T H Longshaw collection




A collection of builders' hardware for doors, windows, curtains, blinds and other household uses acquired from the Longshaw family, Sydney locksmiths and hardware merchants trading as T H Longshaw for over 100 years. It comprises over 200 items including door locks, knobs, handles and fingerplates, curtain hooks, tassel hooks, curtain pole brackets and medallions, blind pulleys, sash lifts, picture hooks and cabinet and drawer handles. Also held in the collection is a small selection of business ephemera as well as trade catalogues used by the business and copy prints of the shop front (in various periods).

Thomas Henry Longshaw (c1873-1920) was born in Warrington in Lancashire, England and began working for a locksmith in Sydney in 1889. By 1894 he was manager of the City Locksmith Company of 279 Pitt Street, Sydney and three years later ran the business under his own name. Eventually Longshaw became so highly regarded in connection with locks and keys that it was a common cry in Sydney to 'send for Longshaw'. A 1910 advertisement describes T H Longshaw as "Practical locksmith... lock and key importer" who carried "full stocks of locksmith's materials." The collection most strongly represents the types of builders' hardware available in Australia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a period when designs were enormously varied and often highly decorative. Most of the material in the collection is comprised of either shop stock from this period or items purchased at auction in large lots by T H Longshaw. The business moved to 72 Goulburn Street around 1912 and remained there until 1989 before shifting to Campbell Street and then finally in 1995 the retail premises moved out of the city centre. Throughout this time, three generations of the Longshaw family ran the business. This collection of builders' hardware was acquired by the Historic Houses Trust in two lots just prior to the final two moves to new premises.

Item level entries can located in HHT Library Catalogue link provided above (search term: T H Longshaw)


Brasswork; Door fittings; Hardware; Locksmiths

T H Longshaw

Coverage Spatial

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Coverage Temporal



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2012-05-30 23:40