• Loddon Herald

Silver sounds and iron



CORNWALL-BORN Henry William Treloar was apprenticed to his father before travelling to Cuba (West Indies) in 1840.

The then 29-year-old worked as the foreman smith at Royal Santiago Copper Mining Company.

After 11 years, he returned home and the Treloar family emigrated to Australia and Geelong in 1853.

Treloar next worked at Heidelberg for 18 months before returning to Geelong where he opened his own blacksmiths shop.

It was not long before Treloar ventured to Maryborough followed by Burnt Creek, now Dunolly, finally settling at Sandy Creek, now Tarnagulla, in March 1855.

It was here that Treloar built a blacksmiths shop in Commercial Road where he manufactured agricultural implements including double furrow ploughs, stump jump ploughs, stump extractors, scarifiers, and harrows.

He was described as the best mining smith in the area.

Treloar admitted his son William Henry to the business and from around 1874 and traded as HW Treloar & Son.

They removed the engine and boiler from the former mine of King and Hocking, so as to set up as a steam hammer in their new blacksmith.

Treloar trialled his short mouldboard plough on April 24, 1878, one such plough having recently been made for JF Newman of Tarnagulla, whilst a double furrow plough was being made for Hall of Kingower.

This firm was capable of making small castings however they were in the process of trying to build a large smelter where much larger castings could be poured.

As well as all the small pieces required for strippers they made scarifiers and harrows of all types.

The Newbridge Agricultural Society Show was considered second only to the National Agricultural Society of Victoria, the fore runner to the Royal Melbourne Show, some of the larger agricultural machinery manufacturers from Melbourne and other near by country towns exhibited.

Such was the case when the Newbridge society amalgamated with Bridgewater and Inglewood to form the North Western Agricultural Society they holding their annual shows at Inglewood. At the 1878 show, exhibitors included:

Joseph Nicholson, Melbourne - stripper and winnower; John Buncle, Melbourne - chaffcutters and corn crushers; Hugh Lennon, Melbourne - represented by Messrs. E Williams & Co, Inglewood, - wheel and swing ploughs; J Leslie, Marong - ploughs, plough shares and swingletrees; Hutcheson and Walker, Kyneton - reaping machine; Bousefield & Co, Laanecoorie - double furrow plough, E Jewell, grubber and scarifier, field roller, flexible grass harrows and seed screen dresser; Kelson & Son, with a 25- tongued scarifier, grubber and reversible harrow; SA Burge, Bridgewater - hay cart; Matthew Barnes, Boort - farm waggon; Pearson & Anderson, Sandhurst, now Bendigo, - farm tip dray; Pickles & Sons, Sandhurst - buggies; H Haisman, Sandhurst - waggons, and Treloar & Son, Tarnagulla - grubber and scarifier along with a set of harrows.

It was the Treloars’ intention of this firm to apply for letters of patent for a combined reaper and stripper which they considered far preferable to the reaper and binder.

Demonstrations of their stump jump plough, along with hand or horse powered stump and tree grubbers, were being organised in various parts of Victoria by mid 1882. The cost of a grubber was £12/0/0.

The first grubbing machine having been made for Messrs Klein and Morrow of Inglewood, D J Duggan being an agent.

Treloar travelled to the farm of a Mr. Wescott, at Catumnal in February 1882 where he exhibited his new improved two furrow stump jump plough. He later took the plough down to the farm of Fred. J Smith, near Warragul and then on to the Moe area in May 1882.

A public trial of their grubbing machine was held at Mt. Pleasant farm, Murphy’s Creek on August 2, 1882.

The grubbing machine had fast built up a reputation to the extent that the Minister of Public Works, the Hon. C Young and other representatives from the Agricultural and Water Supply Department visited the factory before moving on to the farm of John Catto to witness a trial of the Treloar root extractor. This appliance, described as simple and cheap, was sold for £12/10/- whilst a larger size worked by horse power was sold for £24.

The group then moved on to the Ramsay farm where they saw a McCormick’s twine binder in action.

Henry Treloar next applied for a patent for improvements upon Treloar’s Nonpariel tree and stump extractor, No. 3550, September 10, 1883.

Treloar claimed that he had sold no less that 300 of these machines, 250 last season alone. The No. 1 machine was fitted with self adjusting pins whilst the No. 2 machine needed a boy to remove the pins. Treloar must have been very confident of getting sales as this advertisement stated that if he received sufficient inducements he would establish a factory in Sydney.

I could not find any further mention of Treloar or the stump extractor in Town and Country Journal.

By the time the North Western Agricultural Society show had come around in October 1884 Treloar & Son were manufacturing a portable wool press which was given patent No. 4133, on July 11, 1885 and again on March 15, 1886, No. 4466, the first being sold to J Tonkin, Inglewood.

Owing to a serious accident in the blacksmith Messrs. Treloar & Son had the premises completely rebuilt, it being ready to recommence production on February 23, 1885.

The Nonpariel tree and stump extractor was capable of pulling out 200 trees up to 60cm diameter a day, it being operated by two men and a boy. It was trialled at the Yarragon cricket ground in March 1885.

William Treloar took out patent No. 4848 for his improved stump extractor in 1886 followed by another for a new portable stump extractor on October 27, 1887. This machine consisted of a heavy lever with a fulcrum on end of a strong wooden frame. The lever was worked with a crab winch which was also fixed to the frame.

As the new rail lines had just been opened in the area Treloar sent his new Mallee extractor to Boort for public trial in June 1888. This machine was next trialled in the Mildura area.

Treloar was awarded a contract to build 20 medium sized wagons for the Railway Department in January 1889, at 97/10/0 each. As a result he had to enlarge his factory and employ extra men, including a very competent wheelwright. By July 1889 Treloar had failed to deliver any wagons, the first six wa gons were eventually taken to the Tarnagulla railway station on November 20, 1889.

As the railway contract had proven a burden on him both financially and health wise William Treloar sold out to Jonathon and Samuel James, who traded as James Brothers, on November 9, 1894.

There being little work to be had in the area Treloar left Tarnagulla soon after August 1895, moving to Maldon where he carried out experiments on sets of rollers that were capable of crushing, breaking and cyaniding quartz at a much cheaper rate than the current processes. It was from Adair street, Maldon, that he took out a patent for an improved roller mill, principally for crushing quartz, mineral ores, tailings and the like,

The former Tarnagulla Iron Works blacksmith site in Commercial road, Tarnagulla has two palm trees, it being adjacent to the old Bowman bakery building.

Henry William Treloar was elected a councillor for the Borough of Tarnagulla on March 3, 1882. He was very active with the Tarnagulla Brass Band, and as the conductor he was given a silver cornet in recognition of his services in 1882. An accomplished musician and singer, he was also involved with the local Methodist church and the local choir.

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