Warrnambool and District Historical Society Inc., Warrnambool
.1 This is a black cardboard box with a lid, with one side of the lid party detached. Some parts of the box are torn, especially the corners of the lid. The inside of the box is somewhat stained. The inside of the lid has a label pasted on and the top of the lid has a W. Swinton & Sons label pasted on. The Swintons label is partly torn away.
.2 The paper material inside the box is mostly foolscap-size and consists of business financial balance statements. Some of these have coloured paper covers.
This box contains a label from the Warrnambool business of W. Swinton & Sons and this tells us that the box dates from the early 20th century (pre 1912). The documents in the box are Swinton financial balance sheets from 1928 to 1970 (W. Swinton & Sons/Swintons Pty Ltd). William and Ann Swinton migrated to Australia in 1854 and for a decade William Swinton worked as a builder and carpenter in the Warrnambool area, erecting many buildings, including the Wangoom Presbyterian Church. In 1865 he opened a store in Timor Street Warrnambool, selling groceries, glassware, china and hardware. By 1888 the business was known as William Swinton and Sons. Branch stores were opened in Cudgee, Nullawarre, Wangoom, West Warrnambool and South Warrnambool. After William Swinton died his son Robert became the first managing director of Swintons Pty Ltd. In 1934 the business split, with George Swinton and Sons selling clothing, furnishings and glassware and Swintons Pty Ltd selling seeds, produce and hardware. Today the Swinton family still operates a furniture and bedding store in Timor Street.
Both these items come from the Warrnambool business of W. Swinton & Son/Swintons Pty Ltd and both the box with its early 20th century label and the financial statements are of importance. The balance sheets will be useful to researchers. The current Swinton business in Timor Street is the oldest family business in Warrnambool and, with the name Swinton associated with Timor Street businesses for 152 years, it is amongst the oldest family businesses in Australia.
Inscriptions & Markings
‘W Swinton & Sons Universal Produce Buyers and Exporters Timor Street Warrnambool’