The design drawings were produced by a number of engineers who worked for the firm, including an early drawing by the founder, George Alfred Julius. A large number of drawings were done during the 1920s and 1930s. During this phase, Julius Poole and Gibson were involved in a number of major projects, including the Rockhampton Water Supply in Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia and Australian Estates' Sugar Mills at Pleystowe and Kalamia, Queensland, Australia.
Where it is applicable, the objects in this collection were 'made' by the personnel of Julius Poole and Gibson Pty. Ltd. It would be convenient, therefore, to provide further detail in this section about the firm, and those members whose work is represented in this collection of artefacts.
Julius Poole and Gibson: The firm was established in 1908 by George Alfred Julius (q.v.) and was located in the Equitable Building, George Street, Sydney. The firm had so much work that, within a year, larger office facilities were found at Norwich Chambers, 58 Hunter Street, Sydney. By 1913, the firm was again forced to find more spacious accommodation, and moved to Culwulla Chambers, Castlereagh Street, Sydney and remained there until 1971 when they moved to 9 Atchison Street, St. Leonards, where they occupied their own building that was built jointly with the architects Rudder, Littlemore and Rudder. In 1988/1989, Julius Poole and Gibson joined with Bass Engineering, North Sydney. The business partnership dissolved in 1993, when Bass did not wish to continue with structural work. There was a mutual agreement that Max Sherrard (q.v.) would continue with structural work under Julius Poole and Gibson, Consulting Engineers. At the time of writing, Sherrard continues to work as Julius Poole and Gibson, Consulting Engineers, while Frank McClelland Matthews (q.v.), Chairman of Directors since 1975, has retired.
Julius Poole and Gibson became a proprietary company on 4 January, 1971. The firm's Memorandum and Articles of Association states "the objects for which the Company is established are: (a) to carry on the practice, profession, or business of consulting engineers in all or any of its branches [with] architects, town planners, designers, and planners of buildings, structures, undertakings, improvements projects, and works of all and every kind and description and (b) to engage such engineers, architects, draughtsmen, surveyors, designers, town planners, managers, accountants, agents and other officers, workmen and servants, as shall be required and found necessary for the proper working of the Company and for carrying on its business in the operations of the same and any one or more at pleasure to discharge and to prepare designs, schemes, plans, drawings, sketches, specifications, estimates, bills of quantity quotations and surveys"(pp. 1-2). The firm's clients included a range of important jobs for the State and Commonwealth Governments.
Listed below is further biographical detail of those whose work appears in the archive, and who were directly responsible for the production of the material or who have contributed significantly to the management of the firm.
George Alfred Julius (1873-1946). Collection = [drawing nos. 200, 201, 259, 260, 261, 262, 263, 264, 265, 281].
Born in Norwich, England, on 29 April, he was the eldest son of Churchill Julius and Alice Frances. The family moved to Ballarat, Victoria, and then to Christchurch, New Zealand, in 1884 and 1890, respectively, when Churchill Julius was appointed Archdeacon of Ballarat and Bishop (then Primate) of Christchurch. George Julius attended Melbourne Church of England Grammar School and Canterbury College, New Zealand, where in 1896, he graduated B.Sc. (Mechanical Engineering).
After graduation, Julius was first employed as an assistant engineer with the Western Australian Railways until 1907, thereafter moving to Sydney to act as consulting engineer to Allen Taylor and Co., Ltd, timber merchants. In the following year he commenced work on the Automatic Totalisator, the device most closely associated with his name, which in 1913, was installed at Ellersie Racecourse, Auckland, New Zealand. The Julius Automatic Totalisator remained in use until 25 September, 1987, the last being decommissioned from Harringay Stadium, a dog-racing track in London.
Julius had many interests in, and associations with, engineering. He was a modeller who built steam locomotives and famously the 'model city', the remnants of which are held in the Museum's collection (99/11). He was President of the Engineering Association of New South Wales for three terms (1910-1913), the Electrical Association of Australia in 1917, a founder of the Institution of Engineers, Australia (1919), of which he served on the preliminary committee, as a council-member (1919-1940) and as fifth President in 1925. Julius was awarded the Peter Nicol Russell memorial medal in 1927. He worked to establish the Australian Commonwealth Engineering Standards Association (1922), for which he served as President and Vice-President (1926). Julius was Chairman of the Standards Association of Australia between 1929 and 1939 and President of the Australian National Research Council (1932-1937). In 1936, he was appointed Chairman of the Commonwealth Committee on Secondary Industries Testing and Research, which recommended (1937), the establishment of the National Standards Laboratory.
