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Straight Razor Chronicle - Volume 4 - Ward Bros. Melbourne


"To Wiki or Not To Wiki, That's The Question".
I will not kill all the work on this but be aware that the 'Ward Bros.' in this post is not the same Ward Bros that made the razor. The correct Ward Bros is in post #11.

This research is long overdue. I was given this straight razor by johnmrson in exchange of doing the research. I apologise to John as I did not do it quickly(well, not as quickly as I wanted to). It’s been almost a year now that I’m in possession of the razor and I used it quite a bit. The research was not easy as you can think, Ward is a common name and it’s short. John gave me the razor as he already has a large collection (see his interview) but he thought there might be something behind it worth looking at. I tried to get that little piece of history together.

First, the straight razor is stamped “Made Expressly for Ward Bros. Melbourne”. It’s another Bengall (Cadman & sons) made razor. You will notice immediately that the heel is very different to any other razors that I’ve seen before. Let me say it right now, it’s a pain to hone, I might need to regrind that heel too and soon...

I only saw two other razors elsewhere and the heel wasn’t the same. It was a Ward Bros, another Cadman & Sons and one just stamped Sheffield. I have no idea if the one I have is a special edition but I’ve never seen an heel like that on any other razor (Bengall or not).

There’s a Ward Bros. Company existing today in Darwin but I really doubt it’s the same company as I did not find much information about it (8 McMinn St, Darwin, NT 0800 - (08) 8981 4964). They seem to be in the air conditioning industry. The other Ward Bros. that I found in Victoria is specialised in earthmoving, again, I doubt it’s them. I’m fairly sure the company doesn’t exists anymore.

However, the Ward Bros. that I would like to talk about was founded around 1855 or 1876 (I'm thinking more 1855 since they have a picture of a straight razor) and probably traded until a bit after 1956 (last seen newspaper advertisement). The Ward Bros. Plty Ltd was created by George Ward and Samuel Ward (Ward Brothers) first in 40 Errol Street, North Melbourne and then in Prahan (both in Victoria, Australia). The Ward Bros were running a department store and they imported sewing machines from England and Wertheim under the name: Australian Sewing Machines Limited Pty Ltd. They would build their own cabinets and place their logos on it to sell them. The first newspaper advertisement was seen in 1897.

Later on, David Ward (brother of George and Samuel) join the team and started importing the sewing machines from Germany (made by Beisolt & Locke). Those sewing machines were known as ANA (All Native Australian), later on, WARDANA. David shop’s was located in Collingwood, Victoria, Australia.

The sewing machines usually had the logo of the shop with either George and Samuel picture with the Australian map or all three brothers.
$Ward1 Logo.jpg

The A.N.A. machine got very popular in 1911 when the brothers decided to present it at the Melbourne exhibition. The reviews were so good that George and Samuel decided to use the name for their machines also. The result was David taking George and Samuel to court. The whole issue lasted for years and was settled outside the court.

In the newspaper, we could follow the dispute between the brothers

The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956) - Wednesday 15 March 1911 - Page 11


The Chief Justice in the Banco Court yesterday was engaged in the hearing of the action in which the three brothers Ward, whose names are well known in connection with the A.N.A. sewing machines, are the parties. The plaintiff is David Ward, of Smith street, Collingwood, sewing machine vendor, and the defendants George Ward, of Errol street, North Melbourne and Samuel Ward, of Chapel street, Prahran, of the same occupation. Mr. Mann (instructed by Mr E. E. Dillon) appeared for the plaintiff and Mr. Davis and Mr. Schutt (instructed by Messrs. Plante and Henty) for the defendants.

David Ward claims that he alone is entitled to the use of the trade name, the A. N. A. prize sewing machines, which he, by arrangement with Biesolt and Locke, of Germany, applies to their machines. He claims that this was the machine that took the prize at the exhibition in Melbourne in 1902. The other brothers claim that is was the joint exhibit of the three brothers that took the prize, and the exhibit contained other machines besides the Biesolt and Locke. They claim to be entitled to sell under the designation any machines imported by them.

