57 was drawn upon during the eighteen fifties was largely local

In document Hobart town society, 1855-1895 (Page 36-40)

and was not borrowed from outside. Once investment was made there was little trafficking in stock for many years.

^Ibid.

-^Annual Register and list of Members 1883, Bank of V.D.L. McGregor papers II (13) Archives, U. of T.

Share Register, Bank of V.D.L., NP 37/51. 57

So confined was the control of finance that distinctions between companies were sometimes ludicrous. At a meeting and lecture for the directors and shareholders of the Hobart Town Gas Company in 1854 only James Barnard, the Government Printer, turned up. The wrath of the organizers was allayed when they realized that their date had coincided with a TJ.S.N.C. meeting and the local entrepreneurs could not be in two places at once. T.A.. Wo. 5, February I

854

, pp.173-4*

The solvency was linked with the whole concept of a new start. Transportation was ending, self-government was promised and municipal improvement was under way. The new companies frequently included the word Tasmanian in their title, and there was a great sense of arriving. For a year or two Hobart Town enjoyed mucn of tne zest of Melbourne, without the canvas shanty towns or the confusion, crowding and squalor which were part of rapid development.

From the beginning the city’s commercial area, around

Liverpool, Murray and Elizabeth Streets, had consisted of poorly constructed buildings with occasional better blocks interspersed. Double storey shops were separated by open fronted shanties,

little more than stalls, in which butchers and greengrocers

s8

laid out their goods. The better shops belonged to the drapers and clothiers, but even these, like the snacks, doubled as

dwelling houses and it was almost unknown for shop owners and 59

assistants to live away from the premises.'

The central uusiness district was clustered about the creek banks and was susceptible to flood and fire; there were two of each calamity during the fifties so that much of the area was cleared on each of four separate occasions.1^ The rebuilding,

53

59

J.B.W., Ibid.

Reminiscences, Walker A II 5(i)*

’A Review of Recent Calamities in Hobart Town and Their Causes’, T.A., Wo. 6, March 1854» pp.l94> 195«

in a period of increased profit, provided an opportunity for retail merchants xo move their residences. Many small villas were started in North Hobart, up Davey Street and in Hampden Road. George Washington Walker was aole xo move his Savings Bank oux of his draper's shop and then plan to take his family away from tne bank house completely to a new home in Battery Point. Meanwhile work was started on the grand Savings Bank

61

Building in Murray Street.

Government spending was stimulated by the concurrence of wealth with administrative cnange. The new Government House was commissioned go a design which made iu the largest, most

pretentious, and most expensive vice-regal palace in xhe colonies." Plans were laid for municipal buildings,^ and some old premises were pulled down go allow the construction of professional chambers and offices, whilst xhe Royal Society, no longer content wixh erudite but unimpressively housed

meetings, contracxed for a large museum.^ Construction of

1

J.B.W., Reminiscences, Walker A II 5(i)» z'n

’ A. Trollope, Australia and New Zealand, (Melb.1874) p.368.

C •)

JA. C. Walker, ' Henry Hunter and His Work', Report of xhe Nineteenxh Meexing of xhe A.A.A.S., (Hobarx, 1929) P«421. 'Tasmanian Churcn Architecture', T.A., No. 1, October 1853?

p p .17-21.

°^E.L.Piesse, 'Foundations and Early Work of the Royal Society', R.S.T.P.P., 1913, pp.117-166.

e x t e n s i o n s t o t h e w h a r v e s was c a r r i e d o u t t h r o u g h a l l t h e

65

b u s i e s t p o r t a c t i v i t y o f t n e c e n t u r y a n d was c o m p l e t e d j u s c when t h e e x t r a s p a c e was h a r d l y n e e d e d . I n d u s t r i a l Change The u n s e t t l e d c o n d i t i o n s w e r e r e f l e c t e d i n much c h o p p i n g a n d c h a n g i n g o f t h e s m a l l w o r k s h o p s a n d b u s i n e s s e s . The t o t a l n u m b e r o f i n d u s t r i a l e s t a b l i s h m e n t s i n t h e c i t y i n c r e a s e d as

66

t h e community grew i n c o m p l e x i t y . T h e r e w er e 775 w o r k s h o p s a n d r e t a i l s h o p s i n 1849 > 8 60 i n 18^7 a n d 940 i n 1 8 6 1 . B l a c k s m i t h s , i r o n m o n g e r s a n d b o o t m a k e r s s eeme d t o De t h e t r a d e s m os t a f f e c t e d by t h e d i g g i n g s . S m i t h i e s h a l v e d i n n u m b e r o v e r t h e p e r i o d a n d s o d i d s h o e - m a k i n g s h o p s . T h e r e w e r e c o n s i d e r a b l e c h a n g e s i n o t h e r t r a d e s ; t h e n um be r o f c o o p e r s d e c l i n e d w i t h w h a l i n g , w h i l s t b u i l d e r s w e r e k e p t b u s y by t h e demand f o r new h o u s e s . T w ic e a s many w h e e l w r i g h t ' s s h o p s l o o k e d a f t e r t n e n e w - r i c h c a r r i a g e - f o l k , a s t h e numbe r o f c o a c h b u i l d i n g

e s t a b l i s h m e n t s r o s e D y one q u a r t e r . From V i c t o r i a came a g r e a t demand f o r wagons a n d raucn o f t h i s was s a t i s f i e d f r o m H o b a r t Town w h e r e t h e r e w e r e c r a f t s m e n who w e r e u s e d t o l o c a l t i m b e r s .

6 5

See R . J . S o l o m o n , ' F o u r S t a g e s i n P o r t E v o l u t i o n : The Case o f H o b a r t ' , i n T i j d s c h r i f t V o o r E c o n . e n S o c . G e o g r a f i e , J u n i / J u l i 1 9 6 3? p . 1 6 3 . a nd A. R o w n t r e e , ' E a r l y Gr owt h o f t h e P o r t o f H o b a r t T o w n ' , T . H . R . A . P . P . , V o l . 3 , 195 4, p p • 1 0 U - 1 0 1 . 66 L i s t e d a n n u a l l y i n S t a t s , o f T.

There was evidence of The investment; of capital in a few manufacTuring workshops. Eleven of uhe ciby's windmills turned

uo The use of steam and waTer power. Six glue makers’ and two soap boilers' establishmenus were equipped wibh vats, boilers and furnaces, whilst uhe number of sawmills increased five fold. By i860 only Tnese sawmills, flourmills, tallow chandlers, soap boilers, and hide working establishments were showing promise of long-Term development, but none of these trades had any advantages whicn could offset the economies of mainland city establishments. The situation, brought about by the restrictive tariffs introduced during the eighteen sixties in Victoria, was only an intensification of previous trends.

Local manufacturing had always been on a rather primitive level. With few exceptions, it was devoted to the closing of gaps in the supply of local consumer demand rather than to any long-sighted development of natural resources or talents. 'There were in manufactures no opportunities for capitalistic accumulation, and the artisan was able to construct as well as

68

In document Hobart town society, 1855-1895 (Page 36-40)