of work pertaining to his trade, and has a complete plant for the purpose
Harding, Robert Coupland– 733 –
Harding, Robert Coupland, Printer and Publisher, Farish Street, Wellington. Telephone 841. Bankers, National Bank of New Zealand. Private residence, Boulcott Street. London agents, Messrs. John Haddon and Co., Bouverie House, Fleet Street. Mr. Harding's business was originally established in Napier by Messrs. Yates Bros., as far back as 1861, and during their proprietorship the Hawkes Bay Times was first published. In 1865 Mr. T. B. Harding, father of the present proprietor, bought the business, which Mr. R. C. Harding purchased in 1873. A year later the Times was discontinued, and since then Mr. Harding has given all his energies and enthusiasm to job printing, in the higher branches of which he takes a great personal interest. He is a contributor to leading technical journals of the trade in Great Britain and the United States, and is the proprietor and publisher of the trade paper Typo, which he started in 1887. In February, 1892, Mr. Harding removed his plant and business to Wellington. His specialties are book, scientific and art printing. Mr. Harding is a member and one of the founders of the New Zealand Institute of Journalists.
McKee and Gamble– 733 –
McKee and Gamble (Arthur McKee-see page 728), Publishers, Engravers by all modern methods, Art Lithographers and Printers, Electrotypers and Stereotypers, Advertising Specialists, Paper Merchants, Manufacturing Stationers, etc. Telegraphic and cable address, " McKee, Wellington " : Code, A.B.C., 4th Edition and Special. Telephone 709; P.O. Box 240. Bankers, Bank of New South Wales. Private residence: Mr. McKee, Mein Street. To describe the progress of this business is to record the most rapid development of any firm in the printing trade in New Zealand that has yet come under the notice of the compilers of the Cyclopedia. The business is not an old-established one ; it was started in 1891 in a very small way. Prior to that time Mr. H. Gamble, single-handed, carried on business as an electrotyper and stereotyper, and when Mr. McKee came along and a partnership was effected, a small office was taken in the Bank of New South Wales buildings on Lambton Quay. Here a series of experiments were carried on with a view of producing process engravings-an art unknown in New Zealand at that time. The work was surrounded by many difficulties. The plant was of an improvised character, as may be judged from the fact that an unusually large-size packing case did duty as a dark room. At the end of the first year's operations, the partners were confronted by a very stern reality-a diminishing bank balance; and the fascinating, but delusive experiments had to be abandoned (save in spare time) for work of a more practical and lucrative character. A secondhand printing plant of very modest dimensions was bought, and the real start of the business was made. At the end of the second year more commodious premises were taken at 6 Customhouse Quay, and a year later half of the large four-storied building at the rear was annexed. It must not be supposed that during all this time the pet " process " experiments were abandoned, for in the odd hours Mr. Gamble was hard at work, as zealous and enthusiastic as ever. It was at this time that the process engravings were put on the market, and since then. the quality of the work has gradually increased, and– 734 –
to-day it is claimed that no better average work is turned out anywhere in the colonies. During the past two years the growth of the business has been by leaps and bounds. The description appended will give an ideIt of the various branches of work carried on. Altogether, employment is found for between sixty and seventy people, and, it need hardly be added, the wages sheet represents a considerable sum. The general management of the business is in the hands of Mr. McKee. A dissolution of the partnership took place in 1897 by mutual arrangement; Mr. James Gamble remaining in the business as overseer of the factory, and his brother leaving the Colony for another sphere of work. The floorage space occupied by the firm is estimated at over 18,000 square feet. It is generally conceded that Messrs, McKee and Gamble have the largest and best-equipped printing factory in the Empire City, and the excellent quality of the work turned out has done much to improve the artistic standard. Messrs. McKee and Gamble were the first printers in the Southern Hemisphere to adopt electricity as a motive power. The machinery was driven for some time entirely by an electric motor, but as the number of machines rapidly increased it was found necessary to add a twelve horse-power gas engine. The electric light is used throughout, and includes in the photographic department the most powerful lamp in the Colony. The ramifications of the business extend throughout Australasia.