David George Ward, who is seeking an injunction to restrain his brothers from passing off their goods as his, was in the box for two days, and his examination was concluded at noon yesterday. Further evidence was then given to show that the defendants were passing off goods.

Jane Elizabeth Poole, of Bushy park. Tooradin, said that in 1908 she addressed a letter to the A.N.A. Sewing machine Company, Melbourne, the name under which the plaintiff is now registered, asking the price of a prize A .N. A. machine, and mentioning the private mark of Biesolt and Locke. She received a reply from Errol street, North Melbourne. signed by Ward Brothers. A correspondence was opened, and in the last letter she was asked to put the proper address, which was Errol street, North Melbourne.

To Mr Davis: I am a sister of Mr. James, the manager for the plaintiff. I addressed the letter to Melbourne only because I was asked. I think it strange that the letter was delivered at North Melbourne, because the A.N.A. Sewing machine Company is not at North Melbourne.
Mr. Davis: You did not intend to buy a machine?
Witness: No. I did not.
You were only trying to trap the defendants?
No, I was not. I did what I was asked, but if I had known I was going to be brought here, I would not have written any letter. (Laughter.)
And when the first reply came, you didn't think it worth while to write and say "you are not the persons the letter was intended for?".
No, I wanted to see if the second letter went astray. My brother had told me that they thought their letters were going to the wrong address.
Why did you say that you had a Wheeler and Wilson machine to exchange? The letter was simply dictated to me to write.
Do you think that is was a straightforward thing to do?
I don't think it was altogether, and I had no reason except that I was told the letters were going astray.
Do you often go in for enterprises of this sort?
- No, it was my first, and it will be my last. (Laughter.)

Antonio Frederico, who said his real name was Stanislaus Friedenthal, but that he had been known as Frederico since he came from Austria said: I am a commission and press agent. In March last year I called at Samuel Ward's under instructions from the editor of the "Playgoers' Gazette" to get an advertisement. I was sold a machine, which was delivered, but I sent it back, and said that I wanted an A.N.A. prize machine.

Samuel Ward said that I could have any machine in the shop. I said, "From what your brother tells me, I have not got the right thing." He said, "We have a right to sell what we have sold; don't take any notice of my brother."

Mr. Davis: You knew you were not dealing with David.
" No, I didn't, I thought they were all one.
You didn't know what type of machine you wanted.
No, my editor said, "Freddy, give Australian industry a show, and don't mind about Singers.' That's what he said. (Laughter.)

Mister Henry Watson, of Wellington street, St. Kilda, bailiff, said: I was employed by David Ward to collect evidence, and on November 27, 1910, I called at the shop of Ward Brothers in Bridge road, Richmond, and asked for a prize A.N.A. machine. I asked if I could get the same machine in Collingwood, and the shopwoman said I could not.

The same evening I went to Ward Brothers in Clarendon street, South Melbourne, and
asked for the same machine. They said that they could deliver it that evening. I said I would go up the street and get the money. I did not return. On November 31 I called at Ward Brothers in the Eastern Market, and was shown machines, and given a catalogue. I said I would write, but I did not.

Mr Davis: You knew your game was to trap the defendants?
My game was to make money. (Laughter.)
And you didn't care how?
Oh yes, but is all comes down to L.s.d. in the end.
Is that your view? Are you capable of being bought?
Oh no; I have been tried many times - with good money.
And never succumbed? No, I was offered £20 once. (Laughter.)

As the Chief Justice has to sit in the Criminal Court today, the case was adjourned sine die.

The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956) - Friday 28 April 1911 - Page 5