The University of New Zealand awarded Julius their D.Sc. (1940) and he received the W. C. Kernot medal in 1939 from the University of Melbourne. Julius died at his home in Killara, Sydney, on 28 June, aged 73 (For further biographical detail see Corbett, A . 'Sir George Alfred Julius [1873-1946]', engineer, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Vol. 9, 528-529).
William Poole (1868-1929). Collection = ['Presidential Address', Sydney University Engineering Society (1916); 'Manufacture of Cement from Blast Furnace Slag', Australian Institute of Mining Engineers, Vol. 5, 81-100 (1918); 'Limes and Cements', The Institution of Engineers, Australia, Vol. 5, 101-159 (1924).
He was born in Sydney on 9 September, attended Sydney Grammar School, and took private lessons in engineering and architectural drawing. In 1886, he joined the New South Wales Railways Construction Branch (Government Railways of New South Wales), where he held a draughting cadetship drawing rolling stock, railway equipment, and railway structures. Poole completed (1890) his course of study for the B.E.(Civil Engineering) at Sydney University, however the University authorities required him to complete his matriculation examination before being admitted to the first degree. Ten years later, Poole was awarded his Bachelor's degree with honours. He eventually attained the degree of Master of Engineering from Sydney University.
Leaving the University, Poole then qualified as a surveyor finding employment with the New South Wales Department of Water Conservation and Irrigation, where he was an assistant engineer. He carried out investigations on river gauging, water surveys (especially the Murrumbidgee River), and site surveys for locks and weirs along the Darling River. His field work led to important publications on Warren Weir and Distribution Works, Bourke Lock and Weir, Gauging of Rivers, Rapid Preliminary Survey of the Darling River, and Utilisation of Water Resources of Australia.
Poole's intellectual interests were not restricted to engineering. For example, in 1897 he joined Professor Tannatt William Edgeworth David (1858-1934), Professor of Geology in the University of Sydney (1891-1924), on an expedition to the island of Funafuti to test Darwin's theory on the formation of coral atolls. Poole's geological interests led him to be admitted Fellow of the Geological Society, London.
Around 1900, Poole joined BHP and worked as engineering supervisor at the Broken Hill mine for 18 months. This was to be good experience and allowed him eventually to practice as a mining engineer. Poole followed with a stint at BHP's smelter works at Port Pirie, where he was an assistant metallurgist and night superintendent. In 1904 he married, and moved to Queensland where he was Director of the Queensland State School of Mines, Charters Towers. At this stage, he published papers on 'The Treatment of Broken Hill Ores', 'Ventilation in Mines', and 'Notes on the Physiography of North Queensland'. Moving south, Poole was Director, School of Mines, Ballarat during 1912 and 1913, where he introduced and taught a number of courses including hydraulic and irrigation engineering, metallurgy, and mining engineering.
Moving north to Sydney in 1913, Poole joined George Julius in 1914 as business partner, thus establishing Julius and Poole. Like Julius, Poole had many roles outside the office, including President of Sydney University Engineering Society (1915-1917), Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Member and Chair of the Sydney Division of the Institution of Engineers, Member of the Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, and Member of the Board of Examiners of the Institution of Engineers (For additional information, see, Anderson, M. and Cochrane, P. (1989). 'Julius Poole and Gibson, the First Eighty Years: From Tote to CAD', Julius Poole and Gibson Pty Ltd, Sydney).
Alexander James Gibson (1876-1960). Collection = ['An Engineer Looks in on the Pastoral Industry in the Far West', The John Thompson Lecture, October, 1953, The University of Queensland Press, Brisbane; Barraclough, S. H. and Gibson, A. J. (1910). 'Boiler Explosions as Affected by Unsymmetrical Riveted Joints'; Gibson, A.J. (1929). 'Power Development in Australia'; Gibson, A.J. (1933). 'Presidential Address'; Gibson, A. J. (1934). 'Technical Education Commission'; Gibson, A. J. (1914-1918). 'Photo'; Gibson, A. J. and Dare, H. H. (1936). 'Sewer Outfall Investigation'; Gibson, A. J. (1937). 'Presidential Address' (Engineering and Architecture)]. Three Research Notebooks (for the contents of these notebooks, see the separate document that is included in this archive, and which is entitled 'Archival and Artefact Material on Julius Poole and Gibson...' pp. 11-16).
