I will not kill all the work on this but be aware that the 'Ward Bros.' in this post is not the same Ward Bros that made the razor. The correct Ward Bros is in post #11.
This research is long overdue. I was given this straight razor by johnmrson in exchange of doing the research. I apologise to John as I did not do it quickly(well, not as quickly as I wanted to). It’s been almost a year now that I’m in possession of the razor and I used it quite a bit. The research was not easy as you can think, Ward is a common name and it’s short. John gave me the razor as he already has a large collection (see his interview) but he thought there might be something behind it worth looking at. I tried to get that little piece of history together.
First, the straight razor is stamped “Made Expressly for Ward Bros. Melbourne”. It’s another Bengall (Cadman & sons) made razor. You will notice immediately that the heel is very different to any other razors that I’ve seen before. Let me say it right now, it’s a pain to hone, I might need to regrind that heel too and soon...
I only saw two other razors elsewhere and the heel wasn’t the same. It was a Ward Bros, another Cadman & Sons and one just stamped Sheffield. I have no idea if the one I have is a special edition but I’ve never seen an heel like that on any other razor (Bengall or not).
There’s a Ward Bros. Company existing today in Darwin but I really doubt it’s the same company as I did not find much information about it (8 McMinn St, Darwin, NT 0800 - (08) 8981 4964). They seem to be in the air conditioning industry. The other Ward Bros. that I found in Victoria is specialised in earthmoving, again, I doubt it’s them. I’m fairly sure the company doesn’t exists anymore.
However, the Ward Bros. that I would like to talk about was founded around 1855 or 1876 (I'm thinking more 1855 since they have a picture of a straight razor) and probably traded until a bit after 1956 (last seen newspaper advertisement). The Ward Bros. Plty Ltd was created by George Ward and Samuel Ward (Ward Brothers) first in 40 Errol Street, North Melbourne and then in Prahan (both in Victoria, Australia). The Ward Bros were running a department store and they imported sewing machines from England and Wertheim under the name: Australian Sewing Machines Limited Pty Ltd. They would build their own cabinets and place their logos on it to sell them. The first newspaper advertisement was seen in 1897.
Later on, David Ward (brother of George and Samuel) join the team and started importing the sewing machines from Germany (made by Beisolt & Locke). Those sewing machines were known as ANA (All Native Australian), later on, WARDANA. David shop’s was located in Collingwood, Victoria, Australia.
The sewing machines usually had the logo of the shop with either George and Samuel picture with the Australian map or all three brothers.
The A.N.A. machine got very popular in 1911 when the brothers decided to present it at the Melbourne exhibition. The reviews were so good that George and Samuel decided to use the name for their machines also. The result was David taking George and Samuel to court. The whole issue lasted for years and was settled outside the court.
In the newspaper, we could follow the dispute between the brothers
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956) - Wednesday 15 March 1911 - Page 11
TRADE MARK DISPUTE.
TRANSACTIONS IN MACHINES. AN INCORRUPTIBLE WITNESS.
The Chief Justice in the Banco Court yesterday was engaged in the hearing of the action in which the three brothers Ward, whose names are well known in connection with the A.N.A. sewing machines, are the parties. The plaintiff is David Ward, of Smith street, Collingwood, sewing machine vendor, and the defendants George Ward, of Errol street, North Melbourne and Samuel Ward, of Chapel street, Prahran, of the same occupation. Mr. Mann (instructed by Mr E. E. Dillon) appeared for the plaintiff and Mr. Davis and Mr. Schutt (instructed by Messrs. Plante and Henty) for the defendants.
David Ward claims that he alone is entitled to the use of the trade name, the A. N. A. prize sewing machines, which he, by arrangement with Biesolt and Locke, of Germany, applies to their machines. He claims that this was the machine that took the prize at the exhibition in Melbourne in 1902. The other brothers claim that is was the joint exhibit of the three brothers that took the prize, and the exhibit contained other machines besides the Biesolt and Locke. They claim to be entitled to sell under the designation any machines imported by them.
David George Ward, who is seeking an injunction to restrain his brothers from passing off their goods as his, was in the box for two days, and his examination was concluded at noon yesterday. Further evidence was then given to show that the defendants were passing off goods.
Jane Elizabeth Poole, of Bushy park. Tooradin, said that in 1908 she addressed a letter to the A.N.A. Sewing machine Company, Melbourne, the name under which the plaintiff is now registered, asking the price of a prize A .N. A. machine, and mentioning the private mark of Biesolt and Locke. She received a reply from Errol street, North Melbourne. signed by Ward Brothers. A correspondence was opened, and in the last letter she was asked to put the proper address, which was Errol street, North Melbourne.