The Chief Justice is at present engaged in the Banco Court in the hearing of an action in which the parties are the Ward brothers, well known in connection with the A N.A sewing machines. The plaintiff is David James Ward, of Smith street, Collingwood, now trading as the ANA. Sewing machine Company, and the defendants are George Ward and Samuel James Ward of North Melbourne and Prahan. The case was opened last month, the contention of the plaintiff being that he is solely entitled to use the diploma and gold medal given for the A.N.A. sewing machines at an exhibition in Melbourne in 1902. The hearing was resumed on Tuesday, and yesterday the defendants' case was resumed. Mr. Davis, in outlining the case, said that their contention was that the plaintiff had no exclusive right to the diploma or gold medal, or to the use of the words A.N.A. sewing machine He outlined the relations of the parties since they entered into a kind of partnership as far back as 1894. The award at the 1902 exhibition, he said, was given for a joint exhibit of A NA. machines, in which several varieties of machines were included. The parties at the time were carrying on separate shops, but all traded as Ward Brothers. So far from the defendants passing off their machines as the plaintiff's, they claimed the right to use the words prize A.N.A. machines, and had done it since 1903 and until 1910 the plaintiff did not object. He joined with the defendants applying the term to several different makes of machine, and exhibited jointly with them in at shows. The evidence for the defence was opened when the Court adjourned until today. Mr. Mann ( instructed by Mr. E. E. Dillon) appeared for the plaintiff, and Mr. Davis and Mr. Schutt (instructed by Messrs. Plante and Henty) for the defendants.

After the settlement, David stopped trading and George and Samuel started using the A.N.A. brand and also created the WARDANA brand. They also had a good deal with the city of Bendingo, Victoria, Australia as they were offering rebates.

The North Eastern Ensign (Benalla, VIC. : 1872 - 1938) - Friday 16 September 1904 - Page 35

* * * *
We make a Speciality of Razors, and Guarantee our "FEDERAL" to give entire Satisfaction. The Price for Black Handle, Best Quality, Full Concave, is as follows : 5/8 in., 5/6. 3/4 in., 6/.. 7/8 in., 6/6.

Post free to any part of the Commonwealth W.B. also carry large stocks of all the best brands of Razors, including the Klein, Bengal, Pipe Brand, Sprock, and also the "Star" Safety Razor.


Note the Address 144 SWANSTON ST. NEAR TOWN HALL. A large Stock of every description of High-class Cutlery on Hand.

Morwell Advertiser (Morwell, Vic. : 1888 - 1954) - Friday 13 October 1905 - Page 3

Pansons living in the country often have trouble with their cutlery. We would draw the attention of these to the advertisement of Messrs Ward Bros., of 144 Swanston Street, Melbourne, who are offering knives, razors, etc., at a specially low price and: high value. The Federal razor is one which gives excellent qualities of its sharpness and endurance. It is a razor which will keep an edge.

The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956) - Saturday 14 August 1915 - Page 8

CUTLERY - Ward Bros. for Scissors, in case or singly, warranted best quality, and ready for use.
CUTLERY - Ward Bros. for Table Cutlery Rogers's Tables 22/6; Desserts, 18/6; Johnson's Tables, 14/; Desserts, 12/ per dozen.
CUTLERY - Ward Bros. for Sets of Carvers, in ivory, ivoroid and stag, best Sheffield goods; suitable presents.
CUTLERY - Ward Bros. for Nickel and Electroplated Forks and Spoons, Butter Knives, Bread Forks, &c.
CUTLERY - Ward Bros. for Pen and Pocket Knives, best Sheffield goods, in ivory, shell and pearl; suitable presents.
CUTLERY - Ward Bros. for Sporting, Fishing, Farm, and homestead, Skinning, Rabbiting and Camp Knives. 144 Swanston st.
CUTLERY - Ward Bros. for all the latest and best in Safety Razors, Gem Junior, Clemak Stars, Gillettes.
CUTLERY - Ward Bros. for high-class Razors, Pipe, Klein, Bengall, Federal, Imperial; guaranteed ready for use.
CUTLERY - Ward Bros. for everything you require in high-class goods at moderate rates. 144 Swanston st.

Euroa Advertiser (Vic. : 1884 - 1920) - Friday 17 December 1915 - Page 28

Established 1855.


Make a Specialty of RAZORS, and guarantee their "FEDERAL" RAZOR to give entire satisfaction. The prices for Black Handles, Best Quality, Full Concave, are as follow: 5/8in., 5/6; 3/4in., 6/-; 3/in.,.6/6. Post Free to any part of. the Commonwealth. W.B. also carry large stocks of all the Best Brands of Razors, Including Bengall's, "Klein," Pipe Brand, Gilette's, and Star Safety Razors.

