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T.W. Gourlay & Co., Ironmongers, Christchurch, New Zealand

T.W. Gourlay & Co. Token Penny

Image: T.W. Gourlay & Co. Token Penny

Source: Museum Victoria

This firm traded briefly in Christchurch, probably from 1862 to 1865. The earliest record that Christchurch numismatists found while researching the company was from the 22 October 1862 edition of the local paper the Christchurch Press. It announced that the store would be opening on 15th of September; presumably this advertisement had been running for more than a month by the time the October edition seen by the researchers was printed. The advertisement said that Gourlay & Co. would be selling 'an assortment of General Ironmongery, comprising builders ironmongery, brassfoundry, carpenter's tools and a great variety of articles too numerous to mention in detail.' The store was known as Economy House, a popular mid-nineteenth century name for shops. The store was located in Ferry Road, Christchurch.

The business was listed in local directories until 1865 but after that there are no records of either the business or its owner. In 1864 part of Ferry Road was renamed High Street. The fact that Gourlay's tokens give his address as High Street and not Ferry Road indicates that the tokens were most likely issued in either 1864 or 1865. The maker of the tokens is unknown, but they are thought to be of British manufacture.

References:
The Canterbury Branch of the Royal Numismatic Society of New Zealand, (1950). They Made their Own Money: The Story of Early Canterbury Traders & their Tokens, 1950, pp.23-25.

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