Born in London on 18 December, his early education was had at Alleyn's College of God's Gift (Dulwich College) and his engineering apprenticeship was served with the Thames Iron Works, Ship Building and Engineering Co., Blackwall, London. Gibson was admitted (1899) to Associate Membership of the Institution of Civil Engineers, London, and in that year he went to Shanghai, China, to work for S. C. Farnham and Co., where he was involved in shipbuilding and marine engineering generally.
Gibson came to Sydney in 1900, and started work as a fitter and turner at Mort's Dock and Engineering Co. In 1903, he was successful in gaining the post of Assistant Lecturer in Engineering Building and Design at the University of Sydney, and thereafter in 1910 was appointed Foundation Professor of Engineering in the University of Queensland. Gibson designed the engineering laboratories at the University.
He joined the Corps of Australian Engineers in 1904, and the Australian Intelligence Corps four years later, of which he was promoted to the rank of captain in 1910. Gibson returned to England briefly in 1917, where he worked with Professor Henry Egerton Barraclough (1871-1958) on the munitions scheme for the Commonwealth of Australia. Back in Australia in 1918, he was appointed Acting General Manager and Chief Engineer of the Australian Arsenal.
In 1919, Gibson resigned his University Chair to take an appointment as Superintendent of Construction at the Broken Hill Proprietary Co. Ltd. (steelworks), Newcastle. In 1922, he joined and became a partner of Julius and Poole. He retained his position as Senior Partner in the firm until 1951. Concurrently, he held varying committee positions concerned with technical education, including Bertram Stevens' Technical Education Commission, Chairman of the Advisory Council of Sydney Technical College, and he provided assistance to D. H. Drummond in formulating the Technical Education Act (1940).
Gibson was also engaged in political activity, especially in his role as President of the All for Australia League, whose aims and objectives were:"purging politics and called for unity; it [All for Australia League] attacked political parties and inept Parliaments" (Antill, J. M. (1981). 'Alexander James Gibson (1876-1960)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Vol. 8, 651). Ten year after his dismissal as Premier of New South Wales in 1932, Jack (John) Thomas Lang (1876-1975), characterised Gibson as "a sinister figure, who had sold out to Stevens at the price of becoming a consulting engineer to the government, and accussed him of having put the Government to unnecessary expenditure on Burrinjuck Dam (For a brief account of the controversies over the Burrinjuck Dam and the spill from the floods of 1925, see, Anderson and Cochrane (1989, 34-36).
The University of Queensland awarded Gibson an honorary M.E. (1919). He was the President of the Institution of Engineers, Australia (1932), and the P.N. Russell medalist (University of Sydney) .
John Max Sherrard (b. 1935).
Born on 18 May, 1935, Potts Point, Sydney, Sherrard attended Kensington Public School between 1941 and 1947 and Sydney High School, where he matriculated in 1952. He went to the University of Sydney and graduated with a B.E. (Civil Engineering) in 1956. His father, Howard Macoun Sherrard, an engineer and Commissioner of the New South Wales Department of Main Roads, encouraged his son to seek a career as an engineer.
After graduating from the University, Sherrard worked with the survey team and concrete controllers during the construction of Warragamba Dam. Eighteen months later, he left for England where he joined Ove Arup and Partners, working on, among other projects, concrete structural design for Imperial College, London. After 15 months, Sherrard left Ove Arup and travlled to Canada where he found employment with Zurich Consultants, Toronto, and then with Carruthers and Wallace, another Canadian firm. It was during his time at Carruthers and Wallace that gave Sherrard "confidence in structural design" (Anderson and Cochrane, p. 62).
Sherrard returned to Australia, via Japan, in 1961, to work for Macdonald Wagner and Priddle, Consulting Engineers on a range of structural work that was to include aircraft hangars, universities, factories, and the two thirty-storey Housing Commission flats at Waterloo, Sydney. He joined Julius Poole and Gibson in 1974.
Frank McClelland Matthews (B. 1930)
Born on 4 May at Hornsby, Sydney, Matthews attended Artarmon and Gordon primary schools, and North Sydney Technical High School where he gained his Leaving Certificate in 1947. He was, from a very young age, fascinated by the nature of electricity and electrical devices and by the time he was attending secondary school he had decided to pursue a career in electrical engineering.
