South Australia's Glass Merchant: Clarkson Limited

135-139 Rundle Mall was once the home of a well-known South Australian glass merchant business, Clarkson Limited. The business's showrooms were opened here in December 1932.

In 1848, German migrant Heinrich Ludwig Vosz arrived in the Colony of South Australia. Three years later, Vosz, like many South Australian men, left to try his luck in Victoria's goldfields. He returned a few years later, and with his new found funds established a glass, oil and colour business at 82 Rundle Street. Vosz was one of the earliest importers of plate glass in South Australia.

Following Vosz's death in 1886, the business was continued by several owners. In 1915, it was renamed Clarkson Limited, after the company's managing director at the time, A.E. Clarkson.   

In 1899, a leadlight and stained glass department was established as part of the business. By the 1920s, 26 staff were employed in the department, along with two artists who designed new stained glass windows. The company quickly became the leading stained glass manufacturer in the state. Clarkson Limited became the Australian agent for the iconic British company, William Morris & Co.

Clarkson Limited remained in this location until 1958, when the building was purchased by the Commonwealth Savings Bank of Australia. The leadlight and stained glass department closed two years later in 1960.

Images

The former showrooms of Clarkson Limited, now part of Rundle Mall.

The former showrooms of Clarkson Limited, now part of Rundle Mall.

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Access Information:

A number of retail businesses now occupy this building, which are open to the public during regular business hours.

Street Address:

135-139 Rundle Mall, Adelaide [map]

Cite this Page:

Natalie Carfora, “South Australia's Glass Merchant: Clarkson Limited,” Adelaide City Explorer, accessed March 30, 2017, http://adelaidecityexplorer.com.au/items/show/200.

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