The name Balfours has been associated with Adelaide for more than a century.
For many baby boomers the name brings back memories of a trip to ‘town’ with mum or grandma and a lunch in the tea rooms that remained a fixture in the city until 2004, although it had been sold by Balfours in the late 1980s I believe.
It all began in 1856 when Scottish immigrant James Calder established a bakery and shop on Rundle Street, Adelaide, called the City Steam Biscuit Factory.
He was joined shortly after by his nephew, John Balfour, in 1877 and the company eventually traded under the name Calder and Balfour.
Photo courtesy of San Remo Macaroni Company Pty Ltd Balfours Tea Rooms in Rundle Street.
In the 1890s a new factory was built in Caldwell Street (off Carrington Street) but tea rooms remained in Rundle Street.
Further expansion occurred in the early 20th century, seeing Balfours move to a new factory site, on the corner of Morphett and Franklin Streets.
Balfour’s son-in-law, Charles Wauchope, entered the business in the 1890s and later the company name became Balfour Wauchope Pty Ltd.
Balfours maintained this presence in the city until 2003 when manufacturing was moved to Dudley Park, a suburb in the inner north-west.
Photo from State Library of SA. The Balfour Wauchope Factory was a well known landmark in the city, on the corner of Franklin and Morphett Streets
Most people would know of the magnificent collection of wooden type housed in the Hamilton Wood Type Museum, Two Rivers, Wisconsin in the United States.
Also, A lot of Old Guvvers would realise that the Government Printing Office in Adelaide had a terrific collection of priceless wooden type which magically disappeared when it was put up for auction. Only the wooden type cases remained.
Well it’s a pleasure to let you know that the Peterborough Print Museum (pictured above) in Peterborough, South Australia has the best collection of wooden type that I have personally seen since my Old Guv Days.
Thanks must go to Mary Zimmermann and Judy Evans for the Photographs and the wonderful work that they do along with their History Group Committee members in maintaining and displaying all the fascinating history of this charming old Print Shop.
Some samples of the wooden type can be seen below: