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Thomas Warburton historical photo of original building at 384-386 Bourke Street, Melbourne

Since 1858 and
still leading the way

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.

Thomas Warburton historical photo of original building at 384-386 Bourke Street, 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.

Photos of Thomas Warburton and his wife Martha Warburton

Thomas Warburton

Martha Warburton

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 Melbourne's founding businesses.

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, a broad range of products and associated knowledge for the industrial supply chain market. This positioned Thomas Warburton with an even greater ability to provide one of the most comprehensive product ranges and customised inventory systems solutions available on the market.

 

Thomas Warburton customers, past and present, have highly regarded our extensive distribution offerings of fasteners, PPE and MRO consumables to the manufacturing and service industries.

 

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

Thomas Warburton Head Office

Timeline of major events – since 1858

1858

1867

1871

1868 – 1877

1896

1888 – 1897

1908

1908 – 1917

1944

1938 – 1947

1950

1948 – 1957

1964

1965

1973

1977

1987

1992

1993

1993

1996

1998

1998

1999

1999

1999

2002

2003

2005

2011

2011

2012

2012

2015

2017

2021

Company Started in Bourke Street, Melbourne, Australia by Thomas & Martha Warburton

Branch Office Opened in Levuka, Fiji by Thomas Warburton

Passing of Thomas Warburton Age 41 – Murdered during an uprising on his return journey to Melb. from Fiji

Business Continues run by Martha Warburton

Passing of Martha Warburton Age 67

Business Continues Purchased from her estate by her two sons, Thomas William & Alfred Warburton

Passing of Thomas W. Warburton (General Manager)

Business Continues with Alfred Warburton as General Manager

Passing of Alfred Warburton (General Manager)

Business Continues with Alfred Warburton’s second son, Tom Warburton, as General Manager

Passing of Tom Warburton (General Manager)

Business Continues passed onto Lynette Swan (nee Warburton), Chairman of the Company

Change of Management Adrian Swan (Lynette Warburton’s Husband) Manager Director

Company Moved from Bourke Street to 40 Kavanagh Street, South Melbourne, Victoria

Joint Venture Formed with Holokrome America

Computerized Records Installed 65,000 items transferred

Adrian Swan Retires Peter Swan (Adrian’s Son) appointed as new Managing Director

Accreditation under the Australian Standards ISO 9002:2004 Quality System

Eltham Branch Opens

Joint Venture Formed with Bairnsdale Bolts and Screws & Bairnsdale Bearings

Purchase of Companies Andrew Gault (Ballarat & Carnegie) & Kinik (Carnegie)

Head Office Relocates from South Melbourne to Dunlop Road Mulgrave, Australia

Purchase of Company Seward Nominees Kilsyth Australia then trading as Thomas Warburton

Andrew Gault & Kinik Move Re-locate to Mulgrave Office

Ballarat Name Change & Re-located to location in Alfredton

Sunshine Branch Opens located on Somerville Road

Eltham Branch Relocates and moved to Campbellfield & Kilsyth Branch relocated

Thomas Warburton Acquired Purchased by Würth International GmbH, Germany in June 2003

Dandenong Branch Opens located on Gippsland Highway

EDL Fasteners located in Eastern Creek, NSW, Coopers Plains, QLD and Thomastown, VIC merged with Thomas Warburton

Thomastown, VIC Branch merged with Campbellfield, VIC Branch

Eastern Creek, NSW Branch relocated to Campbelltown, New South Wales

Additional EDL Fasteners Branch Acquired located in Coopers Plains, Queensland

Head Office Relocates from Mulgrave to 481 Frankston Dandenong Road, Dandenong South, Victoria

Company replaces internal computer system with SAP, integrating Thomas Warburton into the Würth global ERP System enabling greater access to the global procurement of the Würth Group

Appointment of Ms Marilena Romano as Managing Director

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