NOTE THE ADDRESS- 1 SWANSTON STREET (near Town Hall). An Immense Assortment of Every Description of High-Class Cutlery on hand.

$Ward Bros Ad 17 Dec 1915.jpg

Frankston & Somerville Standard (Vic. : 1921 - 1939) - Friday 4 February 1938 - Page 3


Ties thread at end of seam
Many advantages over others. Lowest
prices, easy terms. Call or write for
our free list.

36 Errol St., N. Melbourne. F3985.
Chapel St., Prahran (opp Ezywalkins)
252 Smith St., Collingwood.
7 Arcade, Bendigo.
18 Sturt Street, Ballarat
51 Royal. Arcade, City.
550 Sydney Rd., Brunswick (near Blyth Street)

The interesting bit is the “18 Sturt Street, Ballarat “ which is similar to Thomas Jewelers (15-21 Sturt Street, Ballarat). I’m wondering if they were renting a stall or shop inside Thomas’ Supply Store building.

The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956) - Monday 15 August 1938 - Page 2


Wembley Story

Educational as well as entertaining,

"The Argus" 20th Century Exhibition, open daily at the New Wembley Court, has brought to the large crowds of visitors a realisation of the progress that has been made for the most part only in the time of the rising generation.

Although this progress has been attained within the memory of most living people it is difficult to view it in perspective. An exhibition such as that to be seen at the New Wembley Court gives not only that perspective, but, to some, an idea of the lines which future progress will follow. Two displays show how modern youth, both at work and in leisure hours, is keeping itself abreast of mechanical and technical advances, and equipping Itself to continue the work of development. At the exhibit of the Melbourne Technical College visitors can see models made by students in class, while girls demonstrate the decorating of pottery. The model dockyard models of ships, aeroplanes, and trains testify to an instructive use of leisure.

Tile aim of man to make machines that will work for him has inspired numberless inventions. Now there are machines that "think." Stott and Hoare Pty Ltd. demonstrate machines which are the product of brainwork to end brainwork. These machines add, subtract, and multiply quicker than man could assemble the figures for that purpose.

A popular meeting place for women is the McAlpin tea and coffee salon, on the second floor. Here refreshments are served at low cost. In full view of the salon are the McAlpin demonstration pavilion and service kitchen, where modern and economical methods of cooking and baking are explained.

Novelties at the exhibition Include a dress fabric produced by Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd. which.repels water and ink stains; an electric razor, demonstrated by Ward Bros. Pty. Ltd., which shaves without the use of lather, In half the time taken by blade razors; and a vacuum helmet, demonstrated by the Re-Nu Company, which is claimed to cure baldness by stimulating the circulation of blood in the scalp.

The Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939) - Wednesday 19 October 1938 - Page 32

Ward Bros ' Prize
Sewing Machines

A NEW Australian Industry that is challenging the world is that established by the Australian Sewing Machine Company Pty. Ltd. (Ward Bros. and A.N.A. Company), and large crowds were attracted to their display in the Royal Show Hall of Manufacturers, at the Melbourne Exhibition, where the modern machines with their ingenious labour-saving devices were displayed. This Australian-made dust- proof cabinet compares more than favourably with imported models, and while every possible improvement has been added, none of the original quality of material and construction has been sacrificed. Interesting comparisons have been made by country visitors who are still using Ward Bros, and A.N.A. models purchased more than 40 years ago, and the orders for the 1938 prize Wardana indicate that the general verdict is "better than ever," with which opinion all judges and users of a good machine will agree. Messrs. George and Sam Ward, who were the founders and still are the principals of this business, have spent 50 years' study and work in improving and perfecting the sewing machine, and their achievement proves that specialisation Is the secret of success. The prize model machines are now on display at Ward Bros.' showrooms at 32-38 Errol Street, North Melbourne, and at 222 Chapel Street, Prahran; 252 Smith Street, Collingwood; 550 Sydney Road, Brunswick; 195 Barkly Street, Footscray. 817 Burke Road, Camberwell; 433 Bourke Street, Melbourne; 51 Royal Arcade, Melbourne, and at Ballarat, Bendigo, and Mildura.