Printers.-To enumerate the varieties of work which pass through the machines would make a catalogue of startling proportions-running, as it would, the gamut from the modest visiting card to the more pretentious volume, such, for example, as the CYCLOPEDIA OF NEW ZEALAND. The modern printer must needs keep pace with the times, and it is no exaggeration to say that Messrs. McKee and Gamble " go one better," for they keep abreast of the times. The very latest designs in types and ornaments, gathered from all corners of the earth, are placed at the disposal of customers, and it is a treat not often vouchsafed to the artistic eye to pass under review the specimens of typographic work, which may justly - be regarded as artistic triumphs that that at would astonish old Caxton himself. The composing or type-setting room occupies the first the factory and the machine room is on the ground-floor. The latter, at the time of writing is the largest and best equipped machine room in the Empire City. The machinery is of an up-to-date character, and– 735 –
includes two Double Royal Wharfdales, which are used entirely for the printing of process engravings.
Photo-engravers.-This is perhaps the most interesting department of the business, and it has been stated that Messrs. McKee and Gamble employ a larger staff of trained hands and turn out more engravings than any other firm in Australasia. The department is equipped with the most up-to-date machinery and appliances, and special attention is given to the demands of modern commercial warfare-best quality quick delivery, and low price. Photo-engraving, during the last five years, has done much to revolutionize the pictorial embellishment of journalism and literatiure throughout the world. The art is divided into two important branches-half-tone engraving and line engraving. By the former process engravings can be made with the aid of photography and chemistry direct from photographs and wash draw-ings particularly, but also generally from almost any form of drawring or illustration. A line engraving, on the other hand can be made only from illustrations in which there is no half-tone such, for instance, as pen and ink sketches and outline drawings generally. " Line " blocks are almost invariably used for newspaper advertising and half-tone blocks for catalogues, books, etc., where good paper and good ink are used. It is worth knowing that the firm referred to are in a position to quote below London prices for contract work. The quality of their work is too well known to need any expatiation. They are the contractors for the making of the engravings-from 5000 to 10,000-for the CYCLOPEDIA and at the time of writing they are engaged in making 384 9 x 7 engravings for the "Imperial Album of New Zealand Scenery," and 384 similar engravings for "Glimpses of Australia." These two publications constitute perhaps the best advertisements the Colonies have yet had. They are published, fortnightly, in one shilling parts of which considerably over half-a-million have been issued, and subscribers for the most part post the publication to friends in the Old Country. The publishing of the Australian work is in the capable hands of Messrs. Gordon and Gotch, whose ramifications extend to every town and hamlet in Australia "Glimpses of Australia" is the result of a trip to those Colonies made by Mr. McKee in 1896. Over one hundred tons of a specially made art-paper was absorbed in the production of the work. A two-storey brick building, connecting the front building in Customhouse Quay with the factory in Victoria Street, has recently been erected to provide the accomodation much needed by the rapid development of the business. Here are to be found the advanced appointments which are so closely associated with modern scientific research. To provide for the execution of work irrespective of natural light, an installation of electric light has been put in, so that work can be done expeditiously and at any hour of the day. Special machinery for the printing of process engravings has been added, and includes two large machines.
Photographers.- It may seem somewhat singular that a printing, engraving and publishing house should claim a place under this head but justification is found in the fact that photo-raphy is a very important adjunct to the business carried on. The general acceptance of the term photographer is intimately associated with the, art by which portraits "are taken." Messrs. McKee and Gamble, however, do not " take " portraits. Their photographic work is confined to the branch which is connected with their own process-engraving department: the photographing of landscape, of machinery, of articles of merchandise for catalogues, or indeed of any objects intended for ultimate reproduction in. the form of engravings. Prospective publishers of books, catalogues, pamphlets, and the like would do well to bear in mind this fact.– 736 –
General Engravers.-In addition to the photo-mechanical processes all the modern methods for the making of " blocks " are in full swing. Engravings on copper, brass, wood, or any metal or material are supplied, but this class of work is being rapidly supplanted by the cheaper and in most cases equally effective " process block." Enaravings are also made at a very cheap rate by the " wax " process.
Electrotypers and Stereotypers.- Here the visitor will find a most interesting feature of this remarkable organization. If space permitted, a description of the modus operandi would be worth the reading, but it must suffice to state that the work carried on is confined to the duplication of original engravings. The customer who incurs the expense of a high-class engraving may have duplicates made equal to the original at a merely nominal cost. The stereotype consists of lead and antimony, and the electrotype is made of the same material with a surface of copper, which gives it at least thrice the durability of the stereotype. Here as in all other departments the latest in the way of machinery and appliances is in evidence. Messrs. McKee and Gamble's warehouse contains several thousand stock engravings, used by the newspapers and printers throughout the Colony, and duplicates tre supplied at a very low price. Two proof catalogues have been issued. For the convenience of country Newspaper stereotype columns of interesting reading matter are supplied at a surprisingly low rate.