In 1947, he joined the Maritime Services Board as a cadet engineer and concurrently enrolled in the Electrical Engineering Diploma at the Sydney Technical College, Ultimo. During his time at the Board, Matthews worked on electrical installations for dockyards, wharves, and ports. After graduating from the College, he joined the South Australian Mines Department, where he held the position of Assistant Electrical Engineer at Radium Hill, located 50 miles west of Broken Hill. Radium Hill was Australia's first uranium mine. Matthews supervised the construction, maintenance, and operation of all the electrical installations at the mine and in town.
While he was at Radium Hill, Matthews prepared himself for the Local Government Engineer's Certificate, which he obtained in 1953. Thereafter he joined the Ulan County Council in western New South Wales (a large area comprising many towns between Mudgee and Coonabarabran). Interestingly, Ulan County Council was, at that time, building a power station, which was to be the last Council-built power station to be erected before the Electricity Commission of New South Wales (as it was then named), took control of all power generation in New South Wales.
In 1955, Matthews joined Julius Poole and Gibson. He was appointed an Associate in 1963/4, a Partner in 1966, a Director in 1971, and Chairman of Directors in 1975.
The firm that would eventually evolve into Julius Poole & Gibson was begun by George Alfred Julius (1873-1946) who was born at Norwich, England but educated in Australia and New Zealand. After graduating in 1896 with a Bachelor of Science (Mechanical Engineering) degree from Canterbury College, University of New Zealand located in Christchurch, New Zealand, Julius moved to Western Australia where he worked as an assistant engineer with the Western Australian Railways. In 1906 Julius moved to Sydney and soon afterwards established himself as a part-time consulting engineer with Allen Taylor and Co., a firm of timber merchants, which also allowed him to undertake other commissions. This practice was the first of its type in Australia. Julius' engineering consultancy was originally located in the Equitable Building, 350 George Street, Sydney. His first commission was to investigate defective electrical and mechanical installations made by the Sydney Light and Power Scheme. He quickly developed a strong client base and the volume of work necessitated a move within a year to larger premises in Norwich Chambers, 58 Hunter Street, Sydney. By this time his practice also included an assistant engineer, two draftsmen and a secretary. In addition to his engineering consultancy work, Julius began work on an automatic totalisator machine, the first of which was installed at Ellerslie Park Racecourse in Auckland, New Zealand in 1913. In 1917 a public company, Automatic Totalisators Ltd, was formed to manufacture, install and operate the totalisators throughout the world. Later during the Great Depression, work on the totalisator helped Julius Poole & Gibson remain viable during this period of financial crisis.
By 1913, Julius' practice had again moved to more spacious accommodation at Culwulla Chambers, Castlereagh Street, Sydney, where it remained until 1971. Julius maintained many professional interests through bodies such as the Engineering Association of New South Wales, the Electrical Association of Australia, the Institution of Engineers, Australia, and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) of which he was Chairman from 1926 to 1945. He was knighted in 1929 primarily for his work with CSIR.
In 1914 George Julius accepted an engineer, William Poole (1868-1929), as a partner and the firm became known as Julius & Poole. Poole was mainly associated with the firm's civil and mining engineering activities. William Poole was born in Sydney and began his working career as a drafting cadet with the New South Wales Railways. In 1890 he completed formal requirements for his Bachelor of Engineering (Civil Engineering) degree at Sydney University, but because of the need to complete his matriculation examination before being admitted to the degree, it was only in 1900 that his degree was formally awarded. After leaving university, Poole qualified as a surveyor, working with the New South Wales Department of Water Conservation and Irrigation as an assistant engineer. In 1897 he was a member of Professor Tannatt William Edgeworth David's expedition to the Pacific island of Funafuti in Tuvalu to test Darwin's theory on the formation of coral atolls. This led to his admission as a Fellow of the Geological Society, London. Later he worked for Broken Hill Proprietary Co. Ltd (BHP) as an engineering supervisor at Broken Hill, New South Wales and as an assistant metallurgist and night superintendent at BHP's smelter works at Port Pirie, South Australia. Afterwards he was Director of the Queensland State School of Mines, Charters Towers, Queensland and then Director, School of Mines, Ballarat, Victoria.