To Mr Davis: I am a sister of Mr. James, the manager for the plaintiff. I addressed the letter to Melbourne only because I was asked. I think it strange that the letter was delivered at North Melbourne, because the A.N.A. Sewing machine Company is not at North Melbourne.
Mr. Davis: You did not intend to buy a machine?
Witness: No. I did not.
You were only trying to trap the defendants?
No, I was not. I did what I was asked, but if I had known I was going to be brought here, I would not have written any letter. (Laughter.)
And when the first reply came, you didn't think it worth while to write and say "you are not the persons the letter was intended for?".
No, I wanted to see if the second letter went astray. My brother had told me that they thought their letters were going to the wrong address.
Why did you say that you had a Wheeler and Wilson machine to exchange? The letter was simply dictated to me to write.
Do you think that is was a straightforward thing to do?
I don't think it was altogether, and I had no reason except that I was told the letters were going astray.
Do you often go in for enterprises of this sort?
- No, it was my first, and it will be my last. (Laughter.)
Antonio Frederico, who said his real name was Stanislaus Friedenthal, but that he had been known as Frederico since he came from Austria said: I am a commission and press agent. In March last year I called at Samuel Ward's under instructions from the editor of the "Playgoers' Gazette" to get an advertisement. I was sold a machine, which was delivered, but I sent it back, and said that I wanted an A.N.A. prize machine.
Samuel Ward said that I could have any machine in the shop. I said, "From what your brother tells me, I have not got the right thing." He said, "We have a right to sell what we have sold; don't take any notice of my brother."
Mr. Davis: You knew you were not dealing with David.
" No, I didn't, I thought they were all one.
You didn't know what type of machine you wanted.
No, my editor said, "Freddy, give Australian industry a show, and don't mind about Singers.' That's what he said. (Laughter.)
Mister Henry Watson, of Wellington street, St. Kilda, bailiff, said: I was employed by David Ward to collect evidence, and on November 27, 1910, I called at the shop of Ward Brothers in Bridge road, Richmond, and asked for a prize A.N.A. machine. I asked if I could get the same machine in Collingwood, and the shopwoman said I could not.
The same evening I went to Ward Brothers in Clarendon street, South Melbourne, and
asked for the same machine. They said that they could deliver it that evening. I said I would go up the street and get the money. I did not return. On November 31 I called at Ward Brothers in the Eastern Market, and was shown machines, and given a catalogue. I said I would write, but I did not.
Mr Davis: You knew your game was to trap the defendants?
My game was to make money. (Laughter.)
And you didn't care how?
Oh yes, but is all comes down to L.s.d. in the end.
Is that your view? Are you capable of being bought?
Oh no; I have been tried many times - with good money.
And never succumbed? No, I was offered £20 once. (Laughter.)
As the Chief Justice has to sit in the Criminal Court today, the case was adjourned sine die.After the settlement, David stopped trading and George and Samuel started using the A.N.A. brand and also created the WARDANA brand. They also had a good deal with the city of Bendingo, Victoria, Australia as they were offering rebates.The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956) - Friday 28 April 1911 - Page 5
DISPUTE BETWEEN BROTHERS.
The Chief Justice is at present engaged in the Banco Court in the hearing of an action in which the parties are the Ward brothers, well known in connection with the A N.A sewing machines. The plaintiff is David James Ward, of Smith street, Collingwood, now trading as the ANA. Sewing machine Company, and the defendants are George Ward and Samuel James Ward of North Melbourne and Prahan. The case was opened last month, the contention of the plaintiff being that he is solely entitled to use the diploma and gold medal given for the A.N.A. sewing machines at an exhibition in Melbourne in 1902. The hearing was resumed on Tuesday, and yesterday the defendants' case was resumed. Mr. Davis, in outlining the case, said that their contention was that the plaintiff had no exclusive right to the diploma or gold medal, or to the use of the words A.N.A. sewing machine He outlined the relations of the parties since they entered into a kind of partnership as far back as 1894. The award at the 1902 exhibition, he said, was given for a joint exhibit of A NA. machines, in which several varieties of machines were included. The parties at the time were carrying on separate shops, but all traded as Ward Brothers. So far from the defendants passing off their machines as the plaintiff's, they claimed the right to use the words prize A.N.A. machines, and had done it since 1903 and until 1910 the plaintiff did not object. He joined with the defendants applying the term to several different makes of machine, and exhibited jointly with them in at shows. The evidence for the defence was opened when the Court adjourned until today. Mr. Mann ( instructed by Mr. E. E. Dillon) appeared for the plaintiff, and Mr. Davis and Mr. Schutt (instructed by Messrs. Plante and Henty) for the defendants.
