The Mercury


The Mercury office in 1920 (AOT, PH30/1/5440)

The Mercury began in 1853 when John Davies, a former convict, bought a Hobart newspaper, the Guardian, and the following year renamed it the Hobarton Mercury. It first appeared as a tri-weekly, and the Mercury has provided news for Hobartians ever since, with numerous changes: it took over five other newspapers; became a daily (1858); published subsidiaries, notably the illustrated Tasmanian Mail (18771935), the Saturday Evening Mercury (195484) and the Sunday Tasmanian (1984); was delivered daily to Launceston (1928); and updated to more modern machinery in many stages.

Davies Brothers was taken over by News Limited in 1985, bringing to an end the newspaper business run by the Davies family since 1854. The Mercury still trades from its original site, its present art deco building dating from 1940.

Alison Alexander