From the reeking smoke stacks of industrial Sheffield in the 1850s to the cheek-to-jowl tenements of Little Bourke Street East in the Melbourne of 1866, this book takes you on a pioneering journey across the seas to a saw-mill in the remote wilderness of New Zealand, and from there to a bark hut on a bush Selection in the Colony of Victoria, and then on to Melbourne.
William Henry Blakeley, the unsung, red-headed, trail-blazing hero of this narrative, embraces the Colony, uses his industrial skills to build a business concurrently with that of a Trade Society, and farms at Red Hill on the Mornington Peninsula. As the first saw manufacturer in Australia, he expands his firm and his reputation, prospects and invests in gold, supports inventions, and embraces the Great Exhibitions of the 1880s. He survives the 1890s Depression, recovers from a financial catastrophe that would have overwhelmed a lesser person, and secures W. H. Blakeley’s enterprising contribution to the economic advancement of a new nation.
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