Friday, September 28, 2018

A9 The Menzies Centre

Menzies Institute Hobart

The photos have been taken by Ann Williams-Fitzgerald, who is a current student with the Wicking Centre housed in this building.  She is a descendant of the Jillett's first born son, William Bradshaw.

Menzies Institute cnr marking Liverpool and Campbell Streets, whilst, on the opposite side, creating a dialogue with the landscape of the Domain and the vehicular movement of the Brooker Highway.

The building is entered through a formal archway on the street corner that leads into a glazed atrium.

During the excavations on the site, which would have contained many old buildings, photos were taken by the archaeologists involved. 



Aerial view of 53 Campbell St after excavation Excavated building showing wall footings, steps and fireplace, Menzies Institute.

1820’s stables exposed within later 20th century motor garage shed.



The Cesspit was possibly not on the original house, given the dating. of 1840

Various artefacts were located.   Some are not from the original Jillett house.
These two are very likely to have been discovered on the original house.


The Jillett house was taken over by the Government, and used for Government purposes, according to one of the Colonial Secretary reports, its location to the Barracks made it able to be used for Government purposes.

Its location was near the first Market Square.

There is mention of a garage at the stable area.

There was an engineering business at 17 Liverpool Street Hobart.  It operated until around the 1960's.

Examining the Artefacts

There was a Chemist operating in Liverpool Street, and his name was Andrew Paton Miller
Mr Andrew Miller, chemist, of Hobart Town, proved that he had sold to prisoner on 9th or 10th March 24oz. of nitric acid, a gross of phials, and some quicksilver ; on the 24ith witness got some liquor from the Superintendent of Police, and found it to be composed of nitric acid, quick silver, and water.
Launceston Examiner (Tas. : 1842 - 1899) Saturday 4 April 1874

A saddle horse having got at liberty in front of Mr. Miller's chemist shop, Hobart Town, turned on the pavement opposite Messrs. Kerr and Young's drapery establishment, in Liverpool-street, where it fell. It rose again, entered, and trotted up the centre of the shop until it came opposite a mirror, where, seeing its own counterfeit presentment, it stood immovable. The rider having arrived led the animal quietly away.

Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), Thursday 8 February 1883, page 7


The Industrial Exhibition was opened this afternoon by the Governor, with much ceremony. A public half holiday had been proclaimed, and all the shops were closed. The Governor and Commodore were received by a guard of honour consisting of members of the Rifle Regiment on entering the Exhibition. The Orchestral Union under Herr Schott, played the National Anthem. Mr. James Harcourt, the president, presented an address to his Excellency, who suitably replied. He stated that the undertaking had his warmest sympathy, and declared the Exhibition open, amidst great cheering. All the members of the Ministry, the Mayor, and Corporation, and other public officials were present. The building presents a very creditable appearance, especially considering that it had been converted for its present use out of the old market.

The chief Victorian exhibits are the Oriental Tea Company's Pagoda, Messrs. Cullis and Hill's furniture, Swallow and Ariell's biscuits, Henry Young's jewellery, Howland's cordials. Chief among the Hobart exhibits was J. Bidencope's hat display, with men at work, showing the manufacture of hats. Mr. Golding exhibits a handsome case of jewellery; Mr. Evans, of Launceston, has an excellent display of soap ; Mr. Stuart, of Launceston, shows locally manufactured jewellery ; Mr. A. P. Miller, chemist, of Hobart, has a fine show of Tasmanian parfumery;  Messrs. Wignall and Bridges exhibit basketware ; and Moir's cabinet of minerals of Tasmania proved a great attraction. The building to-night was crowded, and illuminated by the Brush electric light with good effect. A grand concert was given. It is generally acknowledged that the whole display is far beyond the sanguine expectations of the promoters.

Some of our readers will remember, no doubt, that we (Mercury ) called attention some time ago to a very beautiful glass case, containing perfumes in bottles and other Articles pre pared and sold by Mr Miller, chemist, of Hobart. The case was a richly ornamented one, and the glass was the very thickest plate procurable, bevelled at the edges, which glass can only be procured from  England. The case would have made a very elegant exhibit, creditable alike to Mr Miller and the colony, but it met -with such treatment on the voyage as that it. reacted Calcutta a perfect wreck. Mr Miller has received a letter from Mr Just, in which our Commissioner states that the large and thick sheets of glass were smashed literally to atoms, the three glass shelves were also smashed, the brass work considerably damaged, and, generally, the. whole case was a wreck. As plate glass could not be procured, Mr Just had to put lead down the centre, and repair the damage as best he could with common window glass. The result was, of course, that Mr Miller's elegant and expensive case was deprived of all its beauty, and the - work and taste entirely thrown away. Mr Just states that he has given the P. and Co. notice that they will be held responsible for the damage done, but whether Mr Miller will get any satisfaction remains to be seen.

