Alfred James Green Archive

These documents were donated to James Cook University Library Special Collections by Keith Green in September 1997. They relate to the early history of Delta Iron Works, Brandon, and complement the collection of other archival material from Delta Iron Works also held in Special Collections.

In his covering letter to this donation, Green describes the material in this way:
"Archival papers pertaining to Alfred James Green and the business enterprises conducted by him from 1896 to 1906 in Townsville and from 1906 in Brandon, in the Burdekin Delta."

Green’s Foundry
This was evidently a well thought of business capturing high profile contracts.  In their book, A Pattern of Pubs: Hotels of Townsville 1864-1914, Dorothy M and Bruce C Gibson-Wilde wrote of Buchanan’s Hotel, Sturt St, "The verandahs were wreathed in some of Australia’s finest iron lace manufactured by Green's Foundry of Townsville.’

Delta Iron Works
In 1899, Alfred James Green bought a Townsville business from W A Norris for £125. The Norris business had been running since at least 1896. A J Green operated this business in Townsville until 1906, when he moved to Brandon and established Delta Iron Works. In his letter of 25 September 1997, Keith Green wrote ‘The Brandon business has operated under several names and continues to operate at the time of writing as a foundry and engineering works, still under the ownership and management of descendants of A. J. Green."

Archive location: 460L–460R

Types of documents included in the archive
Accounts books (alternatively called debtors' registers) – Lists customers, work done and prices charged.
Time books – Work diaries in date order with names of persons working, work they accomplished and hours spent on each task for each day.
Order books – Records items ordered from suppliers; entries are in date order.
Duplicate Order books – Includes carbon copies of notes and letters written to suppliers as well as copies of orders.
Withdrawals from Stock books – Not all arranged in the same way. Includes information about items withdrawn, on what date, by whom and for which customer.
Stock book – Items in stock with quantity, names of suppliers, etc.
Monthly Balances Accounts book – In alphabetical order by customer.

Box notes
For each item in each box, a few entries have been listed with the intention of giving potential users of this archive some feel for the contents and assistance in choosing which items might be of interest to them.

Wrapped parcel 1
Accounts book (called debtors' register) 18 May 1898 – 4 April 1900

Customers listed include (some items billed to them included in brackets):

  • Hollis Hopkins
  • State School
  • Rooney & Co. (box shapes, repair rifle, lock spring) 
  • Innot Spa (pump plunger, gas engine slides)
  • J. Adams ( a number of small bicycle repairs)
  • Bulletin (new rollers, repairs)
  • Burns Philp (winches, pulleys, electric light pins)
  • Adelaide Steamship Company (new portholes)
  • Inspector of Weights &  Measures (adjustments)
  • Townsville Brewery (tanks, piping, weigh bridge).

Box 1
Accounts book 1896 – 1899
Work listed includes bicycle repairs and supplying spare parts for bicycles. Note under letter T, ‘started in Townsville 23 – 1899’.

Accounts book 1906 -1911
This is described in Keith Green’s letter of 25 September 1997 as ‘possibly the first account book used in the Brandon business.’

Records accounts for approximately 140 customers including, for example:

  •  Pioneer Mills (sometimes listed as Drysdale Bros & Coy) accounts for, e.g., bolts, washers, flanges, valves
  • Smellies & Co. for, e.g., holding-down bolts, repairs stoves, brass plough casting
  • Johnson Clothing for, e.g., repair safe, repair cash register, repair to steam engine
  • Ayr Butter Factory for, e.g., repair engine, pulleys
  • Bulletin for, e.g., new piston, moulder shovel
  • Burns Philp for, e.g., steam piping
  • J. Brown (blacksmith) for iron and coal
  • Central Hotel (listed under Miscellaneous) cork pullers
  • Kalamia is also a significant customer.

Time book Monday 1 November 1909 – 31 October 1911
Number of men working, including A. J. Green, was often 4 or 5 but was 11 during parts of November 1909.  Typical work hours were 8.75 per day, 4.25 on Saturdays; no Sunday work is recorded;  9.75 hours is commonly recorded.  Names frequently listed include, C. Hope, R. M. Neill, J. Gaynor, and R. Conn.  Sometimes there is a note, ‘sick,’ under a name and on one occasion "Accident".

Time book Friday 1 October 1907 – Saturday 30 October 1909
Numbers of workers range from 4 to 12. Frequent names are E. Bray, P. Mee, J. Gaynor, J. Stevenson. Holidays are noted under some names. Time taken setting up jobs and cleaning the shop are noted.

Box 2
Withdrawal from Stock book 1910 – 1916
Items listed under customer with name of person withdrawing item recorded. Each entry has been ticked with a blue pencil (after transfer to accounts book perhaps?) Includes much work for Pioneer. Items withdrawn include, e.g., copper, tin (details specified, thickness?), drills, saw blades, nails.

Withdrawal from Stock book April 1923 – November 1925
Items listed include, for example:

  • Kalamia Estates 4/6” lead plugs
  • Kelly, G. E. 2/4 and a half bolts
  • Green, W. H. 1/6 – 8v SC Bulb

Time book 1913 – 1915
Not examined because of fragility, most pages in pieces. Should only be used by someone willing to undertake conservation work.