Art-lithographers and Photo-lithographers.-A very interesting limb of the business is this. Anything from a tiny label of a the single printing to the mammoth poster with the flame of innumerable colours is set forth. If the rattle of machines is an index to the quantity of work produced, the volume of trade must be considerable and in the colonies it may be taken as a safe axiom that quantity and quality go hand in hand. Great care has evidently been exercised in the selection of artists and workmen, and to this fact is at-tributable the production of the really excellent work which has spread the reputation of the firm far afield. Label and ordinary commercial work are strong points, but it is particularly in the higher class of work that Messrs. McKee and Gamble excel. Some very fine show-cards are on view, esp ecially those of the Empire Tea Company, Messrs. Staples and Co. Kangarette leather and Messrs. Birnbaum and Sons' water-proofs; and in chalk work the life-size portraits of Sir George Grey, Bishop Julius, Rev. L. M. Isitt, and Archbishop Redwood, and a view of Old Wellington, have not been excelled in the colonies. Then, there is an excellent display of calendars, menu cards, almanacs, advertising novelties and the like, all of which are remarkable for chasteness of design and colour. Photo-lithography is applied to many branches of the art, but it is chiefly used for the re-production in reduced sizes of architects and surveyors' plans. The camera does the work of the draughtsman, and accuracy and economy are ensured.
Paper Merchants.-The consumption of paper is necessarily considerable, for in addition to the quantity used on the premises, a brisk business is done with other printing houses. Several of the leading mills in England, Germany, and America " make" under contract for– 737 –
Messrs. McKee and Gamble. The stock carried is extensive, and includes papers of all sizes, colours, qualities, and patterns to be found in a well-ordered establishment of this kind.
Manufacturing and Wholesale Stationers.-A large number of hands are engaged in this department, the output of which includes numerous varieties of books used in mercantile offices- exercise books, and the like.
Bookbinders.- " Everything done on the premises " is evidently the motto of the proprietors. Here the loose printed sheets are manipulated into book-form and sent forth to the world in the variegated dresses of the bookbinders' creation. At the time of writing the department is engaged in preparing the various bindings to be used for " The Cyclopedia of New Zealand " and " The Imperial Album of New Zealand Scenery,"-two of the largest contracts yet undertaken by a New Zealand firm.
Publishers.-The head of one of the biggest publishing houses in the Old Country once remarked, "It needs talent to write a book but genius to sell it," and in all probability, if it were necessary to rake up evidence, the charnel-house of literature would bear eloquent witness to the truth of this sage declaration. The aspiring literateur may take heart of grace, for Messrs. McKee and Gamble have a far-reaching organization for the distribution of really good works.
Music Printers.-This is the most recent addition to this many sided business. An expert draughtsman, who is also a music-composer of note, has charge of the preparation of the work on the stones, and it is generally conceded by experts that the quality of the work will bear favourable-and in many cases more than favourable-comparison with the work that comes into the colonies from the Old Country. The trade extends throughout Australasia. The compositions of our best composers have been published; and it may be mentioned that the work of Mr. Alfred Hill is becoming very popular. His " My Fairest Child " and " When I am Dead " have been very flatteringly received in Melbourne, Sydney and London.
Rubber Stamp and Stencil-Plate Makers.-The most complete catalogue of designs suitable for rubber stamps that the compilers have yet seen, has been prepared, and quality of material and workmanship are other attractions offered to customers. Stencil-plates in zinc, copper and brass are supplied at the lowest current rates.
Cardboard Box Manufacturers.-This department is under the supervision of a skilled box-maker and the rapidity with which raw material under the manipulation of deft fingers assumes the desired shape is a marvel to beholders. The boxes made are those in everyday use by chemists, drapers, hatters, confectioners, and cigarette makers.