The North Eastern Ensign (Benalla, VIC. : 1872 - 1938) - Friday 16 September 1904 - Page 35
ESTABLISHED 1855. CUTLERS.
* * * *
We make a Speciality of Razors, and Guarantee our "FEDERAL" to give entire Satisfaction. The Price for Black Handle, Best Quality, Full Concave, is as follows : 5/8 in., 5/6. 3/4 in., 6/.. 7/8 in., 6/6.
Post free to any part of the Commonwealth W.B. also carry large stocks of all the best brands of Razors, including the Klein, Bengal, Pipe Brand, Sprock, and also the "Star" Safety Razor.
WARD BROS. ARE THE OLDEST-ESTABLISHED CUTLERS IN THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE.
Note the Address 144 SWANSTON ST. NEAR TOWN HALL. A large Stock of every description of High-class Cutlery on Hand.Morwell Advertiser (Morwell, Vic. : 1888 - 1954) - Friday 13 October 1905 - Page 3
Pansons living in the country often have trouble with their cutlery. We would draw the attention of these to the advertisement of Messrs Ward Bros., of 144 Swanston Street, Melbourne, who are offering knives, razors, etc., at a specially low price and: high value. The Federal razor is one which gives excellent qualities of its sharpness and endurance. It is a razor which will keep an edge.The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956) - Saturday 14 August 1915 - Page 8
CUTLERY - Ward Bros. for Scissors, in case or singly, warranted best quality, and ready for use.
CUTLERY - Ward Bros. for Table Cutlery Rogers's Tables 22/6; Desserts, 18/6; Johnson's Tables, 14/; Desserts, 12/ per dozen.
CUTLERY - Ward Bros. for Sets of Carvers, in ivory, ivoroid and stag, best Sheffield goods; suitable presents.
CUTLERY - Ward Bros. for Nickel and Electroplated Forks and Spoons, Butter Knives, Bread Forks, &c.
CUTLERY - Ward Bros. for Pen and Pocket Knives, best Sheffield goods, in ivory, shell and pearl; suitable presents.
CUTLERY - Ward Bros. for Sporting, Fishing, Farm, and homestead, Skinning, Rabbiting and Camp Knives. 144 Swanston st.
CUTLERY - Ward Bros. for all the latest and best in Safety Razors, Gem Junior, Clemak Stars, Gillettes.
CUTLERY - Ward Bros. for high-class Razors, Pipe, Klein, Bengall, Federal, Imperial; guaranteed ready for use.
CUTLERY - Ward Bros. for everything you require in high-class goods at moderate rates. 144 Swanston st.Euroa Advertiser (Vic. : 1884 - 1920) - Friday 17 December 1915 - Page 28
CUTLERY. WARD BROS.
Make a Specialty of RAZORS, and guarantee their "FEDERAL" RAZOR to give entire satisfaction. The prices for Black Handles, Best Quality, Full Concave, are as follow: 5/8in., 5/6; 3/4in., 6/-; 3/in.,.6/6. Post Free to any part of. the Commonwealth. W.B. also carry large stocks of all the Best Brands of Razors, Including Bengall's, "Klein," Pipe Brand, Gilette's, and Star Safety Razors.
NOTE THE ADDRESS- 1 SWANSTON STREET (near Town Hall). An Immense Assortment of Every Description of High-Class Cutlery on hand.
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956) - Thursday 25 October 1923 - Page 4
Durham Duplex sale with Ward Bros. as a seller
The interesting bit is the “18 Sturt Street, Ballarat “ which is similar to Thomas Jewelers (15-21 Sturt Street, Ballarat). I’m wondering if they were renting a stall or shop inside Thomas’ Supply Store building.Frankston & Somerville Standard (Vic. : 1921 - 1939) - Friday 4 February 1938 - Page 3
SEWING WARDANA MACHINES
Ties thread at end of seam
2000 STITCHES PER MINUTE
Many advantages over others. Lowest
prices, easy terms. Call or write for
our free list.
AUSTRALIAN SEWING MACHINE
CO. PTY. LTD.
