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Robinson, Herbert Edward Cooper (1857–1933)

Mr. Herbert Edward Cooper Robinson, one of the oldest map publishers in Australia, died at St Luke's Private Hospital, Darlinghurst, last night after a short illness. He was managing director of H. E. C. Robinson, Ltd, and was 76 years of age.

Mr. Robinson was known throughout the world for his maps. For 51 years he made the publishing of maps his hobby as well as his business, and many eminent scientists and authors of geographical works in Australia received valuable assistance from him in the compilation of maps. His maps have been sought after all over the world, and many are to be found in use even in Russia. They have long since been accepted as standard works in schools in Australia, and more recently they have become popular in New Zealand schools.

He was born at Winchester, England, in 1857, and came to Australia as a boy. His father, Dr. Robinson, settled in Geelong, Victoria, after visiting New Zealand, and made a number of trips on whaling ships. Mr. Robinson came to Sydney when in his twenties, and joined the Public Service as a cadet draftsman in the Lands Department, working in the original survey office.

In 1882 he resigned to enter business as a map publisher in partnership with Messrs. Higginbotham and Harris. The firm, which was known as Messrs. Higginbotham, Robinson, and Harris, was housed in Pitt Street. Later Mr. Harris dropped out of the partnership, and Mr. Higginbotham and Mr. Robinson carried on in premises in Elizabeth Street. The partnership was dissolved, and Mr. Robinson set up on his own account, in Wentworth Court. Later he moved to Phillip Street, and finally took premises at 221 George Street, where he carried on for the past l8 years.

Mr. Robinson was a foundation member of the Royal Geographical Society of Australia. Shortly before his death he received advice of his election as a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society of London. He assisted Professor Sir Edgeworth David in the compilation of his geological map of Australia, which has been acclaimed a most valuable contribution to science. He assisted many other scientists in the compilation of maps.

His wife died in 1914. His two children, Mr. Cecil Robinson and Mrs. Eileen Robinson Brooks, are both living in America. Mrs. Brooks made her first appearance on the stage in Sydney. She gained considerable success, and later went to America, where she is now engaged in theatrical work. The funeral will take place tomorrow after a service at St. Stephen's Church.

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'Robinson, Herbert Edward Cooper (1857–1933)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/robinson-herbert-edward-cooper-1320/text1315, accessed 8 December 2021.

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