Friday, 15 October 2021

1900's Anthony Hordens Pressed Metal Products

History of Anthony Hordern METAL CEILING DIVISION NSW 1900’s - 1930’s

Anthony Hordern & Sons was once the largest department store in Sydney NSW and arguably at one time the world, selling a huge diverse range of items including clothes & baked goods, to hardware and building materials, including pressed metal ceilings and cornice. Originally set up as a drapery store in 1823, the family run business expanded to Haymarket in the mid 1850’s, including stores The Warehouse and Palace Emporium.

In 1905 The New Palace Emporium was built on the old Brickfield Hill site after the Haymarket premises was destroyed by fire in 1901. The company established factories across Sydney and by 1894 had fully functioning furniture & bedding factories followed by iron & brass foundries, copper & tinsmiths shops, enameling & marble works, clothing, sporting goods, bicycle works, bakery, printing office and other services. In the early 1900’s the Anthony Hordern Catalogue of Embossed Steel Ceilings offered over 100 pressed metal products including panels, dados, cornice, centre pieces, & moldings which were produced locally at their Redfern factory. These pressed metal or embossed metal products as they were then referred to were in competition with Wunderlich pressed metal products, however they were lesser known and Anthony Hordern & Sons did not have the extensive product range that Wunderlich offered. In 1912 the business was sold to a Private Limited Liability Company and in 1926 the mostly family owned business was sold to a public company. By the early 1960’s with profits declining, Anthony Hordern & Sons were finally taken over by Waltons in the 1970’s, a similar fate as Wunderlich. Sadly Anthony Hordern & Sons massive historic city store at Brickfield Hill, the New Palace Emporium, was controversially demolished in 1987, taking with it a century of history. 

“ The old fashioned lath and plaster ceiling is a thing of the past, its place being taken by a strong, sanitary, handsome looking, non inflammable ceiling of steel” a slogan used for Anthony Hordern & Sons Embossed Steel Ceiling products.