While it was a hub of much early industrial activity, the attribution of businesses to specific sites along The Crescent is difficult as relevant entries in Sands are seldom numbered and many premises are now gone. Further, the Johnston Creek estuary was not yet completely filled until the 1930’s and many of the addresses recorded in Sands are, or are adjacent to, named wharves located on the estuary.
Probably the earliest industrial activity in Annandale, other than early 19th century quarrying and clay pits, was conducted adjacent to Rozelle Bay in the vicinity of the Crescent by The Sydney Salting Company which operated from the 1840’s and leased a large site fronting Rozelle Bay from the Johnston family*. It probably salted hides sourced from the nearby Glebe Island Abattoirs.
In the 1870’s the family leased a smaller site near Rozelle Bay to “Eisenstadter’s Tin Smelting Works”, later known as The Chemical Copper Works.** Another early occupant of land near the end of Johnston Street, on approximately the site of the current timber yard, was the Cowan & Israel candle and soap factory***.
By the early 20th century several large concerns occupied the northern side of the Crescent. To east of Johnston Street they included Langdon & Langdon’s motor garage, Langdon’s wharf, AN Thomson & Co. cabinet makers, the OH Elliott furniture factory and Turner & Loveridge, builders. Rozelle Bay to the west of Johnston street was occupied by Fuller & Sons Wharf, a coal wharf and depot and the Union Box Co’s timber yard. Most signs of this activity have been obliterated by land clearance to accommodate the goods rail line constructed in the 1920’s, land clearance to expand Jubilee Park and the widening of the Crescent, including in association with the current WestConnex development. What little remains is described below.
*See AURA, Journal 1 at page 13.
**LHJ Vol 2 page 26. A photograph of Rozelle Bay depicting the smelting works and soap factory can be found in AURA, Journal 1 at page 20.
***For a picture of the factory see LHJ Vol 4 page 19 and Vol 9 page 9. See also AURA, Journal 1 at page 17.
This modern building may stand on the 1930’s site of Elliott’s OH Ltd furniture factory or Murray Bros. storage yard.
This building, which may have dated from the 1920’s or 30’s, was demolished in November 2020 just after this picture was taken. It may have housed the WJ&R Joinery Works or one of Langdon & Langdon’s timber businesses that once operated to the east of Johnston Street.
No. 15 NE Cnr Chapman Road
This site, on the corner of Chapman Road, was probably occupied by one of the various business operated by Langdon & Langdon in the 1920’s and 30’s. Some of the suburb’s earliest industrial activity in the form of the Cowan & Israel candle and soap factory operated on or very close to this site in the mid 19th century.