Wellington Province



Page 673

Ballinger, Thomas and Co., Limited [Thomas Ballinger, Managing Director; D. M. Fuller, Secretary]. Sanitary Plumbers, Gasfitters, Electric Light Installers and Fitters, Electric and other Bellfitters, Coppersmiths, and Manufacturers of Spouting, Ridging, Down-Piping, and every description of Sheet Metal Goods, Lead-Headed Nails and Fine Corrugated Iron: Empire Spouting and Ridging Manufactory and Curving Works, 33 Victoria Street, Wellington. Telegraphic address `Thomas Ballinger, Wellington.' Cable addresses, private through Reuter. Code, A.B.C, 4th edition. Telephone 197. P.O Box 324. Bankers: Bank of New South Wales. Private residence of managing director, Boulcott Street. This extensive business was established by Mr Thomas Ballinger in 1876, more than ten years before the land was reclaimed on which the present factory stands. The Company now carrying on the business was established in October 1893. The trade of the Company extends throughout the North and a considerable portion of the South Island. The imports are mainly from England, America and the Continent of Europe. The agencies of the firm include Paskinson's gas burners, Joynor and Co's gas fittings and Douglas's bath heaters. The bath heater is on the latest improved design, and Mr Ballinger confidentally recommends it as a cheap and particularly economical water heater. The premises of Messrs. Thomas Ballinger and Co, Ltd, are of concrete throughout. The frontage to Victoria Street is sixty feet by a depth of eighty. The floorage space is about 8000 square feet, a portion of the building being of two stories. This portion is used for the storage of stock of all kinds, most of the manufacturing being done on the ground floor. An exceedingly convenient travelling crane commands the length of the building, and delivers the heavy material alongside all the principal machines. The machinery in use for spouting and ridging is said to be the finest in the Colony, if not the colonies. The guillotine is a machine of immense power, capable of cutting sheets of iron seven feet long and up to an eighth-of-an-inch in thickness. For the manufacture of O. G. spouting two splendid machines are used. Though each is capable of all the operations needed, in practice it is found more convenient to use the lighter one to put on the beads, and the heavier machine for the other four operations, which, by the way, are done at one stroke. The great advantage of this machine is that all the spouting made from the same die is necessarily uniform, and may be matched at any time without the slightest difficulty, whereas great variation is almost unavoidable where the last four operations are performed separately. All the ridging is made with the lighter of these two machines. All these machines are driven by a Ramsbotham three cylinder water engine of three-and-a-half horse power which is a most economical engine. Similar engines may be procured from the firms, and they are highly recommended by all those who have tried them. The flattening, curving and blocking machines are all on a good scale; and the same may be said of the lead-headed nail plant. A very large trade is done in this line. There are also appliances for tinning and galvanising. One particular line for which this establishment is noted is a fine corrugated iron. The corrugations are astonishingly neat; and when painted, this iron looks like anything but what it is. In a country where the regulation style of corrugated iron is so excessively used, that no `get up' in the matter of painting can disguise it, it is a great boon to be able to get rid of the dulling effect of sameness without appreciably increasing the cost of the altered material. Electric light fitting is another speciality of the firm. Some of the best installations in the City have carried out by them, comprising jewellers', drapers', and butchers' shops, printing offices and private residences. Messrs. Thomas Ballinger and Co. are to be complimented on the progress they have made in this newly added branch of their business. Private electric lighting had hardly been started in Wellington when Mr Ballinger took steps to make himself master of its intricasies, and he has now a trained staff well qualified to undertake the work. That Messrs. Thomas Ballinger and Co. can execute electric light wiring and fitting at satisfactory prices is well known. They have recently secured the contract for the Exhibition, being the lowest among a number of well-known tenderers. At the Wellington Exhibition 1885, Mr Ballinger gained six first awards and the silver medal. Twenty or more hands are employed by Messrs Ballinger and Co. and their operations as to starting or dismissing are controlled by as electric bell. The business of the firm has gone on steadily increasing, and will no doubt continue to grow. The managing director, Mr Thomas Ballinger, thoroughly understands his business, and takes a wonderful interest in it both practically and theoretically. As proof of this it need only be mentioned that at the examinations of the Institute of the City and Guilds of London, 1894. Mr Ballinger gained first prize silver medal. Considering that this honour was striven for by no less than 1253 competitors, from all parts of the British Dominions, Mr Ballinger may fairly be said to have won honours for the Colony as well as himself. It is but reasonable that such a victory should have a powerful effect on the Company's business; for as everyone knows, plumbing, and especially sanitary plumbing, is a branch of trade that needs all the help from science - practical and theoretical - that can possibly be brought to its aid. Householders cannot, reasonably speaking, pay too much attention to the matter of absoltuely correct drainage. The following is a facsimile of certificate and medal gained by Mr Ballinger. At the time of writing Messrs. Thomas Ballinger and Co. are so thronged with work that only by the best of management can the needs of their customers be satisfied.

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