The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956) - Friday 3 August 1945 - Page 14

SEWING-MACHINES. - Have your machine converted to new Cabinet or made into Electric Portable WARD BROS., HEAD OFFICE, 40 ERROL ST., N. MELBOURNE. F3985.

It is unknown when exactly or why the company stopped trading and who was running it as I really doubt it was the original Ward Bros. I could only find sales from individuals in the early 1950s. Nothing else on the company which had a few stores in Victoria. I was unable to find any funerals, family notices or anything pointing me to when they died (any of the 3). It makes me wonder if they died in Australia. There are a few matching names in the 1940s and 1950s but I’m not sure enough to say, it was them. There’s also no mention of bankruptcy in the newspaper...

So, after all this, how old is the razor? I did not find any catalogs online, unfortunately, I cannot really say when mine was made or sold. From the newspaper ads, I would place it in the range of 1855 to maybe 1955 (opening and closure of the shops, Cadman & Sons was in business for longer than that) as they advertised the electric razor in 1938 but were probably still selling straight razors.



What I got is not a wedge or near wedge so I would say it’s in 1900s. Further, Ward Bros advertised the model “Federal” quite a bit at the early 1900s, and I think that it would be a fair assumption to place the razor I have after that. so probably around 1920-1955.
Last edited:


"To Wiki or Not To Wiki, That's The Question".
Thanks Gents!

So Marcus, you got the "Sheffield" straight I've seen! I didn't know who owned it. I would say that one is older than mine. The Ward Bros. probably started to trade with T.R. Cadman at a later time. Related? Yes!


"To Wiki or Not To Wiki, That's The Question".
I was contacted by a descendant of the Ward bros. family. I got the wrong Ward family, stay tuned, more to come and it will be exciting from what I saw already!
Let me tell you a little re. "Ward Bros," Melbourne.

My name is Peter Ward, and worked as a 4th generation family member in the old Ward Bros store at 144 Swanston St, Melb., as a youth in the 1950's.

$Peter and Razor.jpg

Here I hold the giant razor, “The Beast,” that formed part of the Ward Bros display at the Victorian Centenial Exhibition of 1888, held at the Exhibition Buildings, Melbourne. No maker's mark, and "Superior Cutlery" engraved into the ivory. With the fine edge of a normal razor, this piece has to be handled with care. The blade, and handle, is covered in wonderful scenes.

When researching, note that Ward Bros (Cutlers) history is an entirely different company the Ward Bros sewing machine company.
The two families and their business' have no connection. George, David and Samuel Ward do not feature in our family tree.

The Australian chapter of the story, as best as I know it:-
Frederick William Ward (1) was a "Surgeon's Instrument Maker and Cutler" at 3 Athol Pl. Pentonville London. (1851 census) We still have good samples of his amputation saws, a blood letting lance, and a Printer's Plate with his advertisement.

Frederick's brother George, who did not come to Australia, was a Surgical Instrument maker (1841 census), Dental Instrument maker (1851 census), Master Cutler (1861 Census) and finally Retired Cutler (1891 census)
His father, John Ward, born Middlesex in 1775, was also a Cutler.

Family tradition has the family coming originally from Sheffield, with a manufacturing history spanning 300 years, but we cannot find a date for the move to London. Wards of Sheffield were foundation members of the cutlery manufacturing there, but whilst my father spoke of the links, we cannot find a genealogical connection that is indisputable.
The “ARGUS TWENTIETH CENTURY EXHIBITION”, Friday July 29 1938 states "Ward Bros, have been established in England for 208 years and in Australia for 86 years; and have always been first to Introduce the latest and most, modern ideas in cutlery." This indicates that at least John Ward’s parents had been cutlers.

Frederick William Ward (1) arrived in Australia, arriving at Port Phillip in June 1853, with wife and child Frederick William (2) born 5 July, 1849.
Whilst a son Henry was born at Forest Creek, Castlemaine (goldfields north of Melbourne) in 1855, business also commenced in Melbourne that same year.
The family business had its Australian centenary celebration in 1952, the huge old sign above the shop at 144 Swanston St said, "WARD BROS Est. 1852", the 1937 catalogue says "Est. 1852." How this equates with an arrival date of 1853 I cannot explain, but only speculate that these brothers may have initially intended to migrate together as a partnership, something that never happened.

