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Wimble, Frederick Thomas (1846–1936)

Frederick Thomas Wimble, by unknown photographer, 1889

Frederick Thomas Wimble, by unknown photographer, 1889

John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Mr. Frederick Thomas Wimble, chairman of directors of F. T. Wimble and Co., Ltd., died yesterday morning at his residence, at Artarmon, In his 90th year. Until a few weeks ago, despite his advanced age, he had attended his business establishment daily.

The name of Wimble is a household one among all associated with the printing and allied Industries in Australia and New Zealand. It is claimed that, as a result of the printing ink produced by Mr. Wimble's grandfather, Mr. Thomas Wimble, the London printer was able, for the first time in history, to secure ink of uniform quality and standard colour.

Mr. F. T. Wimble had an eventful career. One of two sons of Mr. Benjamin Wimble, he was born in London in 1846. With all the ambition of enterprising youth, and with a big consignment of printing inks, selected by his father, and of lithographic and other trade materials he boarded the Money Wigram ship Anglesey for Australia in his 21st year. He landed in Melbourne In July, 1867; immediately investigated the state of the printing trade in Melbourne and in other centres of Victoria and felt that, as a business, the selling of imported inks would not afford him sufficient scope. It appeared to him that the time was ripe to commence the manufacture of inks in Australia. He acquired a printing ink plant and thus marked the inception of the old-established business with which his name had been associated.

It was on May 4, 1868, that he produced the first printing ink made In Australasia. He next aimed at proclaiming his product to printers throughout Australia and New Zealand, and, with advertising, as it is known today, out of the question Mr. Wimble became his own traveller. In 1869 he established a business connection in Adelaide. On his arrival in Sydney from Adelaide, he took advantage of the New South Wales Exhibition to extend his enterprise Proceeding to Queensland In 1872, he established additional business relations there. Two years later, he proclaimed his product, with effective results, throughout New Zealand. Successful visits to Tasmania and Western Australia followed Mr. Wimble went on a tour abroad In 1876-a tour which marked the beginning of a new epoch in the history of the printing trade in Australia.

In 1877, on his return from abroad, the head office of his business was transferred to Sydney. A year later, Mr. Wimble took Messrs J. W. Goddard and Harry Franks into partnership, and the enterprise became known as F. T. Wimble and Co Melbourne and Sydney. This association of interests was dissolved in 1893, when Mr. Wimble became sole proprietor. Thirteen years later, he formed the business into the present limited liability company.

In 1883, Mr. Wimble went to North Queensland. He had been lured there by what was termed the "sugar land fever," and regarding as bright the prospects for a newspaper he started the "Cairns Post" Drifting into politics, he next emerged as the first representative of Cairns in the Queensland Legislative Assembly, which he represented from 1888 to 1893. He had, incidentally, rejoined his firm in 1890.

Few men knew as intimately as did Mr. Wimble the history of the printing trade of Australia and New Zealand. The month of May played a curiously interesting part in his long and varied career. It was in that month, for example, that he left England, as a young man, to seek a new career in Australia. It was in the month of May also that he manufactured the first printing ink made in Australia, and in that month several members of his family were born, among them a son, who served with the Flying Corps in France during the Great War Mr. Wimble started the "Cairns Post" in May, 1883.

Mr. Wimble, who, for some years, had taken up poultry farming as a hobby, owned the Wimbleford poultry farm at Bankstown.

He was twice married. By his first marriage, there were three children — Mrs. E. de Rose, and Messrs F. J. and A. R. Wimble and, by his second marriage, Mesdames M. B. Cleveland and G. A. Rinley and Mr. George B. Wimble. Mrs. Wimble died about three years ago.

The funeral will leave the parlours of Wood Coffill, Limited, at North Sydney, at 2 30 o'clock this afternoon for the crematorium at the Northern Suburbs Cemetery.

Original publication

Additional Resources

  • funeral, Sydney Morning Herald, 6 January 1936, p 8

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

'Wimble, Frederick Thomas (1846–1936)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/wimble-frederick-thomas-13250/text34522, accessed 21 November 2017.

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