Summary

Multi-purpose woodworking machine manufactured by Charles & Hunting in Black Rock. This machine was purchased new in May 1947 by returned serviceman Walter Burton Purves of Coburg. Mr Purves contracted TB and was unable to return to his pre-war employment with the Victorian Railways. Purves used this machine at his Coburg home to make components of children's nursery beds for Myer as well as other small woodworking commissions for various private clients. After Walter Purves died in 1973, the machine was taken to the home of his daughter Lorraine in Springvale South and used regularly by her husband Edward (Ted) Jenkins. Mr Jenkins replaced the original Crompton electric motor after it failed and also slightly modified the top deck to make changing the saw blades easier.

Significance

This machine combines the woodworking requirements of planing, shaping, cutting and sanding in one unit and is the forerunner of the modern all in one home workbench. All operations are powered by a single electric motor. This unit was designed and made by Charles & Hunting at their premises at 315 Beach Road, Black Rock. C&H were best known for manufacture of small electric motors and the woodworker unit provided a means of adding value to their motors.

This equipment was distributed by the Hillston Manufacturing Company of 366 Bourke Street, Melbourne. Hillston advertised themselves as "the woodworking machinery specialists". This machine was intended for industrial or home use and because of it's association with Mr Walter Purves, illustrates the outsourcing of manufacturing to small home-based businesses by larger retailers and employment for veterans suffering from TB. Mr Purves retained the original brochure and an exercise book listing his receipts for work done for a variety of clients. He specialised in making nursery beds for Myer for which there was great demand in the immediate post World War Two period.

Apart from a replacement electric motor, the unit is in an original used condition.

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