Advertising Specialists.-There is no essential of successful business more important than judicious advertising, and yet the art of catching the public ear and eye receive but scant consideration. Speaking generally, the art is not studied and therefore is not understood. The average business man has not time " to work it out," and therefore it is no matter for surprise that he is unable to detect the great leakage that goes on daily. With Messrs. McKee and Gamble it is purely a matter of business to keep in touch with the latest notions supplied by correspondents and trade papers from the four corners of the globe, and clients on the lookout for " something new " are invited to come along and state their requirements. It may be added that contracts for advertising in the country newspapers are arranged.
WELLINGTON NEWSPAPER PRESS.– 454 –
was the editor of the Independent, but it had other talented contributors, including Edward Gibbon Wakefield, Edward Jerningham Wakefield, Dr. Evans, Henry Sewell and others. Both papers were published on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and appeared according to circumstances, at any time between noon and 4 p.m. When no printing paper was procurable, blotting or wrapping paper was substituted, and often two sheets of dewy were pasted together to fulfil requirements. Subscribers were very slack in paying up in those days, and the printer had frequently to take firewood and farm produce in exchange for literature. It was through Mr. Wakelin that Wellington obtained the name of the Empire City. On the occasion of the members leaving for the session of 1856 in Auckland, an article appeared which referred to Wellington as the future " Empire City " of the Colony. The Auckland papers took the title up in a spirit of derision, and frequently referred to Wellington as the " Empire City " in a jocular way. But the name stuck until it became no longer a term of ridicule, but a fact. Mr. John Knowles succeeded Mr. Wakelin as editor of the Independent, and hold the seat until 1861, when Mr. Henry Anderson was appointed to the position. In 1859, owing to a disagreement between the proprietors and compositors of the Independent, the latter started a new venture called the New Zealand Advertiser, a demy sheet. It was at first issued gratis, but subsequently, under the editorship of Mr. R. Wakelin, it was charged for and increased to double decoy, bi-weekly, and afterwards to a tri-weekly. It was published by Charles Roe, Joseph Bull, and Edward Bull. The former sold his share, and the brothers Bull carried the paper on successfully until 1868, when it was brought to grief by a libel action instituted by Mr. Charles Schultze, Speaker of the Wellington Provincial Council. Efforts were made to revive it, but unsuccessfully. The Independent continued to flourish under the vigorous editorship of Mr. Anderson until 1869, when Mr. A. F. Halcombe succeeded him. Early in 1864 the first daily evening paper was published. The late Mr. Henry Blundell, with his three sons and Mr. David Curle had tried a newspaper venture at Havelock at the time when the Wakamarina diggings were at their best, but there was no field here for the enterprise. Mr. Blundell proceeded to Otago to seek for more promising soil on which to plant a journal, but finding someone had forestalled him in that province he retraced his steps, packed up the type and press at Havelock, and crossed over to Wellington. He tried Wanganui, but that district was then under martial law, and every man liable to be called on to shoulder a musket and do sentry duty, so he returned to Wellington, where he found the same speculator who had been before him in Otago, ready to start an evening paper. It was a race for who should get out the first issue, and the plant was landed and set up in the old Commissariat stores in Willis Street, and the first copy of the Evening Post was issued from there, and published by Mr. R. Burrett at his stationer's shop in Manners Street. The idea of starting an evening paper in those days was looked upon by the old identities as a foolish venture. The Post exercised little influence on politics until 1868, when Mr. Frank Gifford was appointed editor. He was a talented writer and an able journalist, and, without doubt, laid the foundations of what is now one of the best newspaper properties in the Colony. He retired in 1872, owing to loss of his eyesight, and went to Melbourne, where he died. The Post has since been edited by Messrs. W. H. Pilliett, Henry Anderson, E. T. Gillon, D. M. Luckie, Rous Marten, and again by Mr. E. T. Gillon (q.v.). Mr. Henry Blundell, senr., retired in 1874 in favour of his three sons-John Henry, and Louis-the second of whom died in 1894, and the proprietorship still remains in the hands of the survivors (vide Evening Post).
