Historical information

The Excelsior Woollen and Worsted Mills were controlled by Godfrey Hirst & Co. Pty. Ltd. The Excelsior name originated from the union in the one enterprise of two of the earliest mills established in Victoria, the Old Victorian Mill, and the Old Barwon Mill.

Godfrey Hirst combined his expertise with the capital of Charles Shannon to purchase the Barwon Mill in 1890 and the Victorian Mill in 1899. They commenced production of high-quality flannels in readiness for an anticipated lifting of tariff barriers in 1901, the year of federation. These were the first flannels to be produced in Australia rather than imported from England.

In April 1912 the No.2 Excelsior Mill burnt down during the installation of electricity and was rebuilt. The No.1 Excelsior Mill was closed in 1930, with most hands moving to the No.2 Mill.

In 1966 the firm changed ownership and became a subsidiary of the McKendrick family and commenced manufacturing of tufted carpets. Godfrey Hirst has since emerged as Australia’s leading manufacturer of tufted carpets. It has also expanded into hard flooring, including timber, laminate, and other surfaces. In 2018, the Godfrey Hirst business was acquired by Mohawk Industries, the world’s largest flooring company.

Physical description

Brown blanket featuring a design of four lines of cream, and a single line of orange, spanning the blanket vertically and horizontally, to form a plaid pattern. At the vertical ends, the blanket ends in a fringe.

Inscriptions & markings

Label. Stitched.
"The Atlantic Rug /
Guaranteed Product /
Australian Manufacture"