Royal Reels: Gambling


The cover is addressed to Messrs. W. & L. Gordon Pty. Ltd., Napier Street, Essendon, W. 5., a suburb of Melbourne, and the company has not been identified to date. The red 1½d KGV Head stamp was cancelled with a roller cancel MELBOURNE/ 4 30 AM/ 23 AUG/ 1928/ VICTORIA with the slogan INCLUDE POSTAL DISTRICT/ NUMBER IN MELBOURNE/ SUBURBAN ADDRESS, with which the addressor has appropriately complied as shown by the ‘W.5.’ in the address (Figure 1).

The reverse has a double oval on the flap in which S.P. REYNOLDS & Co./ TANNERS/ NORTH MELBOURNE is printed, and there are no postal markings (Figure 2).

I identified S. P. Reynolds with ease, as Sylvanus Partridge Reynolds as a former Member of the Legislative Assembly of Victoria where he was a member in 1893-94. Unfortunately the information obtained on him was very incomplete, but was the best I have found to date. The entry was as follows: Reynolds, Sylvanus PartridgeBorn 1857? (Blackwood, Victoria). Died 28 February 1924. (Point Piper New South Wales). Parents: William, meat salesman, and Harriet Caroline, nee Cresswell. Marriage: 1887 Sydney, Annie Susan Young: 3 children? Occupation: Tanner. Religion: Church of England? Education: St. Kilda High School and Scotch College: passed civil service examination; apprenticed as a tanner. Career: To Taradale in infancy; to Melbourne 1868; commenced his own business c. 1875 and established firm of S.P. Reynolds & Co,, Vic. Tannery, N. Melbourne. House MLA Electorate North Melbourne Start June 1893 End September 1894 Other seats contested: N. Melbourne 1894 (Figure 3).

In addition two sporting affiliations were found for Sylvanus Partridge in that he was president of the North Melbourne Cricket Club in 1895, was a member of the Hotham and North Melbourne Football Club. A picture of Sylvanus Partridge Reynolds, scanned from the Victorian Parliament site is seen in Figure 4.

The company of S.P. Reynolds is mentioned in The Argus (Melbourne) on 28 March 1905 as well as in The Mercury (Hobart) 21 March 1905, in regards to a meeting of prominent members of the Master Tanners’ Association concerning the ‘loading’ of leather and as a result of the meeting the use of glucose in low concentration was justified, whereas the use of barium was denounced as a fraud, as follows: ” it has no virtue, and its object is merely to increase weight. The use of glucose, or something of the same sort, is a necessity”. All were agreed that the use of glucose had no deleterious effect on leather. No fraud was perpetrated on the buyer, who paid for the leather in proportion to the amount of glucose it contained.

After the death of S.P. Reynolds in 1924, The Argus (Melbourne) 12 December 1928 mentioned that Mr. James H. Preston who was the managing director of S.P. Reynolds & Co. Pty. Ltd, had been elected President of the Master Tanners’ Association of Victoria.

Any assistance of readers who have more information on Mr. Sylvanus Partridge Reynolds and/or his Victorian Tanning Company will be gratefully acknowledged.

Categories: Business, Political