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W C P & Bro

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W C Peacock & Bro

W C Peacock & Bro Name Plate. measures about 12' x 9" © D Symons

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History Notes

The history of W C Peacock & Bro

The first mention I can find about Peacock is for 1897 in the Australian Dictionary of Biography, 1988.
"In 1897 Quinlivan was engaged by the Melbourne agricultural machinery maker, W. C. Peacock & Bro., to sell a new disc plough. He also agreed to assign to the firm any improvements he might make to the implement and soon passed on his design for a better raising and lowering mechanism. When he developed a steering gear which, he believed, was not covered by the agreement, he lost a Supreme Court case and incurred costs of over £600, a significant financial burden.(1)


W C Peacock & Bro are listed in the Sands & McDougall directories from 1899 to 1901, no listing for 1902. The 1899 listing is for W.C & C.A. Peacock (of Sturt St Sth Melb) making Spalding-Robbins Steel frame rotary disc ploughs.(2)

There has been mystery around the short lived nature of the company - new info has arrived - WC & CA Peacock were Englishmen based in Hawaii, and for some reason returned there after a short buisness venture in Australia (ozwrenches and Joe Hanke, Great Grandson of CA Peacock).

The Museum of Victoria in Melbourne has a model of a disc unit as fitted to the plough produced by the firm of W. C. Peacock & Bros. The design was first patented by C. A. Peacock in 1899 (v16253). Usually known in Australia as the Peacock plough. The first successful stump jump disc plough to be used in Australia. Model made by H. V. McKay Massey Harris Pty. Ltd., Sunshine, Victoria. (3)

Walter Chamberlain Peacock & Corbert Alfred Peacock were brothers originally from Lancashire in England. Corbet ran the business in Australia for about 3 years and then returned to Hawaii (4)

W C Peacock was the assignee of several patents for the short while that the WCP & Bro company, ploughmakers of Melbourne were in business. It appears Peacock was an investor in this regard, backing inventors such as Samuel Fyfe for inventions of can and bottle labelling machines and James Barnicott Garde for his Rotary Disc Plow US Patent No. 619,560, dated February 14,1899. (5)

"The wealthy Honolulu landowner, Walter Chamberlain Peacock, in an effort to establish a fine resort in the previously neglected Waikiki area of Honolulu, incorporated the Moana Hotel Company in 1896. Working with a design by architect Oliver G. Traphagen and $150,000 in capital, The Lucas Brothers contractors completed the structure in 1901. Construction of The Moana marked the beginning of tourism in Waikiki, becoming the first hotel amidst the bungalows and beach houses." (6)

Advertising by T Robinson & Co mentions Peacock ploughs and winnowers etc from 1903 to about 1910 - it would appear that the Peacock Bro sold their rights to TR & Co and hightailed it back to Hawaii around 1902-3, and that TR & Co kept the line going to at least 1910.

References:

1. "M. Hallett, 'Quinlivan, Thomas (1842? - 1920)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 11, Melbourne University Press, 1988, pp 317-318
2. Various "Sands & McDougalls" Directories
3. Museum of Victoria Website
4. Joe Hanke, Great Grandson of Corbert Alfred Peacock, personal correspondence.
5. US Patent Office
6. Wikipedia.

Spanners marked "W. C. P & Bro" are the only ones found to date - quite rare, but I know of three of the hammer type plough spanners. One example of an "S" shaped spanner has recently come to light also.

If anyone can supply more info and or spanner pictures please make contact on the link below

W C Peacock & Bro Plough Hammer Spanner. © Ozwrenches

 

W. C. P. & Bro "S" shaped spanner- about 11.5" long.© Ozwrenches

 

 

 


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