Sharpe Bros.

1903 - 1981
John Sharpe established his aerated water business in Dunedin in 1903 and steadily grew the company by establishing branches at various locations throughout New Zealand. The following is a chronology of Sharpe Bros. factories in New Zealand:

bottle pic 1903: Dunedin

1904: Christchurch

1905: Auckland, Wellington

1906: Invercargill, Kaitangata, Paeroa, Palmerston North, Timaru, Waihi

1908: Thames

1913: Levin, Wanganui

1915: Hastings

1917: Rangiora

1919: Hamilton, Hawera

1921: Lower Hutt

1922: Ashburton, Oamaru, Pukekohe

1923/4: Nelson

bottle pic Expansion occurred throughout Australia as well, with the first of 27 branches being opened in Sydney in 1905

The Palmerston North branch of Sharpe Bros. remained operating until 1981, while in Australia, the Sydney branch closed in 1972.

In 1903 John Sharpe wrote to Luke Adams (a Christchurch potter) for a supply of crocks. Sharpe subsequently experienced difficulties with some of these crocks, and after some correspondence and returning of jars, he was reimbursed. Sharpe also sampled stoneware from Milton and said these crocks had a "good appearance", but on testing they proved to be porous and one burst a few days later.

In September 1903 Sharpe wrote to Peter Hutson (a Wellington potter) for information on his crocks and received his first batch on 23 October 1903. He was happy with this supply and subsequently ordered further stock.

In 1905 John and his brother Percy Sharpe travelled to Wellington to set up a branch in Cornhill Street, off Manners Street.

Ted Sharpe was first branch manager of the Wellington branch, followed by Jack Fraser in 1906. George Puddle managed the business from 1911 then John Fraser from 1913, followed by Arthur Westrupp in 1921. Westrupp formed a partnership with Edward Barnsley in about 1923-24 then Barnsley took the business over until its closure.

John Sharpe patented his own wire handle in 1905 and in 1908 the company moved to stoppers made of lignum vitae instead of wired on cork stoppers.

George Thomas Puddle, formerly a spinner and finisher in the Yorkshire woollen mills, was one of the major purchasers of Sharpe Bros. shares, and worked in (and eventually owned) the Wellington and Lower Hutt Sharpe Bros. factories. He later purchased the Wanganui and Auckland businesses, and went on to purchase the Auckland Simmonds & Osborne branch.

George's sons, Eric, Everard and George were also involved in the aerated water industry, managing various Sharpe Bros. businesses throughout the country.
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