Tuesday, January 30, 2007

John Mills Himself

John Mills was a successful Brisbane printer, who traded from Adelaide Street as Mills and Green, printers and stationers, in the early 1900's. After a dissolution of his partnership, from 1909 Mills was trading as John Mills Himself, hence the title on this building.

During the First World War his business expanded, with a warehouse established at Newstead. In 1919 he erected this premises at 40 Charlotte Street which was designed by Brisbane architect John Henry Burley of Queen Street. By the 1920s the business was well established, attracting clients such as Steele Rudd. After his death, the business was conducted by his sons, John and Sam, and remained in the family until the 1980s. Now it is the home of Archives Fine Books.

At least the building has retained part of its association with the printing business. If you are up for a good long browse, this location is an easy place to get lost in. As they promote, they claim to have 1,000,000 books. Selling predominantly second hand and antiquarian books they do have quite a vast catalogue. They can purchase and search for books worldwide on your behalf, and also do appraisal and repairs of books. I have had occasion to wander in and use serendipity myself!

Cheers, I Love Brisbane, Wes.

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2 comments:

Hamish said...

Hi Wes. It's the guy from Football Down Under.

I'm currently the owner of Archives Fine Books (not the building; the business), and am interested in the history of the building. Already it seems you know more about it than me. Would love to know where you got your info and whether there is any more. Do you have a reference for the Steele Rudd mention for example.

Cheers. Hope you'll be making it to the Australia vs Qatar game.

Martin Rooke said...

I worked in this building as an apprentice 'Hand and machine compositor' from 1969 (10 dollars a week!) to 1974. Sam Mills (son of John Mills) was running the business in those days. I thoroughly enjoyed my years there; printing then was the same as it was in the 1920's. Whenever I come to Brisbane (I now live in Holland) I drop in a have a look around. Hopefully the building won't change.