Historical information

James Reid was born in Scotland near Glasgow and came to Victoria as a young man in 1854. Shortly after arriving he came to Bacchus Marsh where he lived until his death in 1902 at the age of 74 years. For most of these years he conducted a wheelwrights and coach builders business in Bacchus Marsh.
In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, wheelwrights and blacksmiths played an essential role in the functioning of the whole community. Before the industrialisation of manufacturing, wheels and other components of vehicles for transport, all metal objects, including farm implements, building requirements and domestic utensils were made by hand. As mechanisation of industry increased, the smith commonly performed the role of farrier in the times when horse power was pivotal to all aspects of society. Complementing this work, the forge was often allied with a wheelwright's shop. These premises also acted as a meeting place for the men of the town, where news was shared and friendships forged.

Physical description

Small sepia 'carte de viste' style unframed photograph on card with gold border framing photograph. Housed in the album, 'Photographs of Bacchus Marsh and District in 1883 by Stevenson and McNicoll'.
An image depicting a wheelwright and blacksmith's shop, with a group of men, boys and a woman shown in front. Two men are wearing the work clothes of the blacksmith, including the split leather apron worn by farriers to enable them to work on the hooves of the horses needing shoeing.
Two young boys are standing by the door. A portly gentleman in formal clothes stands before the shop. His proprietorial air suggests he was James Reid, the owner.
The house shown at the rear was James Reid's residence. Two people, an elderly gentleman and a younger woman, are seated in a jinker on the road to the side of the shop.
A collection of wheels and farm tools leans on the walls.
A triple-tiered sign above the shop reads:

Inscriptions & markings

On the front: Stevenson & McNicoll. Photo. 108 Elizabeth St. Melbourne. COPIES CAN BE OBTAINED AT ANY TIME.
On the back: LIGHT & TRUTH inscribed on a banner surmounted by a representation of the rising sun.
Copies of this Portrait can be had at any time by sending the Name and Post Office Money Order or Stamps for the amount of order to STEVENSON & McNICOLL LATE BENSON & STEVENSON, Photographers. 108 Elizabeth Street, MELBOURNE.