8th May 2023

Arthur James Parkes

CityRail buttons (1989-2003): backmarked AJ Parkes

Arthur Parkes was born in West Bromich, which is only 10.5 kilometres from Birmingham. Here is the exert of the 1851 census listing Arthur, his parents and baby sister.

Sometime between 1873 and 1876 the family moved to Lodge road, Birmingham. In the 1861 census, three more siblings have been born. Arthur, aged 13, is listed as a scholar. He was apprenticed as a die-sinker to the Royal Mint in London in the 1880s. In 1889 he travelled to Australia in the ship Ormuz. His family stayed in England, so I wonder what prompted him to sail around the world to start a new life in Brisbane.

Arthur sold the firm in 1941 to Eric Faux. The new owner kept the name of the business, as this advertisment from 1954 shows:

The Courier-Mail (Brisbane), 10th April 1953, page 11.

The company is still in business, making badges, medallions and other items. It is now located in Salisbury, Queensland.

Examples of the firms work exist in many museum collections. See trove for examples: https://trove.nla.gov.au/search/category/images?keyword=%22A%20J%20Parkes%22

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