East Bros. & Coy., Ltd. Agricultural Implement Makers, Mallala, South Australia [label on an album of trade photographs and printed ephemera]
A screw-bound album (205 x 295 mm, worn, marked and lacking one screw) containing 46 original gelatin silver photographs of the company's products (generally 110 x 70 mm or the reverse), seven pages extracted from a printed catalogue issued by the company (as East Bros. and Co.), two pages of simple technical drawings (including details of the wing and heel of some plough-shares), about fifteen thin trade catalogues or leaflets from other companies (mainly Horwood Bagshaw and Lister), and (loosely inserted) a four-page brochure for the East Bros. & Coy. Ltd. Patented Baglifter. From internal evidence, the bulk of the material in the album would appear to date from before the change of business name in 1933 (as outlined in the potted history below). The company was founded by Mathew Henry East (1861-1940) in Mallala, approximately 60 kilometres north of Adelaide, in the late 1880s. He 'patented the prong mould board plough (skeleton board), which proved to be a gigantic success in heavy sticky soil. [He] was among the first of the plough makers to make the stump plow of four wheels. The plant in the factory was rather crude, as most of the machinery was designed by M.H. East himself, and to drive the plant a horseworks was necessary. This condition of manufacture continued for several years, and was eventually replaced by an oil engine. In 1906 two sons ... joined their father in the business, and the trade name was altered to East Bros. & Co. From 1906 until the outbreak of World War I, the seasons were prosperous, and trading in farm implements made rapid strides. In 1914-18, the World War I period, manufacturing was somewhat slowed down, because of scarcity of materials. In 1933 East Bros. became East Bros. & Co. Ltd. Mathew Henry East died on 7 October 1940, just short of his eightieth birthday. The business he had started continued to operate for a further 30 years, until its closure on 7 August 1970. [He] was recognised by the Commonwealth for his contribution to South Australia, by the naming, on 13 April 1976, of East Place in Kambah, ACT' (mallala.nowandthen.net.au). One rarely encounters trade catalogues like this, a warts and all, nuts and bolts prototype cobbled together for in-house use, rather than a slick commercial production designed to entice the consumer. Some correspondence relating to the genealogy of the extended East family is included with the album.