Listed in the 1856 Census as living at 85 Bourke St Melbourne, occupation "Cutler," Frederick William (1) died at 144 Swanston St on 25/08/1882. As usual in those days, the elder kept active in the business, and died "on duty" aged 74.

The business was continued by son Frederick William (2) together with his brother Henry Charles, the final "Ward Bros", with the business continuing both to manufacture and to import.

Frederick William (2) died on 1/9/1912, occuption listed as "Cutlery Importer" on his Death Certificate. Henry died 13/4/1930.

The family had continued as manufacturing cutlers in Australia, with a factory in the Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy. Pocket and general purpose knives were made at the factory. I do not have a date for the commencement of Australian manufacturing, but we know the factory was active in 1912. Keith Spencer’s book "EDGEMASTER" indicates Thomas Brammer was employed by Ward Bros not long after arriving in Melbourne in 1912. Keith writes, "Thomas had supervised the production of pocket knives and daggers at the Joseph Rogers factory in Sheffield, as his father and grandfather before him had done." Thomas obviously brought great expertise, and his son Frank also was an employee of the business, even after the factory was closed. Frank's role was then to do the repairs and sharpenings, even though he had his own business. "Bram's" parcels arrived back at the shop weekly, clearly labelled and well wrapped, with never a need to check the quality of the job before the customer took delivery.

A lot of cutlery and razors were imported stamped "Made for Ward Bros", but the wording of advertisements would indicate the "Federal" razor was made by Ward Bros. Whether these were made in the Australian factory, or by connections back in England I cannot say.

My father, Gilbert Ward, son of Frederick William (2) took over the family business upon the death of Henry in 1930. The business had to be purchased from the housekeeper to whom Henry had bequeathed it, and traded as a properly incorporated "Ward Bros (Cutlers and Importers)" from that time, until its closure in 1965.

Gilbert had purchased the 144 Swanston St premises, previously rented, but in the late 1950's he leased it out, and continued to quietly trade in Presgrave Arcade off Little Collins St, still in the heart of Melbourne until 1967. The business had withered and became unprofitable with Australia's severe post war import restrictions, and cheap imported Japanese cutlery. Gilbert had made a trip to Canberra and personally pleaded with the Minister for Trade to get a larger import quota, but was turned down.
As well, quality no longer commanded a premium, and the tendency to replace instead of repair had begun.
The factory had been dismantled in the late 1940's when Gilbert returned from Active Service, but had made items for the military during the war years.
Gilbert finally offered the business as a gift to a longstanding employee, Mr Arthur Fitzgerald, but he declined.

And so, a true family business that had been based on quality, service, integrity, and plain hard work, had finally come to a natural close.

("Mr Arthur's" father, "Mr Tom" had also started at Ward Bros in his youth, and he still came to work well into his eighties, such was the family custom.)

I do not believe those blades stamped "Wardonia" have a direct connection with the Australian Ward Bros, and at this stage I do not know of a connection to razors marked "Ward Bros, Sheffield."

The "Port Phillip Herald", 2 April 1892 tells a lovely story about the Jack the Ripper suspect, Fred Deeming, visiting the Swanston St shop to have his knives sharpened.


Late in December last a man called at Ward's cutlery establishment in Swanston street, and producing two amputation knives, which were stained with blood, requested that a perfect edge be put on them. He gave no name, but with a vast assumption of importance he gave Mr. Ward to understand that he must keep these two knives "apart from all others in the shop", and treat them as very special articles that had been left by a very special person. Mr. Ward only remembers at this distance of time, that the man was short and square, and in manner of general bearing corresponded with the published descriptions of Frederick Bayley Deeming. There was, of course, nothing unusual in the fact of two amputating knives being left for restoration, but it was most unusual for such articles to be left by a man who, in appearance and style, was unlike any doctor yet born. No doctor, moreover, when leaving his knives ever draws them across his fingernail as though testing their keenness. Yet that was exactly what this queer customer did. And, furthermore, he volunteered the information that he had just come off one of the mail boats. The blood stains naturally attracted attention when the knives were in such strange hands, and Mr. Ward remarked, "Some blood on them, sir." "Yes," said the visitor, "they are stained certainly, but that's not blood; the fact is that on the voyage out I used them for cutting lemons and the acid has discolored them." This extraordinary explanation was accepted for what it was worth, and the knives were sharpened and taken away by the same man in a day or two. The knives were an old fashioned pair, and the man said that he was going to get one of them nickel plated. Curiously enough, a gentleman named Max Hirschfeldt had been to the shop a few days previously." (http://www.casebook.org/forum/messages/4922/8136.html)

