By 1914, A.W. Dobbie and Co. Ltd. had two business concerns. They were a brass founders, electro platers and church furniture manufacturers based in Pirie Street, Adelaide and importers of sewing machines, pianos and organs based in Gawler Place, Adelaide. They also sold sewing machines, pianos and American organs, in Western Australia.
A.W. Dobbie and Co. supplied the bronze shields and ribbon scrolls fitted to the side of the pedestal of the South African War Memorial in Adelaide, unveiled in 1904. In 1924 A.W. Dobbie & Co. Ltd. cast a bronze statue of a World War I soldier erected in Mannum, South Australia, and cast the bronze figures for the South Australian War Memorial unveiled in 1931.
Alexander William Dobbie (1843-1912) was a member of the Royal Society of South Australia. According to their records, he entered business for himself at the age of nineteen and became a prosperous merchant. He built the first telephone in the southern hemisphere after reading of Professor Bell's instrument and made a 12.5-inch speculum metal mirrored telescope, which took him 11 years to complete. Later he built an 18-inch silver on glass reflector. He was a world traveller, visiting countries including England, Scotland, France, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Austria, Greece, Egypt and Ceylon. He was also noted photographer and president of the South Australian Photographic Society, used x-ray photographic techniques and built phonographs. He narrowly escaped injury in his Gawler Street premises when, with a Mr Cornock, he caused an explosion when trying to make oxygen to power limelight. A.W. Dobbie was also an honorary magistrate and Justice of the Peace. He was also active in his church and a hypnotist.
Astronomical Society of South Australia website http://www.assa.org.au/info/history/, accessed 8/1/2004.
South Australian Photographic Society http://www.artgallery.sa.gov.au/noye/Clubs/Saphotsy.htm, accessed 15/10/2009
A.W. Dobbie & Co., published 1901, held Library and Information Service of Western Australia.