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LONGMORES, THE MELBOURNE CHEMISTS, 185-187 BOURKE ST., MELBOURNE

These three covers have defied my research for 2 years as very little information about the owner of Longmores has been found to date. This is in spite of the fact that the firm advertised extensively in the Melbourne newspapers. The first cover is registered with the printed red REGISTERED NEW SOUTH WALES/ ‘THREE PENCE’ stamp uprated with the blue 2d N.S.W. stamp canceled by GONGOLGON/ MR 27/ 1910/ N.S.W postmark with a T.P.O. No. 3/ 23 MR.10/ N.S.W alongside. There was also a ms. Red crayon ‘36 R’ (Figure 1).

The reverse has the same address in full, and there is a reception postmark of REGISTERED MELBOURNE/ AM/ 5 30/ 30. 3 (1910)/ 5 (Figure 2).

The second cover has a printed LONGMORES/ THE/ MELBOURNE CHEMISTS/ 185-187 Bourke St., MELBOURNE and the red ‘ONE PENNY’ engraved KGV Head is canceled OUYEN/ 13 MY 14/ VICTORIA. The reverse was not seen (Figure 3).

The third figure is similarly print addressed and the two red ‘ONE PENNY’ engraved KGV Head stamps were canceled WARRAGUL/ 1 JY 14/ VIC. The reverse was not seen (Figure 4).

I have found a minimum of biographical information on the owner of Longmores in the Argus Melbourne newspaper dated Wednesday 12 October 1921, as follows: Mr. Francis Longmore, chemist of Bourke Street was at his business on Saturday but he had a chill which developed into pneumonia, and he died yesterday morning. He was a native of New South Wales, but his father, Mr. Joseph Longmore settled in Melbourne in the late 1850s. Mr Longmore was educated at the Melbourne Grammar School, and leaving early, he studied and qualified as a chemist. He was a widower, his wife having died a year ago and he leaves a grownup family of 2 sons and 6 daughters.

He was known in Masonic circles and was a member of the Honorary Justice Association. The funeral will leave from his residence Wontravell, Gower Street, Kensington at 11 a.m. for the General Cemetery. He left real estate of £9,300 and personal property of £23,130 to his children. From another source I learnt that his birth name was Carlisle Francis Longmore and his certificate number as a pharmacist was No. 1440; he qualified as a pharmacist at his final exam in Victoria on 11 September 1905. He had three pharmacies in addition to the address on the covers, one on the corner of Flinders and King Streets, Melbourne, one at 130 Bourke Street East and one Brunswick Street, North Fitzroy.

Of interest, one of his employees Alexander Thomas Dick (1911-1982) was an assistant to the works manager and chief chemist at Francis Longmore and Co. in 1929, and he went on to be a highly respected Chief of the CSIRO Division of Nutritional Biochemistry, a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute and President of the Victorian Society of Pathology and Experimental Medicine.

Longmore’s was a manufacturing chemical pharmacy of many over-the-counter preparations, including Sulphur Hair Restorer, Strengthening Tonic, Blood and Liver Pills, Asthmacur (for asthma) and Hoyle’s Miraculous Oil (for miracles unknown), and an advert for these products is seen in Figure 5.

 

An example of a Longmore’s 8oz medicine bottle in the early 1900s is seen in Figure 6.

He also had another sideline in addition to his pharmaceuticals and this was White Crow Jelly Crystals made at his Food Products division in Melbourne as seen in the advert (Figure 7).

 
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