In 1868 a Mr. Parsons, a civil servant with a penchant for journalism, rented premises from Mr. E. W. Mills and started a morning journal called the New Zealand Times. This venture had a very brief existence. In 1865 the Independent had only one of the original names on the imprint-Mr. Thomas McKenzie-and it was during this year that Mr. R. Stokes, the proprietor of the Spectator, abolished his paper and sold the plant to Mr. McKenzie. He was induced to sell the Independent and become a shareholder in the New Zealand Times. Mr. R. Creighton became editor and Mr. Scales manager. It was the intention of the promoters to make the Times a colonial journal, but as every chief town in the Colony had a local paper the Times Company was anything but a pecuniary success. It was first published on the 1st of June, 1874. Its editors, after Mr. Creighton's resignation, were Messrs. J. Perrier, W. H. Harrison, J. C. Hay, and Dr. Pollen. In 1879 the Company was wound up, and Mr. Chantrey Harris, who had previously been manager of the Southland Times, became the proprietor. It was then edited by the Rev. D. Bruce and afterwards by Mr. Rous Marten, and was again sold to a company in 1892 (vide New Zealand Times).
In 1877 another paper was started by a company to advocate the views of the Liberal party. It was called the New Zealander, and the editorship was entrusted to Mr. E. T. Gillon. It was popular for a time, but was financially a– 456 –
failure, and the plant was sold in 1879 to Mr. R. C. Reid. There were then two evening papers and a morning paper to compete against, but Mr. Reid carried it on successfully until Mr. C. Harris purchased the Times, and then Mr. Reid sold the New Zealander to him also and the two papers were amalgamated. Another venture was launched in 1874 the Tribune-by Mr. WM. Hutchison, now M.H.R. for Dunedin. It was a failure, and the plant and goodwill were sold to Messrs. E. T. Gillon, R. Kent, and J. Waters, who re-christened it the Argus, and published it as an evening journal. It lingered a few months under its new title, and a Mr. Gardiner, an American newspaper man, purchased it, but he soon sold it again to Messrs. Henry Anderson, Allan Anderson, and David Curie, one of the original founders of the Evening Post. Under Mr. H. Anderson's editorship the Chronicle obtained a large circulation, and exercised considerable political influence. He retired in 1880, and financial troubles set in and the plant was sold. The Wellington Advertiser was started in 1880 and printed by Mr. R. Burrett and edited by Mr. M. C. Hickey on Saturdays. It lived about three years. The Evening Press was established by Mr. Roydhouse, with Mr. H. Anderson as editor. Mr. Edward Wakefield, one of the most brilliant journalists and orators New Zealand ever possessed, joined Mr. Royd house as proprietor shortly after it was started, and his contributions made the Press very popular for a tune. Financial troubles, however, led to Mr. Wakefield's selling out his share, and Mr. Roydhouse ran the paper himself for some time, and then Mr. Hawkins, now S.M. at Invercargill, was in the editorial chair for a time. The paper was then purchased by a company, with Mr. J. L. Kirkbride as managing director, and it had as editors Messrs. Hearn, James Wilkie, and Christie. Its career ended in 1894. The Weekly Herald was first published in July, 1888, by the present proprietor, Mr. Thos. Dwan (q.v.), and is still flourishing. The People, another weekly, was started in 1895 by Mr. E. A. Haggen. Daybreak (now incorporated with The People) a paper for women, and the Newtown Advocate first saw the light in that year Fair Play, a weekly illustrated, and one of the best-written papers at that time in the Colony, had a twelve months' career, starting from March, 1893.
The Cyclopedia of New Zealand : industrial, descriptive, historical, biographical facts, figures, illustrations.
The Cyclopedia was a landmark printing venture undertaken by the Wellington-based firm of McKee and Gamble at the turn of the twentieth-century. Using the latest printing technology, in particular the new half-tone processes for the reproduction of photographic images, they captured the flavour of a country which had survived the depression of the 1880s and was moving forward into a new millennium. The Cyclopedia includes a collection of biographical portraits, a town and country gazetteer, and surveys of local trades and businesses such as this description of Wellington's early newspaper industry. However, since many of the entries were paid for by the business or individual concerned, copy is flavoured, at times, with all the hyperbole of advertising.
The Cyclopedia of New Zealand : industrial, descriptive, historical, biographical facts, figures, illustrations.
William Rose Bock (1847-1932) arrived in Wellington from Tasmania in 1868 and was initially employed by James Hughes of Lambton Quay, one of the town's first steam printers. In 1871, he became general manager of the lithographic department of Lyon & Blair, but left in 1879 to set up his own business. Bock & Co. continued contract work with Lyon & Blair, often in the specialty areas of map printing and chromolithography as well as music printing. Bock's later partnership with Alfred Cousins was dissolved in 1889 after the landmark Featon's Art Album. W.G. Bock & Sons closed its doors in 1987.