Book, 'Healing Yearbook', paper, published by A G Healing Ltd, Melbourne, Australia, 1936
The cycling year book is a rare survivor from the period when the popularity of bicycle racing was probably at its highest. It contains a wealth of information relating to the social history of cycle racing which would otherwise have been lost today as little has been written about this subject area in Australia.
A G Healing Ltd was founded by Alfred George Healing, who was born in Richmond, Victoria, in 1868. In 1898 Healing obtained the Victorian agency for the English "Haddon" bicycle and operated as A G Healing and Co. in a small factory and shop in Bridge Road, Richmond. Healing imported the bicycle parts and made up the bicycles though he is said to have made his own tyres. From 1899 to 1910 he was in partnership with E A Summers. The company took off after an error was made in the orders and the firm ended up with twice the number of bicycle parts and no finances to pay for them. To solve this Healing cycled all around Victoria selling the parts and found that there was a large market for bicycles. The business transferred to Melbourne in 1902 and in 1904 the partnership was dissolved and Summers took over their New Zealand branch office which Healing had previously established.
In 1912 the firm became a proprietory company, and Healing became the governing director in 1927. Alfred Healing's son, Keith joined the firm as an apprentice bicycle maker in 1921 in the family factory on the corner of Queensbury and Elizabeth Streets, Melbourne. The staff grew to about 50 and 25,000 bicycles were made per year at the peak of production. Branches were established in all states.
The firm diversified into importing and selling Atwater-Kent radios in 1933 however prohibition on imports saw the company making their own radios, learning as they went along. In 1956 the company formed an alliance with the American company, Dumont for the manufacture of televisions and moved into making washing machines under the brand name Thor and refrigerators under the name of Crosley.
By the 1950s the firm became more interested in making domestic appliances and sold the Healing bicycle division of the company in all states, including the manufacture and distribution, on the 14 August 1959 to the English company, General Accessories Pty Ltd.
Nothing is known about the provenance of this particular booklet. It was purchased at auction from the collection of Mr Jack Hepher. Mr Hepher was born in about 1915 and raced bicycles in the 1930s, competing six times in the famous Goulburn to Sydney race. He owned a bicycle shop at Campbelltown from the 1930s selling Carbine and later Speedwell bicycles. He sold his bicycle business in 1954 and in 1976 bought the Ye Olde Bicycle Shoppe in Bundanoon where he hired bicycles and restored pre 1940s bicycles. He has since retired to Mittagong and kept his collection of bicycles in a ecial garage/workshop next to his house. In 2003 an auction was held and most of his collection of over forty pre 1940s pedal bikes and cycling material was sold.