Two fine advertising covers of different design have come on the market, a year apart, both concerning the same business. This Western Australia firm, Malloch Bros. was situated at 50-54 William Street, Perth and the front of the first cover showed graphics of two of their farm machinery items, the “Lister” 2-Stand Shearing and Crutching Outfit as well as the Alston Windmills. The cover was postmarked with a faint 1931 Perth red Malloch Bros 2d meter POSTAGE PAID cancel, and it was addressed to the Controller of Stores, W. A. (M)G. R., Midland Junction, (W.A.) – the ‘M’ is a typo error addition and W.A.G.R. stands for the Western Australian Government Railways (Figure 1).
The cover’s reverse pictured further items, the Easy Washing Machines, Chaff Cutter, the “New Lister” Separators and Dairying Appliances, and a Saw Bench and Feedmills (Figure 2).
The second cover has the same design as far as the name and address of the firm, but has 3 different objects, a ball of barbed wire, a ring of Flexsteel and Ordinary Wires of various gauges. It has a red typed AERIAL MAIL, a roller Perth 19 JUL 1932 postmark on the 4d bistre and 1d green KGV head stamps, and the place addressed is of considerable interest, Mundabullangana Station, Mundabullangana, (W.A.) (Figure 3).
The reverse shows a picture of the factory in Leederville, as well as other equipment, Wire Netting, Gates for Farm or Residence and Iron Fence Standards (Figure 4).
The two brothers were grandsons of John Malloch, who with his wife and family sailed from Glasgow and arrived in Melbourne in 1840. He took his family to Geelong, settled there for a few year, and then joined an expedition to South Australia where he was killed in an earth fall at Mount Gambier.
Alexander Henry Malloch was born in Daylesford, Victoria in 1874 and was educated in Victoria and N.S.W. He was the son of A. L. Malloch who was one of the early pioneers of the goldfields. Alexander moved to Western Australia in 1900, and on arrival he spent time in the goldfields, but after six years he acquired a small business with his brother, Robert which they gradually developed into a large business, Malloch Bros. Although the brothers started business as importers, they soon learned that they needed to manufacture and assemble equipment locally. In 1924 they founded the W.A. Netting and Wire Co. Ltd. They pioneered wire netting, barbed wire and wire drawing in Australia and made galvanised iron troughs and guttering. A large variety of equipment was made at Malloch Bros. workshops for farms, sheep stations and dairies.
Alexander continued an active interest in the mining industry, and in his later years he took an interest in assisting small parties and prospectors to open up small gold mines. He developed various facilities for cheaper handling of gold mining ore and the removal of water from mines. He died at Crawley W.A. on 24 November 1954 at the age of 80, leaving his wife, and four daughters and three sons (Figure 5).
In the company’s heyday, which included the time of the 1931 and 1932 covers, all the items illustrated were in production and in addition they supplied feed baggers, steam boilers and sterilisers, mining hoists, pumps of great variety, and cylinders for agricultural needs. The company address for Malloch Bros. last appeared in the 1971 Perth telephone directory.
Alexander’s younger brother Robert Anthony Malloch was a partner in Malloch Bros., but in 1920 he sold his interest in the firm to Alexander. Robert sold his Perth home, and he, his wife and their four young children went to Sydney in 1916 specifically to buy the firm of Dangar, Gedye and Co., and he was successful in becoming the firm’s co-owner. The firm was agent for Lister, Fairbanks Morse and White engines. The friendly relationship between the brothers was not broken for Robert joined Alexander again in partnership of the W. A. Netting and Wire Co. By 1936, the Sydney company name was changed to Dangar, Gedye & Malloch Ltd and Robert was listed as Chairman and Managing Director. The dates of birth and death for Robert have not been found, but he predeceased his brother. (Figure 6).
The address to which the second cover was sent, Mundabullangana (often known as Munda) is worthy of comment: The station is a 225,000 hectare cattle station, approximately 100 km south-west of Port Hedland in W.A., some 15 km off the highway, located near a billabong. The station supports about 12,000 cattle, with the number of people living there varying from 3-4 full-time staff to 20 during periods of peak activity (Figure 7).
I am indebted for the extensive research performed on my behalf by David Whiteford of the JS Battye Library of Western Australia, for this paper has been completed by combining multiple references he provided, for the internet was almost totally devoid of information on the brothers and their companies.