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The advertising cover has a picture of an electrical light bulb labeled ‘Middy Opal’ and the address is given as Middendorp Electrical Goods Supply Co., 131 Queen St., (crossed out) Melbourne and there is a manuscript correction with 389 Flinders Lane. In addition the company is described as "Suppliers of Middy Lamps and Electrical Goods. The cover was addressed to L.F. Grammes & Sons, Manufacturers, Allentown, PA., United States America. The blue 3d KGV stamp is cancelled SHIP MAIL ROOM/ 5 AP 26/ MELBOURNE (Figure 1).


Arriving in Australia, age 19 on a sail boat, Dutch immigrant Mr PCN Middendorp settled in Melbourne and began plying his trade as a cigar roller. Having retired from the cigar industry, through the late 1920’s, Petrus Cornelis Nicholaas Middendorp began selling Dutch manufactured light globes, vacuum cleaners, together with other electrical products imported from Holland and England.

Warehousing and sales of the goods were undertaken by "Middendorp Goods Supply Company" initially in Flinders Lane, then moving to McKillop Street, followed by a basement store at 148 Queen Street. During the 1940’s a manufacturing plant known as "Middendorp and Sons" was established in the Melbourne suburb of Preston, where the two sons Peter and Hugh together with a small team of staff, produced the early rubber plug tops, extension sockets, double adaptors and a small range of bakelite accessories. These were under the brand name of "Middy".

A name change of the distribution business took place in the late forties and Middendorp Electric Company Pty Ltd was officially registered in 1948. The manufacturing operation ceased during the late 50’s due to the introduction and acceptance of plastic and injection moulding machines. However, the family had positioned itself to further establish the electrical trade distribution with the first branch and Head Office being opened in 1956, located at 520 Latrobe Street Melbourne. Other branches soon opened, with the boom of Melbourne and the 1956 Olympic Games.

In 1962 there were 5 trading branches, growing to 25 branches by 1986. As Middy’s advanced well into the new millennium, an extensive branch network continues to grow and provide service to the industry across the nation. Middendorp Electric, more commonly known as Middy’s and readily identified by its trademark and distinctive colour of Middy’s
pink, has developed into the largest privately owned Data and Electrical Distributor in Australia. ‘Middy’s pink’ refers to the colour of their business properties, as seen in Figure 2.

The majority of trade outlets are strategically located throughout Metropolitan Melbourne and Country Victoria. However, in recent years the company’s national expansion has seen the establishment of trade outlets across Australia.

The company Directors, Hugh and Nick Middendorp undertake an active role in supervising the Groups activities, whilst their sons Nicholas and Anton coordinate the day to day business with the company’s Operations Executives and administrative support staff. Middendorp Electric prides itself on its continuing service provided to the data and electrical industry through its expanding branch network, variety of stock, competitive pricing and personal contact with customers maintained by its staff members and the family.

The text of this paper was extracted from the Middendorp Company website.

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