20th December 2023

Department of Commerce of USA, Special Consular report


In 1916 this report was released for the benefit of American manufacturers, giving them information about potential markets around the world. It included a list of Australian dealers and importers, “dry goods” stores and clothing factories. Two of these were Stainer & Co, Swanston Street, Melbourne, and J. F. Treadway & Co, Collingwood.

Stainer & Co, Swanston Street, Melbourne

In 1887 Tolhurst & Stainer (which had begun in 1882) became Stainer & Co, selling drapery, costumes, mantles and millinery.

Table Talk (Melbourne), 25th November 1887 page 5.

In 1892 they moved to Swanston Street, opposite St Paul’s Cathederal.

Melbourne Punch, 5th March 1896 page 13. “a most stylish costume … made of Amazon cloth and fancy velveteen”.

In 1926 they “gave up business”.


J. F. Treadway & Co

John Treadway

John Francis Treadway, the son of a “trimming manufacturer of London, arrived in Victoria around 1864. He opened his first drapery store in Smith Street, Collingwood, then a chain of 3 more stores. The first of these was “the Colosseum*” in Chapel Street, Prahran, in 1900 then Bourke Street in 1925 and finally Sydney Road, Brunswick in 1933. Mr Treadway had died of pneumonia in 1911, aged 64,  but his wife continued heading the firm. In 1935 a new Bourke Street store was built covering half an acre at nos. 202-212.

The Herald (Melbourne), 6th June 1935 page 42.

* This lead to a court case in 1910 against Julius Solomon, a draper in Geelong with Treadway claiming exclusive right to the title “Colosseum”. Solomon had called his store “The Colosseum” for “years”, and only used it on business stationary, not as a brand label. He pointed out that there were “probably many” so called stores in Victoria, and undertook not to sell items so marked.

The firm was in existence in 1953.

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