Royal Reels: Gambling


This printed to private order window advertising envelope has the brown 1½d KGV stamp inscribed and it had a roller Sydney postmark which was issued in 1918, described as Type E3 in the AUSTRALASIAN Stamp Catalogue, 1977 edition. The advertisement was in blue and described the firm as F.T.S. O’Donnell Griffin & Co. Ltd. Electrial Engineers 51-53 Druitt St. Sydney (Figure 1).

The company has been in operation for more than one hundred years in Australia and South East Asia and was founded by two men in 1906 at Sydney, Frederick Tertius Squire O’Donnell and Thomas Leslie Griffin. At the company’s inception, street lighting in Sydney was still new and electricity as a means of powering and driving machinery, offered the two entrepreneurs a real opportunity to ride the electrical wave that was flowing into Australian industry. Their vision for the company then was to specialize in the installation of dynamos and generators for the future growth of industry.

Their business quickly developed a reputation for tackling the difficult and complex jobs and played an integral part in the development of Australian infrastructure from the early days. They played an active role in providing essential and often innovative electrical services to the verious defense operations based in Australia in the Second World War.

During the 1940’s to 1960’s the company expanded nationally and branches were established in the major centres in Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. The early 1960’s saw a renewed surge in Australia’s mining industry and O’Donnell Griffin forged a reputation for quality, reliability and innovation with the big mining companies, and it was involved in most major mining developments. Thus the growth of the Company tracked closely with the development of the resource industry.

The Company’s first major international project was undertaken in 1971 at an iron ore treatment plant at Bougainville Island in the Solomon Islands, and at the time it was the largest project of its type in South East Asia, with other international projects following thereafter. The Company has developed key capabilities in specialized areas and has developed critical maintenance and service to keep their clients functioning.

To-date, no definite information concerning either O’Donnell or Griffin has been found.

Categories: Business