Mr Miller says, that after this experience he is not likely to again send exhibits beyond the seas, and we do not wonder at his resolution.

His business was at the corner of Murray and Liverpool Streets, confirmed in this advertisement 1888.

Miller was a man of great enterprise and he immediately introduced a number of specialties which made his name famous for he was one of the first in Tasmania to manufacture eucalyptus oil from the leaves of the pure blue-gum tree and the product was formulated into eucalyptus toilet vinegar, ointment & salve, veterinary ointment, pastilles, cream, dentifrice, and soap, as well as many others.
His eucalyptus oil was shipped world-wide and included the Parke, Davis & Co. firm in Detroit, Michigan. In addition he distilled on his premises a “a fragrant and refreshing perfume, being an exquisite combination of exotic and Tasmanian flowers .....put up in elegant ‘Tasma caskets” of Tasmanian ornamental woods, containing the perfume in chaste cut-glass bottles” of 2 sizes, costing £2 2s. and £3 3s.

Mr. Andrew Paton Miller was educated at Ayr Academy in Ayr, Scotland, he served his apprenticeship in Paisley, Scotland, and came out to Melbourne in 1856, where he remained until he settled in Hobart in 1871. His son Andrew John Miller was born in Hobart on 26 January 1872, was educated locally, joined the VDL Bank in 1889, and after 18 months he apprenticed with his father, later graduating in Melbourne at the College of Pharmacy, became associated with his father’s pharmacy again, and in 1893 was admitted into partnership in the firm.

This information was extracted from ‘The Cyclopedia of Tasmania’ article (Volume 1, 1900) which spent so much time extolling the virtues of the 3-story (second) building, as well as the myriad of the medicaments made from the distilled eucalyptus oil, that it never mentioned his full name, nor when A.P. Miller was born (he was said to be 28 in 1871, so his birth was ca. 1843), and he was still alive at the time of publication of the article. An idea of the extensiveness of the business is given by the number of those employed, 13 in their town premises, and from 12 to 15 at the Eucalyptus Distillery.
Andrew Paton Miller was described as a good employer, public-spirited and a liberal-minded citizen, prominent in all important movements for the improvement of Hobart, and the promotion of healthy recreation amongst its citizens. He had been a pioneer mining speculator, but not prominent in political life, although he had considerable influence with the electors generally. 

 Once again I am indebted to Margaret Harman, Heritage Collections, State Library of Tasmania, Hobart, for the information used in preparing this article.
Addendum (November 2007):   This registered cover from DALBY/ 9A/ DE 28/ 1905/ QUEENSLAND is addressed to Mr. A.P. Miller, Chemist , Hobart, Tasmania (Figure 4).

David McNamee's definitive book  'Catalogue and Handbook of Tattersall's Covers (2006)' gives additional information on the Miller father and son on page 127. I highly recommend this book in regards to the great documentation of Tattersall's covers. 

 Andrew Miller was born at Ayr, in Scotland. According to his obituary, this was in 1843, although some other sources cite 1839. He was educated at Ayre Academy and served his apprenticeship as a chemist at Paisley and passed his examinations with distinction.
He emigrated to Melbourne where he became an assistant chemist before purchasing his own pharmacy business.
In 1869 Mr Miller moved to Tasmania where, on 30 November 1869, he married Ann Mary McAllan.
In 1871, aged 28, he purchased the Hobart pharmacy business of Dr Smart. It was at this time that his advertisements included statements that he sold homœopathic medicines.
According to his obituary, Mr Miller proved to be "an estimable citizen being well endowed with those faculties of energy, industry, and enterprise which have made Scotchmen famous all the world over in their mastery of business and commercial affairs generally. ... In all his dealings Mr Miller was remarkable for his honesty of purpose, liberal-mindedness, and integrity of principles, though making no open profession of those virtues. He had the courage of his convictions, and there was nothing of the hypocrite, the envious spirit, or the 'little Hobartian' about him, for he heartily sympathised with all progressive efforts."
He was involved with the Tasmanian Racing Club, one of the pioneers of the mining industry in Tasmania, especially on the West Coast, and was one of the first in Tasmania to commence the manufacture of pure eucalyptus oil from the leaves of the blue gum, establishing an oil distillery.
Mr & Mrs Miller had two sons and four daughters. He died suddenly on 2 April, 1904.[2]

He died in 1904, and his will confirms his address. 

From the National Trust 1990, this was his site. From

Name/Title Corner of Liverpool and Murray St, Hobart, Tasmania[3]
About this object D. P. Miller's Pharmacy site at the corner of Liverpool and Murray Streets, Hobart, Tasmania.

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