36 Errol St., N. Melbourne. F3985.
Chapel St., Prahran (opp Ezywalkins)
252 Smith St., Collingwood.
7 Arcade, Bendigo.
18 Sturt Street, Ballarat
51 Royal. Arcade, City.
550 Sydney Rd., Brunswick (near Blyth Street)
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956) - Monday 15 August 1938 - Page 2
THIS AGE OF PROGRESS
Educational as well as entertaining,
"The Argus" 20th Century Exhibition, open daily at the New Wembley Court, has brought to the large crowds of visitors a realisation of the progress that has been made for the most part only in the time of the rising generation.
Although this progress has been attained within the memory of most living people it is difficult to view it in perspective. An exhibition such as that to be seen at the New Wembley Court gives not only that perspective, but, to some, an idea of the lines which future progress will follow. Two displays show how modern youth, both at work and in leisure hours, is keeping itself abreast of mechanical and technical advances, and equipping Itself to continue the work of development. At the exhibit of the Melbourne Technical College visitors can see models made by students in class, while girls demonstrate the decorating of pottery. The model dockyard models of ships, aeroplanes, and trains testify to an instructive use of leisure.
Tile aim of man to make machines that will work for him has inspired numberless inventions. Now there are machines that "think." Stott and Hoare Pty Ltd. demonstrate machines which are the product of brainwork to end brainwork. These machines add, subtract, and multiply quicker than man could assemble the figures for that purpose.
A popular meeting place for women is the McAlpin tea and coffee salon, on the second floor. Here refreshments are served at low cost. In full view of the salon are the McAlpin demonstration pavilion and service kitchen, where modern and economical methods of cooking and baking are explained.
Novelties at the exhibition Include a dress fabric produced by Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd. which.repels water and ink stains; an electric razor, demonstrated by Ward Bros. Pty. Ltd., which shaves without the use of lather, In half the time taken by blade razors; and a vacuum helmet, demonstrated by the Re-Nu Company, which is claimed to cure baldness by stimulating the circulation of blood in the scalp.The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939) - Wednesday 19 October 1938 - Page 32
Ward Bros ' Prize
A NEW Australian Industry that is challenging the world is that established by the Australian Sewing Machine Company Pty. Ltd. (Ward Bros. and A.N.A. Company), and large crowds were attracted to their display in the Royal Show Hall of Manufacturers, at the Melbourne Exhibition, where the modern machines with their ingenious labour-saving devices were displayed. This Australian-made dust- proof cabinet compares more than favourably with imported models, and while every possible improvement has been added, none of the original quality of material and construction has been sacrificed. Interesting comparisons have been made by country visitors who are still using Ward Bros, and A.N.A. models purchased more than 40 years ago, and the orders for the 1938 prize Wardana indicate that the general verdict is "better than ever," with which opinion all judges and users of a good machine will agree. Messrs. George and Sam Ward, who were the founders and still are the principals of this business, have spent 50 years' study and work in improving and perfecting the sewing machine, and their achievement proves that specialisation Is the secret of success. The prize model machines are now on display at Ward Bros.' showrooms at 32-38 Errol Street, North Melbourne, and at 222 Chapel Street, Prahran; 252 Smith Street, Collingwood; 550 Sydney Road, Brunswick; 195 Barkly Street, Footscray. 817 Burke Road, Camberwell; 433 Bourke Street, Melbourne; 51 Royal Arcade, Melbourne, and at Ballarat, Bendigo, and Mildura.It is unknown when exactly or why the company stopped trading and who was running it as I really doubt it was the original Ward Bros. I could only find sales from individuals in the early 1950s. Nothing else on the company which had a few stores in Victoria. I was unable to find any funerals, family notices or anything pointing me to when they died (any of the 3). It makes me wonder if they died in Australia. There are a few matching names in the 1940s and 1950s but I’m not sure enough to say, it was them. There’s also no mention of bankruptcy in the newspaper...The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956) - Friday 3 August 1945 - Page 14
SEWING-MACHINES. - Have your machine converted to new Cabinet or made into Electric Portable WARD BROS., HEAD OFFICE, 40 ERROL ST., N. MELBOURNE. F3985.
So, after all this, how old is the razor? I did not find any catalogs online, unfortunately, I cannot really say when mine was made or sold. From the newspaper ads, I would place it in the range of 1855 to maybe 1955 (opening and closure of the shops, Cadman & Sons was in business for longer than that) as they advertised the electric razor in 1938 but were probably still selling straight razors.
What I got is not a wedge or near wedge so I would say it’s in 1900s. Further, Ward Bros advertised the model “Federal” quite a bit at the early 1900s, and I think that it would be a fair assumption to place the razor I have after that. so probably around 1920-1955.