$Razor Tip.jpg

Tip detail .

$Handle End 2.jpg$Handle End.jpg

Yes, you are seeing RUST!! I confess to being a less than adequate custodian of ”The Beast.”

There are more photos, but the editor thinks I have already uploaded five. Hope this helps




  • $1937 cat.jpg
    $1937 cat.jpg
    65.1 KB · Views: 206


"To Wiki or Not To Wiki, That's The Question".
Thanks Peter! Great stuff that you posted. I found a few newspaper articles about Frederick W. Ward... I will post later
Hey Wardie, I'd be very happy to look after the beast for you. The blad needs to be oiled to stop it getting any worse. The scales look like they've dried out a little which is what happens to scales made of natural materials when stored in modern homes with entral heating. I've disconnected the heating duct in the room that I keep my razor collection, and cigars in and they have no such problems.
Continuing from Post #11, with the missing pictures.
I must stop to thank LUC for his initial post. If he hadn't added those
sewing machines into the plot, I would never had bothered to post, and a
bit more history may have been lost. Those who have done any historical
investigations will acknowledge just how easy it is to follow the wrong
road. Thank you LUC.

You will note from my first post that I added quite a lot of detail which
may not be of general interest, but I had hoped may jog interested
readers. I welcome any input that helps us all put the "Ward Bros"
picture together. I regret, that as a youth, I failed to take sufficient
interest in the human resources that were still alive and could have
given me the whole picture.

Here are the extra pictures of "The Beast" that will interest some. As
noted in my last post, it was part of the ward Bros exhibition at the
Centenial Exhibition in 1888. The writing says "Superior Cutlery" and "Warranted razors"
Of interest to readers who, like me, cannot find the Sheffield
connection, the Bengal razor in the picture is engraved "Ward Bros,
Melbourne", but comes in the original case that says made in Sheffield.
We have seen lots of pieces marked "Made for Ward Bros, Melbourne", or
"Made exclusively for Ward Bros, Melbourne", so the inference is that the
connection here is much more than a "Made for."
I failed to mention in my last post that Father spoke with pride of the

Melbourne factory's knives and blades, but never mentioned local production of razors.
Also, remnant machinery was despatched to the family farm after the factory closure,
and there was nothing seen that would have been applicable to razor making.
At this stage, I think I can say no razor originated from the Melbourne factory.

Those that have an interest in Sheffield will know of Joseph Ward, Master
Cutler (among a few Ward Master Cutlers), recorded as principal heir to
his step-father Samuel Broomhead. Joseph's son, Samuel Broomhead Ward is
recorded as Master Cutler 1798.
I have a book "Sheffield and It's Achievements" presented to my father
after his visit to Sheffield, about 1948. In it, a hand written thank you
note is signed by his host, Bernard Broomhead.
Probably co-incidence, but takes us teasingly close to a connection that
we cannot yet substantiate!

You will also see below a picture of a seventeen bladed knife, also part
of the 1888 exhibit, beside the 1937 Ward Bros catalogue. By the way,
that thumbnail in Post #11 was the razor page of the 1937 catalog.
If there was interest I could post all the razor and knife related pages.

Also is a picture of a bit of the gear left over when Ward Bros closed,
the shop "demonstrator" Wilkinson stropping machine, which was used to
show purchasers how their razor blades could be sharpened before they
took their "high tech" machine home. Almost "BNIB."
I apologise for the quality of my pictures. They look pale beside the
other magnificent presentations on "Badger and Blade". Well done to those
who have so impressively restored, and presented their work!

