THE THOMAS WARBURTON HISTORY

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When Thomas Warburton arrived in Melbourne on New Year’s Day, 1853, he found little demand for his skills as a mechanical engineer. Luckily though, Warburton had set sail for Australia with his bride, Martha (Frost), an enterprising young woman who turned her hand to supplying the rising demand for tents among the inhabitants of growing Melbourne. Martha Warburton supported the household, often earning as much as one pound a day. Warburton was twenty-three, his new wife twenty-four, when they embarked on the Birmingham for their long voyage to Australia. He was a gifted engineer from Altrincham, near Manchester, and she from nearby Derbyshire.

Once settled in Melbourne, Warburton did not have to depend for long on his wife’s energies and ingenuity; he soon found work and entered a small business in partnership. The association was not successful, however, and was dissolved, with Martha Warburton announcing that from this point on there would be no partnerships with anyone except herself, and that remained so for the rest of their life together.

In 1853, Thomas Warburton began a small iron/zinc spouting and guttering works business in Little Bourke Street, Melbourne. This venture set the foundations of a business that formed the expanded wholesale engineering supplier, Thomas Warburton Pty. Ltd. In 1858, Thomas Warburton Pty. Ltd. moved to 384 Bourke Street, Melbourne where it remained for 108 years as one of the founding businesses of Melbourne.

Continued growth meant larger premises needed to be found. This led to a move to South Melbourne (or what is today referred to as Southbank) in 1965. During the period at South Melbourne, Thomas Warburton continued to expand significantly and was augmented with the acquisition of like minded businesses (Andrew Gaults, Kinik Australia, Bairnsdale Bearings). This growth, combined with the opening of additional branches once again led to the need for even larger building. In 1998, the company moved its head office and main warehouse to a location in Mulgrave.

In June 2003, Thomas Warburton was acquired by the Würth Group which enabled the company to continue its policy and hunger for expansion.

Effective from January 2011, Thomas Warburton Pty. Ltd. merged with EDL Fasteners Australia Pty. Ltd. to allow for further growth and greater exposure to eastern Australia. This merger brought together two companies with similar markets and a strong commitment to inventory holdings and systems, a broad range of products and associated knowledge for the industrial market.

Together, we are uniquely positioned to provide one of the most comprehensive product ranges, customised solutions and systems available. We are highly regarded for our extensive offering to industry including fasteners (our specialty), abrasives, chemical compounds, cutting tools, hand and power tools, metrology, materials handling, cleaning, safety products and welding.

Today, the Thomas Warburton Head Office is located in Dandenong South, Victoria. With even greater warehouse capacities than ever before, our brand new state of the art facilities will deliver logistic supply efficiencies well into the future.

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