Time book April 1914 – October 1915
Records include:

  • 6 July 1914, A. V. Smith, J. Handder [?] and M. Pott ‘at Frith’s irrigation plant’ 8.75 hours each
  • 8 August 1914, H. Burchill, R. Avery and H. Clarke ‘at W. McKenzies fitting up pump’ 8.25 hours each
  • 14 December 1914, L. McNeall ‘assist to weigh up and cast’

By October 1915 usual hours have become 8 hours weekdays and 4 hours Saturdays.

Dunlop Account Sales book

  • Little used and undated, list of supply of tyres and tubes.

Box 3
Order book April 1912 – October 1920
Details of orders to suppliers, listed in date order with details of items ordered and price. Suppliers and goods ordered include:

  • A. Shaw, 2 pigs lead, 3 April 1912
  • T. Willmett & Sons, various items of stationery
  • Smellie and Co., various items
  • Vacuum Oil Co., Plume motor oil, September 1918.

Order book October 1920 – January 1923
Details of orders to suppliers, listed in date order with details of items ordered and price.  Goods ordered include:

  • 20 ingots copper, January 1922
  • 2 oxygen cylinders, January 1922
  • 1 crate straw
  • November 1922 from McPhersons of Melbourne, various sizes of drills.

‘Railage’ is often included as a separate item. Smellie & Co. offered 10% discount on some accounts.

Order book February 1923 – August 1924
Orders placed include:

  • Burns Philp & Co., steam piping (and railage) February 1923
  • Queensland Motors, Brisbane, crown wheels, brake shoes, bolts, bushes, sockets, springs, keys, gaskets, etc.
  • Samuel Allen & Sons, 40 bags cement, August 1924.

Monthly balance accounts book 1912 - 1920

  • Listed under clients.

Box 4
Duplicate Order book 12 September 1923 - 12 January 1924
Alphabetical supplier list inside back cover. Includes correspondence to suppliers, and notes in A. J. Green’s hand including, for example:

  • Note about sealing indentures (suggests that he had apprentice/s)
  • Supply and install a Fordson machine
  • Dealing with Connolly Suthers re an overdue account with C. E. Bennet
  • Hodel, Melbourne and Hearn of Ayr
  • Item no 14 -12 September 1923 A. J. Green wrote to Simpson Motor company in response to their request to act as agents for motor bike sales, “the business forcing us to almost treble during the past few years has made a heavy toll on our resources."
  • Item no 97 to NQ Newspapers, Townsville, ordering insertion of an advertisement, "Wanted experienced Turner, apply Delta Iron Works  Brandon."

Duplicate Order Book 19 April 1924 – 20 August 1924
204 letters and entries including:
Item 31 to the Australian Sugar Co. Journal about confusion of different entities, Delta Iron Works and Green Bros.

Duplicate Order book 28 August 1924 – 5 February 1925
202 letters and entries including, for example:

  • Item 180 to Haughton Sugar Co. includes quotes for cane trucks
  • Item 177 about poor quality of work done for Delta Iron Works on an Enfield Gear by Hardurus & Sons, Sydney
  • Item 179 is a reply to the Shire of Ayr offering to sell Delta Iron Works electric power.

Duplicate Order book 5 February 1925 – 8 June 1925
204 letters and entries including:

  • Recommendation on behalf of Les Phillips (boilermaker's assistant) who had been working with Delta Iron Works for some time
  • Correspondence with Cathcart & Ritchie about provision of ingot tin
  • Items 17, 18, 19 and 20 are orders for timber from different Townsville suppliers, Chapman, Hyne, Hart and Wight
  • Item 23 - Correspondence about first-class railway tickets to Townsville by a lady patient and her companion. She was too sick to travel and travelled at a later date. Refund on unused tickets requested.
  • Item 25 - Returning empty oxygen cylinders to Queensland Oxygen Ltd.

Box 5
Accounts book 1911 – 1915
Accounts in alphabetical order by customer, itemised with date.
Customers include: Ayr Shire Council; W. Ching Do; Mrs A. Bannister; J. Kelly; Alfred Shaw & Co.; Kalamia Estate; T. Radcliffe; Pioneer; Inkerman.
Work done includes: many small jobs; maintenance and repair work; ‘turn piston rings for oil engine’; ‘take old needle valve out of vaporiser, turn and fit a new one’; sharpen steel plough disc; supplying cane truck.

Withdrawal from Stock book 1928 - ?
3 pages of notes dated 1924 about jobs done or to be done; stock withdrawal, arranged alphabetically by type of material, e.g., Wax Core Wire, Pipe fittings, Carburettors, Ford Parts (subdivided into axle gear, spring gear, etc.), Cane Hoist Gear.

Stock book 1922/23
List of items in stock, arranged alphabetically by item with each entry having information about supplier, quantity, price, etc.  Items include, for example:

  • Iron obtained from A. Shaw, J. E.Kelly, Smellie & Co., Cathcart & Ritchie
  • ‘Hardwood (timber for construction of cane trucks)’ Rooneys Ltd.

Time book November 1911 – January 1913
Date order listing of men working, tasks undertaken and hours worked including, for example:

  • Plough casting
  • Work in the moulding shop
  • Unloading coal
  • Preparing brass furnace
  • Making pipes
  • Tuesday 2 July 1912 A. V. Smith - "Out to Mckenzies, too wet to work, returned straight away and assisted with moulding"
  • Thursday 11 April 1912, C. MacKennoth -"looking for horse."

Five, six or seven men, including A. J. Green, worked each day.