$Center blade Scrimshaw.jpg$Non Wrting Side of Blade.jpg$Writing Side of Blade.jpg

$WILKENSON BNIB.jpg$Knife and Catalog.jpg



"To Wiki or Not To Wiki, That's The Question".
Ah nice! I see that you have the famous Wilkinson stropping machine that no one ever saw!

Thanks again for posting Peter, this is great!

So, to get the research right, there was 'Ward Bros.' and 'Ward Brothers' from what I understand and they were 2 different shops! I found a few more articles that I will post later.


"To Wiki or Not To Wiki, That's The Question".
As promised, I got a few articles:

Before the dispute
FIVE POUNDS REWARD will be paid to any one who will give such information as will lead to the DETECTION and CONVICTION of the PARTY who wilfully and maliciously DEFACED my HANDBILLS posted about the City and Suburbs.

20 Little Bourke-Street east.


A dispute between 2 cutlers


Sir,--I wish to make a few remarks upon what I consider an unjust decision of the Bench, at the District Court, on Thursday last. The case I allude to is where I summoned Frederick William Ward, cutler, for wilfully and maliciously defacing my hand-bills, posted about the city and suburbs, and which the Bench dismissed, stating that I had failed to sufficiently prove the case; without giving me an opportunity of calling my witnesses, who would have done so without doubt.

I am, Sir, your obedient servant,

20 Little Bourke-street east,
September 9.


M. Ward being called as a witness for a suicide.

Dr. Youl held an inquest at the Victorian Royal park Hotel, Hotham, yesterday on the body of John Meredith Davis, aged 24 years, whose tragic death was recorded in yesterday's issue.

William L. Davis, produce merchant, Sandridge, deposed that the deceased, who was his brother, was an accountant. On Friday last the deceased was arrested on a charge of forgery, and was allowed out on bail during a remand before the case had been investigated. Witness last saw him alive on Monday, when he(witness) refused to go with him to see Mr. Godfrey, the solicitor for the prosecution. This put him a good deal out, and he said to his sister, " How can I expect mercy from others, when my brother is so hard upon me." Eventually witness did go to Mr. Godfrey and tried to make an arrangement, but failed. Mr. Godfrey wanted more money than he (witness) would give. Witness subsequently saw his brother, and told him this. The deceased said he would go himself and endeavour to effect an arrangement. Witness asked if he wanted money, and he replied that he had enough. The deceased then left, and was not seen again by witness.

Francis Meaker, Crown lands bailiff, said that on Wednesday morning at 20 minutes past 5'o clock, he found the Body of the deceased in the Royal park. The deceased was lying upon his back. He was in his shirt sleeves, and his overcoat, paget coat, and hat were lying folded up by his side. The hunting knife produced was thrust into his chest in the region of his heart, and had penetrated about 4in. His left hand was resting on the handle. Witness sent for the police.

Constable Fitzpatrick gave evidence that on receiving information of the discovery of the body he proceeded to the spot. The deceased was lying as described by the last witness. Besides being in his shirt sleeves, his vest was unbuttoned and thrown back, so that his shirt was the only article of dress the knife had to penetrate.

Frederick W. Ward, cutler, Swanston-street, stated that the deceased called at his shop on Monday night about dusk, and bought the hunting knife (produced).

This concluded the evidence, and the coroner having summed up, the jury returned a verdict that the deceased killed himself whilst of unsound mind.


Family Notice of Frederick William Ward (1)
WARD.-On the 25th inst., at his residence, 44 Swanston street, Melbourne, Frederick William Ward, cutler, aged 74 years, a colonist of 29 years' standing. Home papers please copy. (http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11551067)

Family Notice of Frederick William Ward (2)
WARD. -On the 1st September at his residence, Edward street, Sandringham. Frederick William, the beloved husband of Lily Ward, in his 04th year, a colonist of 62 years (Privately interred.) (http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/art...-word=*ignore*|*ignore*|||sortby#pstart385738)

Remembrance for Henry Charles Ward
WARD -To the memory of Henry Charles WardFix this text who passed away on April 13 1930 -One of the best (Inserted by E Parker) (http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/art...d"&searchLimits=l-availability=y#pstart611501)
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