CYCLOPEDIA OF NZ 1897
Mr. James Muir, Working Manager of the Masterton Blacksmith and Wheelwright Company, is a native of Wellington, where he was apprenticed to Mr. J. Fitchett, completing his term in 1868, after which he worked with Mr. Black, now Rouse and Hurrell, and subsequently at Blenheim. The business so long conducted by him in Masterton was founded by Mr. Gray in 1865, as a blacksmith's shop. Mr. Muir established the first coach factory in Masterton in 1870, and subsequently, in co-partnership with Mr. Ross, added the business of engineers. Mr. Muir sold the business to the company of which he is now working manager, as from the 1st of August, 1896. He is the inventor and patentee of the `Zealandia' and `Cockatoo' wool presses, which are made under contract by the Masterton Blacksmith and Wheelwright Company. The `Zealandia' (a picture of which appears herein) has a splendid record. It was patented in 1890 and since that time between three and four hundred have been sold. It is worked with levers and ratchet bar; the levers are very powerful, being capable of exerting a pressure of six tons. The Zealandia is also very speedy, for in fifteen minutes two capable men can easily turn out a bale fully pressed. The employment of an extra man results in a saving of one-third of the time. This press is a very cheap one, the price being only £18. It occupies but little floor space, and requires no expensive scaffolding. Mr. Muir has received many testimonials as to the efficiency of this popular press, among others being Mr. Fredk. W. Hales, of Flat Point; Messrs. M. Caselberg and Co., of Masterton; Mr. John Cameron, of Opaki; Mr. Edwin Meredith, of Riversdale; Mr. William Booth, of Carterton; Mr. Charles J. Tully, of Table Lands; Messrs. Bidwell Bros. of Pahiatua; Mr. H. D. Crawford, of Mirimar; [sic] and Messrs. Nelson Bros., Limited, of Tomoana, H.B. The Zealandia is fit for work in the largest sheds; the Cockatoo is designed to meet the requirements of farmers and small holders. It is cheap (costing only £12), strong, reliable, and easily worked, and served the purpose for which it is intended. Mr. W. H. de Lisle, of Masterton, states that his storeman has pressed over 300 bales within two months in a most satisfatory manner. Mr. Muir has, notwithstanding the claims of his business, found time for public duties. For six years he served in the Borough Council, acted as captain of the Fire Brigade for seven or eight years, was a member of the Town Lands Trust, and sat on the School Committee.
`Zealandia' Wool Press, patented by Mr. J. Muir
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