At 18 years of age, George Napier Birk obtained a position as a pharmaceutical apprentice with Mr F H Faulding in his chemist shop at 5 Rundle Street. After four years Birk moved to regional South Australia. In 1875 George’s brother, William Birk, took over a pharmacy business at 51 Rundle Street. The next year George returned to Adelaide and together they established a book and fancy goods business at 60 Rundle Street. The pharmacy then moved to this location.
Sadly, the partnership dissolved in 1894 and George set off to join ‘New Australia’, a Utopian community in Paraguay. William sold the business in 1906 to Mr Percy Rupert Robertson Magarey.