John Nelson was a Scot who operated the brickworks at Benhar, Otago, New Zealand. In 1864, Nelson opened the Benhar Coal Company. He produced brick etc on the site from 1876 until 1892 – 1893 when the business was sold to Peter McSkimming, a fellow Scot. Peter McSkimming and his son Peter McNish McSkimming, worked…
13/11/1849 – Greenock Advertiser – Marriages – At Braeside Cottage, Rothesay on the 6th, by the Rev Thomas Neilson, Mr Thomas Todd of Kilchattan Tile Works to Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Mr Robert Wright, Merchant, Rothesay.
21/05/1853 – London Evening Standard – Scottish sequestration – Adam Brown Todd, Kilchattan, Buteshire, brick and tile manufacturer. May 28th and June 18th at 1 o’clock at the Dumfries Arms Inn, Old Cummnock.
25/05/1853 – Dundee Courier – Sequestrations – Adam Brown Todd, brick and tile manufacturer, Kilchattan, County of Bute and at Wellhill in the parish of New Cumnock and County of Ayr.
23/05/1853 – Bells Weekly Messenger – Scottish sequestration – A.B Todd, Kilchattan, Buteshire – brick and tile manufacturer.
1864 – Thomas Todd and family emigrate to New Zealand
1879 – Thomas Todd and Sons, (Thomas Todd, John Cumming Todd, Robert Wright Todd, and Thomas Todd, junior), Brick and Tile Manufacturers, Waikiwi. Messrs Thomas Todd and Sons’ business was established in 1879, at One Tree Point, near Woodlands, and was removed to Waikiwi in 1891. The property consists of forty-five acres of land, and there is a large brick-drying shed, besides two kilns for tiles and pipes, and two brick kilns. Twelve men are employed at the works. The firm supplies the borough of Invercargill with drain pipes, and produces a very large number of pipes for agricultural purposes.
MR. Thomas Todd , the Founder of the firm, was born on the 28th of August, 1823, in Ayrshire, Scotland, where he was brought up to the tile-making business from the age of thirteen. He afterwards became manager of the Marquis of Bute’s tileworks, and then worked for a time in Dumfries-shire. Later on, he emigrated to Canada, where he was employed on the railways for five years, and also worked for a time at the limestone quarries, near Victoria Bridge. Having returned to Scotland, he again worked at tile-making, until he left for New Zealand. Mr Todd arrived at Port Chalmers by the ship “Amelia Mitchell.” He was employed, by Mr J. H. Lambert, in Dunedin, for some years.
James Halls Lambert – Pipe and Pottery Manufacturer, Kensington and North East Valley, Dunedin. Telephone, 196. Bankers, Bank of New Zealand. Private residence, Kensington. It was in December, 1892, that this large manufacturing business was formed at North East Valley by its present owner, to whose enterprise, energy and experience the success achieved is attributable. Until 1888 Mr. Lambert conducted his business at North East Valley, where he has an acre of land, and the usual sheds and appliances for the manufacture of common drain pipes, flower pots, &c. In that year the new works at Kensington, which had been conducted by Mr. W. W. White since 1876, were purchased. They are situated on leasehold land—part of the Caledonian Society’s grounds. There are two large permanent kilns which are stoked all round with ten fire holes, and the cost of erection was about £440 each. There is also an ordinary circular down draught kiln, which cost £150. A ten horse power horizontal steam engine drives the pottery wheels, of which there are three. The pipe making machine and the clay grinding appliance for preparing fine clay for bottle making are also driven by the engine. Mr. Lambert has held contracts for many years for supplying acid bottles to the New Zealand Drug Company. The leading lines manufactured at these very complete works are demijohns, glazed pipes—mostly two feet lengths and from two inches to eighteen inches in diameter—butter crocks, limestone filters, chimney pots, garden vases, border tiles, Buchan, Gully, and a variety of other traps, &c., &c. Mr. Lambert comes of a family who were before him engaged in the pipe making industry, his father and grandfather having been in that business. He was born in Northamptonshire, England, in 1834, learned the business in Bedfordshire, and landed at Sydney in 1859; after two or three years’ experience as a brick-maker in the Colonies of Victoria and New South Wales, he crossed over to Dunedin and started in 1862. Mr. Lambert was for nine years a member of the North East Valley Borough Council. In 1869 he was married to a daughter of an old settler—Mr. John Duncan, of North East Valley—and has three sons and four daughters surviving.
TODD then moved to Southland in 1878. Mr Todd was a member of the Oteramika Road Board for eleven years and of the One Tree Point school committee for ten years. He was married, in 1849, to a daughter of the late Mr Robert Wright, of Rothesay, and has seven sons, five daughters, and twenty-two grandchildren.
Below – 13/05/1882 – Southland Times – The benedicts’ ball, held on the 4th inst., proved a brilliant success. It took place in the town hall, which was taxed to its utmost capacity, nearly eighty couples taking the floor at times.
The weather continues fine, and the paddocks are now beginning to put on their spring jackets. The grass has made considerable progress, and if we were only to get a shower of rain at nights, so as not to interfere with work during the day, oar happiness would be complete. Dr. Todd, who was on his way north when he was invited to practice his profession here, accepted the invitation, and has taken up his abode amongst us. He is a son of Mr Thos. Todd of the Waikiwi brick and tile works. The position he has taken up is apparently a coveted one, for we have been inundated with inquiries from doctors anxious to settle here.
Below – 22/04/1937 – Dundee Evening Telegraph – Mr Nathan Cosh, Farmer, Invercargill, New Zealand dies. …..eight years ago he received the appointment of manager at Todd & Sons and McSkimming & Sons, brick and tile works, Waikiwi.
Below – These TODD marked fire bricks are believed to be products from the Waikiwi Brick and Tile Works.
Photo courtesy of Underground Overground Archaeology Ltd, New Zealand.