Family Names

Friday, 12 August 2016

The Working Life Of Walter Todman

This is my contribution to the National Family History Month Blogging Challenge for Week Two.
The Challenges that Walter Todman faced in his occupation as a motor mechanic were many. He and his family moved around a lot until he established a business in Chapel Street in 1897. The family lived behind the shop.
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Figure 1 Advertising (1897, December 24). Jewish Herald (Vic. : 1879 - 1920), , p. 13. Retrieved August 12, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article147278228

From 1898 onwards we see him advertising for Staff as the business grows
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Figure 2 Advertising (1899, October 23). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), , p. 3. Retrieved August 12, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article188653927

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Figure 3 Advertising (1901, April 16). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), , p. 9. Retrieved August 12, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article196061341
Employing staff however brought on responsibilities. Times were difficult and chasing unpaid debts must have been difficult and we see him in court on the Civil List of the Prahran Police Court chasing unpaid debts
“Walter Todman v, A. Johnson, work and labour, £2. order with 5s. Costs”[1]
Walter’s passion however was for inventing things, before he got married he registered patents in NSW including one for the improvement of shearing equipment.[2] He was also a pioneer in new and emerging forms of transportation. He was involved in designing oversized skates for getting around in 1901 before the car became the major force that we know of today.

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Figure 4 Cycling notes. (1901, September 19). Punch (Melbourne, Vic. : 1900 - 1918; 1925), , p. 26. Retrieved August 12, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article175389085

However tragedy hit both his business and family life in the matter month. His youngest child, “Little Lottie” died, just a month after a fierce northerly gales broke a large and expensive plate glass window in his garage.[3]
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Figure 5 Family Notices (1909, January 9). Malvern Standard (Vic. : 1906 - 1931), , p. 3. Retrieved August 12, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66383631

The world must have seemed as though it was becoming a hostile place. In 1910 there was much animosity against the car as it became the dominate form of transportation. Walter had expanded the business and was now situated at 476, 478. 480 Chapel St., Sth. Yarra.[4]
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Figure 6 MOTORS AND MOTORING (1910, April 23). Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1862 - 1918), , p. 20. Retrieved August 12, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article196486952

While all this was going Walter became insolvent.
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Figure 7 "Victoria Government Gazette – Online Archive – 1910, P5540". 2016. Gazette.Slv.Vic.Gov.Au. Accessed August 12 2016. http://gazette.slv.vic.gov.au/view.cgi?year=1910&class=general&page_num=5540&state=V&classNum=G159&searchCode=2959255

Not deterred however Walter appears to have been able to carry on his business and 3 Cato Street, in Prahran in 1821.[5] By 1823 he was back to inventing and involved invention of a steam driven car.[6] However everything must have taken his toll as by 1925 we see him organising to retire from business.
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Figure 8 Advertising (1925, May 4). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), , p. 2. Retrieved August 12, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article155754114

Walter was working in a field that was changing rapidly and at the edge of technology, he showed fortitude and tenacity and it to be much admired and I have only scratched the surface of his life.

Sources
Advertising (1910, July 9). Advocate (Melbourne, Vic. : 1868 - 1954), , p. 41. Retrieved August 12, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article170914859
Ancestry.com. New South Wales, Australia, Government Gazettes, 1853-1899 [database on-line]. Page 2675 Year 1889 April - June Entry # 162 W.Todman (Image 237 of 2092). Original data: New South Wales Government Gazette. Assorted volumes, 1853–1899. Sydney, Australia: New South Wales State Records Authority, 1853-1899.
Family Notices (1909, January 9). Malvern Standard (Vic. : 1906 - 1931), , p. 3. Retrieved August 12, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66383631; FIERCE NORTHERLY CALE. DAMAGE IN THE SUBURBS. (1909, November 22). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), , p. 7. Retrieved August 12, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article10748974
PIONEER MOTORING. (1923, July 14). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), , p. 6. Retrieved August 12, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2005084
PRAHRAN POLICE COURT (1899, April 22).The Prahran Telegraph (Vic. : 1889 - 1930), , p. 6. Retrieved August 12, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article144636088
Victorian Land Title, Vol 1917 Folio 256.Walter Todman, 1921
Images
Figure 1 Advertising (1897, December 24). Jewish Herald (Vic. : 1879 - 1920), , p. 13. Retrieved August 12, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article147278228
Figure 2 Advertising (1899, October 23). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), , p. 3. Retrieved August 12, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article188653927
Figure 3 Advertising (1901, April 16). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), , p. 9. Retrieved August 12, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article196061341
Figure 4 Cycling notes. (1901, September 19). Punch (Melbourne, Vic. : 1900 - 1918; 1925), , p. 26. Retrieved August 12, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article175389085
Figure 5 Family Notices (1909, January 9). Malvern Standard (Vic. : 1906 - 1931), , p. 3. Retrieved August 12, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66383631
Figure 6 MOTORS AND MOTORING (1910, April 23). Leader (Melbourne, Vic. : 1862 - 1918), , p. 20. Retrieved August 12, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article196486952
Figure 7 "Victoria Government Gazette – Online Archive – 1910, P5540". 2016. Gazette.Slv.Vic.Gov.Au. Accessed August 12 2016. http://gazette.slv.vic.gov.au/view.cgi?year=1910&class=general&page_num=5540&state=V&classNum=G159&searchCode=2959255
Figure 8 Advertising (1925, May 4). The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), , p. 2. Retrieved August 12, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article155754114

[1] PRAHRAN POLICE COURT (1899, April 22).The Prahran Telegraph (Vic. : 1889 - 1930), , p. 6. Retrieved August 12, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article144636088
[2] Ancestry.com. New South Wales, Australia, Government Gazettes, 1853-1899 [database on-line]. Page 2675 Year 1889 April - June Entry # 162 W.Todman (Image 237 of 2092).  Original data: New South Wales Government Gazette. Assorted volumes, 1853–1899. Sydney, Australia: New South Wales State Records Authority, 1853-1899.
[3] Family Notices (1909, January 9). Malvern Standard (Vic. : 1906 - 1931), , p. 3. Retrieved August 12, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66383631; FIERCE NORTHERLY CALE. DAMAGE IN THE SUBURBS. (1909, November 22). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), , p. 7. Retrieved August 12, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article10748974
[4] Advertising (1910, July 9). Advocate (Melbourne, Vic. : 1868 - 1954), , p. 41. Retrieved August 12, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article170914859
[5] Victorian Land Title, Vol 1917 Folio 256.Walter Todman, 1921
[6] PIONEER MOTORING. (1923, July 14). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), , p. 6. Retrieved August 12, 2016, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article2005084

2 comments:

  1. How wonderful to find out that your ancestor was an inventor with registered patents. I didn't realize how cranky people were about cars in the early days. What would they think of them today I wonder? Have all their fears come to fruition?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I had no idea cars were so reviled either! Walter was certainly innovative so I'm sure you will find many more interesting things about him.

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