Trowel used in a ceremonial laying of the first brick for Building 4 at the Kodak Australasia Pty Ltd factory in Abbotsford, 30 April 1928.

It was presented to Miss B Kingston, who laid the first brick in the ceremony to mark the construction of Building 4. Miss Kingston is thought to have been secretary to one of the directors of Kodak Australasia Pty Ltd, possibly Mr Thomas Baker. A series of six photographs in the Kodak Heritage Collection documents the event.

During the first few decades of the 20th century, the factory rapidly expanded with many new buildings added to the factory site. A 1956 site plan shows that by then there were over 30 buildings. Building 4 was a small building close to the earliest factory buildings, but it is unclear what it was used for.

The trowel was donated to the Kodak Heritage Collection by the grandson of another Kodak employee, James Gault, who was a good friend of Miss B Kingston. At some point she had passed the trowel on to Mr Gault.

James Gault was originally a photographic artist who later worked in various positions with Kodak, probably from about the early 20th century until about 1941, when he left to start a business with his son Robert who was an electrical engineer. He was held in good regard by the company. In 1913 he was rewarded 1 pound for an innovation to stop machinery in the case of an accident, to make the factory safer. Mr Gault and his son were invited to a lunch with the managing director Edgar Rouse in December 1941, to wish them good luck in their new endeavour on behalf of the company directors. In 1928, along with 9 other senior staff, Mr Gault was left 300 pounds by Kodak managing director Thomas Baker after he died. Kodak workers of more than eight years service were all provided for in Mr Baker's will, with most staff receiving from 40 to 200 pounds. James Gault's many years of service and the esteem he was held in by Thomas Baker no doubt contributed to the generous legacy that he received.

Description of Content

Interior photograph of workers inside a factory. Men and women are shown, with the women lined up on the right hand side of a long piece of equipment, perhaps containing sinks, with a man looking over a low wall on the left side of the space. The interior is brick, and there is a mezzanine at the back of the space. There are various pipes, wooden barrels and crates in the space, with racking on the right hand side.

Physical Description

Silver metal trowel with wooden handle. It is inscribed on top of the blade.

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