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.
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 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.
Timeline of major events – since 1858
1868 – 1877
1888 – 1897
1908 – 1917
1938 – 1947
1948 – 1957
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