Finlaysons foundry (and a product) in 1900 (AOT, NS602/34/126)

Finlaysons, of Devonport, began in 1887 when twenty-year-old immigrant James Finlayson started an engineering business at the River Don settlement. The company produced farming machinery, steam-driven equipment and brass castings, and ran sawmills and a shipbuilding industry. In 1889, Finlayson built a large engineering works on the western bank of the Mersey, and five generations of the family ran this for 102 years, manufacturing among other items the first steam car in the southern hemisphere (1901); motor buses; bicycles; bridges; sawmill plants; cooking stoves; the Paloona pumping station which provided Devonport's first water supply; equipment for the Latrobe Shale Works and Moina Tin Mines; and food processing plants for Heinz and Edgells. Two sons designed and built a pipe-caulking machine for the Western Australian government. The business closed in 1990.

Further reading: D Finlayson interview, QVM 1992 OH 55, Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery.

Faye Gardam