Royal Reels: Gambling


This paper has been held in abeyance the past year for even the State Library of Victoria has been unable to find any details on this long-standing quality printing company. The postcard has a printed lilac ‘ONE PENNY’ stamp of Victoria which is canceled with the duplex SANDHURST/ E/ SE 14/ 80/ VICTORIA with the barred numeral ‘4′ as obliterator. It is addressed to Messrs. Arnall & Jackson, Mercantile Stationers and Printers, 42-44 Collins-st West, Melbourne. The reverse was not seen (Figure 1).

I found that the lack of information on the company surprising, for I have found 3 other philatelic items, 5 decades later, with the company’s advertisement dated from 1929 to 1932, all addressed to a Mr. H. Dickson, Shire Secretary, Rochester, Victoria. The first of these has the orange octagonal ‘TWO PENCE’ KGV Head canceled with a roller postmark MELBOURNE/ 4.30 AM/ 1929/ VICTORIA with the slogan COMMONWEALTH LOAN/ NOW OPEN/ APPLY AT ONCE (Figure 2).

The reverse has a very ornate blue printing with scrolls and flowers, overprinted with the following text: ARNALL & JACKSON/ General Printers, Lithographers,/ STATIONERS,/ACCOUNT BOOK MANUFACTURERS &c./ 478 COLLINS STREET, MELBOURNE./ Engravers, Embossing & Die Sinking. Telephone No.1176 (Figure 3).

The next two covers have a less ornate advertisement for the company, both of identical design but with a different colour as background to the black print, which reads: ARNALL & JACKSON / PRINTERS AND MANUFACTURING STATIONERS/ TEMPLE COURT/ 428 COLLINS STREET/ MELBOURNE (the background being green). The red oval printed KGV Head ‘TWO PENCE’ stamp was canceled with a roller cancel MELBOURNE/ (– ) AM/ (– ) SEP/ 1931/ VICTORIA with the slogan ADDRESS MAIL TO/ PRIVATE BOX NUMBER/ IT EXPEDITES DELIVERY. The reverse was not seen (Figure 4).

The other identical cover has an brown background to the advertisement, the Melbourne roller cancel was dated 23 Jun 1932, and the slogan was INCLUDE POSTAL DISTRICT/ NUMBER IN MELBOURNE/ SUBURBAN ADDRESSES. The reverse was not seen (Figure 5).

In my original quest to write a paper on this fine company I found more than 10 examples of books and pamphlets (with titles including ‘Aborigines’, ‘a book of poems’, ‘Victorian Year Books’, and ‘Victorian Municipal Directory and Gazetteer’) all described as having been published by Arnall & Jackson, at the 2 addresses on the postcard and the covers. The earliest publication found was the ‘Directory and Gazetteer’ in 1865 and the latest was in 1978, the ‘Victorian Municipal Directory: State Guide and Water Supply Record for 1978, edited by Louis Holzer, 97th ed. Brunswick, Vic. Arnall & Jackson, 1978, 1223 pages’

Recently I have been using the National Library of Australia beta scans of early Australian newspapers, and ‘practice makes perfect’ for all that follows was acquired over a period of 5 hours using ‘Arnall & Jackson’ as the research title in Melbourne papers. No information has been found for Jackson, but a short paragraph for Arnall was found under ‘Personal’ in the Argus (Melbourne) 13 September 1920, page 8 , given as: “Mr. George N(eil) Arnall, of Gnarwarre, Kew (Melbourne) celebrated their golden wedding on September 8 (1920). Mr. Arnall arrived at Sandridge on Boxing Day 1852, on the ship Ralangeich(?), after a passage of 130 days. He was apprenticed with Messrs. Mason and Firth, printers, but left there to manage Evans Brothers’ business in Collins Street, which eventually merged into the firm of Arnall and Jackson in 1874, and has continued in Collins Street since that date. The firm made a specialty of municipal work, and published yearly the Municipal Directory, which was edited by Mr. Arnall. He was the last president of the Employers’ Federation, and afterwards senior vice-president. Mr. Arnall took a great deal of interest in the pastime of bowls, and for 13 years, eight consecutively, was a vice-president of the Victorian Bowling Association, and for several years president of the Hawthorn Club. Mr. Arnall is probably the oldest master printer in Melbourne, and has been president of the association on several occasions.” The latter point was further researched and G.N. Arnall was found to be a President of the Printing & Allied Trades Employers’ Association of Australia in 1894-95 and 1901-02.

In addition to the printing processes and books already mentioned, he also printed at least one illuminated address which was presented to Captain W.J. Symons, Victoria Cross awardee. The funds for the award had been provided by the people of Brunswick, Melbourne. The address was exhibited in the company’s window at 478 Collins Street West for a few days. It was described as being “of a very striking design and execution, bound in Morocco leather, richly gilt back and front and with Mosaic design inlaid in leather”.

The yearly Municipal Directory was advertised as follows in 1925: “A wide area is covered by the publication, which contains valuable information relating to Commonwealth, State, and Municipal activities, in a readily accessible form. The names of mayors and presidents and councillors of every municipality in the State are given, together with particulars regarding cities, towns, boroughs, shires, and railway stations. Of considerable value in the section devoted to the Government departments and the boards, Institutions &c., of the State. This is the sixtieth year of publication of the directory”

George Arnall died in August 1924 and company equipment was advertised for sale the next month, but publication of his Municipal Directory continued. There is an additional company Arnall & Jackson Pty Ltd (Lithographers), 390 Barkly Street, Brunswick Victoria 3056 in modern times, and the relationship to the above company has not yet been determined . From the information I have found, one has to wonder why so little is known about this company.

Categories: Advertising Covers