The outbreak of World War 1 slowed the progress of the firm which by that time had a staff of six and it was not until 1922 that it began to expand once again. A new partner, Alexander James Gibson (1876-1960), joined the firm in January 1922 and from that date the business became known as Julius Poole & Gibson (JPG). Gibson had a long association with both George Julius and William Poole before joining the firm as a partner. He had been born and educated in England and had served his engineering apprenticeship with the Thames Iron Works, Ship Building and Engineering Co., Blackwall, London and in 1899 was made an Associate Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, London. He then moved to Shanghai, China, to work in shipbuilding and marine engineering. Gibson arrived in Sydney in 1900 and began work as a fitter and turner at Mort's Dock and Engineering Co. In 1903 he was appointed Assistant Lecturer in Engineering Building and Design at the University of Sydney, and in 1910 became Foundation Professor of Engineering at the University of Queensland. In 1919 Gibson resigned his Chair at the University of Queensland to become Superintendent of Construction at BHP's steelworks in Newcastle, New South Wales. In 1921 he was approached by the Municipal Council of Rockhampton, Queensland, to investigate the unsatisfactory water supply to that city and to recommend a suitable scheme. This led Gibson to collaborate with Julius & Poole and soon afterwards the formal partnership was formed.
From 1922 JPG was associated with some of the largest engineering projects in Australia, including the Rockhampton Water Supply Scheme, sugar mills for Australian Estates Ltd, the Burrinjuck Dam, and power generation schemes in New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania. From 1938 it became heavily involved in hospital building programs in New South Wales and Victoria, working initially with the Melbourne-based architectural firm of Stephenson & Turner but later with other major Australian architectural firms.
William Poole died in 1929 and from then until 1944 Julius and Gibson continued the practice as dual partners. By the end of World War II the firm employed 20 permanent staff members. However Sir George Julius was in poor health and Alexander Gibson was 68 years of age. Two new partners - Sir George's son Awdrey Julius, and Joseph Fry - were appointed to maintain the firm's momentum and they became the first of the second generation of partners. Sir George Julius retired in 1944 and died in 1946; Alexander Gibson retired in 1951 to become a consultant to the firm. On Gibson's retirement, Jim Loveday became the third partner and this situation continued until John (Jock) Tolerton was made a partner in 1957.
A Melbourne office was opened in 1949 and operated until 1966, initially working closely with Stephenson & Turner on hospital projects and later the firm of Bates, Smart & McCutcheon on office buildings. At its peak the Melbourne office had a permanent staff of 10.
JPG also undertook consultancy work on the construction of pharmaceutical laboratories and university buildings as well as government buildings in Canberra where for some years JPG maintained a permanent office.
One of the firm's highest profile projects was the Sydney Opera House. On 1 July 1963 JPG was appointed as secondary consultants for the general electrical services at the Opera House. When the Danish architect Jorn Utzon resigned from the project in 1966, JPG entered into a new agreement with the replacement architects, Peter Hall, Lionel Todd and David Littlemore.
On 4 January 1971 JPG became a proprietary company. Its Memorandum and Articles of Association stated that its principal business was that of consulting engineers, with their operations to cover all branches of engineering. In doing so they were to collaborate with architects, town planners, designers, and surveyors, and to prepare engineering designs. The change of status of the firm meant that partners now become directors. In that year the firm also relocated to the Sydney north shore suburb of St Leonards at 9 Atchison Street. Its offices were built in partnership with the architects Rudder Littlemore & Rudder.
In 1981 JPG merged with an engineering consultancy practice, T A Crowley and Associates, with that firm's principal, Theodore Crowley, becoming a director of JPG. In January 1984 JPG merged with a small mechanical engineering services firm, Anderson Cooney Associates, with Warwick Cooney becoming a director of JPG and Max Anderson a part-time consultant. In the late 1980s JPG entered a business partnership with the structural engineering firm of Bass Engineering, but this partnership was dissolved in 1993 when Bass Engineering declined to continue with structural work. Under a mutual agreement, Max Sherrard, a director of JPG since 1974, continued with structural work under the name Julius Poole and Gibson, Consulting Engineers. In 2007 Max Sherrard continues to work as Julius Poole and Gibson, Consulting Engineers, and operates his business from his home in the Sydney north shore suburb of North Turramurra.
Anderson, M. and Cochrane, P. (1989). Julius Poole & Gibson: the first eighty years from Tote to CAD. Sydney: Julius Poole and Gibson Pty Ltd, 1989
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Barrett, Desmond, "Drawn to engineering" Design Hub, http://www.dhub.org/articles/447 (Accessed 6 July 2007)
Conlon, Brian. "Automatic Totalisators Limited - later ATL", http://members.ozemail.com.au/~bconlon/atl.htm#atl, (Accessed 6 July 2007)
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