Draft of Letter - H. V. McKay, to Premier, Foundry at Ballarat, circa 1904 Document Reg. No: HT 31969

A handwritten draft of a letter addressed to Hon. Premier, from H. V. McKay, undated but likely 1904

The letter refers to the closure of the iron moulding department of the H. V. McKay Ballarat foundry and the disagreement with Mr Harrison Ord, Chief Inspector of Factories, Workrooms & Shops, regarding the type and quantity of labour that can be employed according to the Wages Board. The letter lists the type, quantity and wages of the workers employed in the iron moulding department.

The letter is written on the back of a printed leaflet titled "Australia for the Americans", which is a pro-Protectionist publication, outlining the ways in which local Australian manufacturers have been undermined by cheap and copied imported agricultural machinery.

This item is part of a collection of photographs, negatives, moving film, artefacts, documents and trade literature belonging to the H. V. McKay Sunshine Collection. The McKay collection is regarded as one of the most significant industrial heritage collections in Australia. The collection relates to the agricultural manufacturing firm, the Sunshine Harvester Works. The Australian operations of this company were originally founded by Hugh V. McKay in the 1890s in Ballarat. Between 1906 and 1907, McKay moved production to Sunshine where the firm became one of the largest industrial businesses in Australia. Change in ownership is a recurring theme in the company?s history. In 1930, it merged with Massey-Harris to become H.V McKay Massey Harris. In the mid-1950s, the company was absorbed by Canadian agricultural firm Massey-Ferguson. Production in Sunshine ceased in the mid-1980s, following almost 100 years of manufacturing agricultural equipment.
Two-sided off-white sheet of paper. Printed text in black ink on one side. Reverse has handwritten text in pencil.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Mrs Cecil Newton McKay (nee Shaw)
Discipline: Technology
Dimensions: 378 mm (Height), 263 mm (Width)

More information

Tagged with: manufacturing, manufacturing workers, protectionism, employment, agricultural machinery, handwriting
Themes this item is part of: H.V. McKay Sunshine Collection, Sustainable Futures Collection, Working Life & Trades Collection
Primary Classification: MANUFACTURING & INDUSTRY
Secondary Classification: Agricultural & Horticultural Equipment
Tertiary Classification: correspondence
Inscriptions: Printed: ' AUSTRALIA FOR THE AMERICANS / The Australian markets are being overrun with foreign manufactures, and the possibilities of building up a great Australian export trade are being rapidly and surely diminished. ' [Further extensive text]
Handwritten: ' 6/29 / Series B ', ' The Hon. [the?] Premier / Re Foundry at Ballarat / Sir / My brother and I have just gone fully into the matter with Mr Harrison Ord and he says there is no hope of being able to re-open the Iron moulding department at Ballarat. ' [Further handwritten text]
Place Named: Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
Sender: Mr Hugh Victor McKay

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