Thursday, April 29, 2010

1890 Motor Works

Izett Street runs southwards from Commercial Road in Prahran. It is a street we are very familiar with and have been so for many years. We can often be seen walking along Izett Street from Commercial Road to the car park or vice versa.

The motor car panel repair business A. W. Hinton has been there for as long as I can recall, in fact signage tells me it has been there since 1890. Obviously it would not have been a sustainable car repair business in 1890. It began its life as a carriage and coach building and repair business and graduated to motor cars as carriages disappeared. There would not be too many small businesses which have survived so long.

While looking for information, I came across this notice from The Argus, 1915. He would be the son of the original owner, and possibly his grandchildren now work in the business.

HINTON-McCONNELL-On the 12th December, 1914, at Commercial road Methodist Church, South Yarra, by the Rev. J. Stafford, Arthur (incomplete)
Tracey, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. A. W. Hinton,
carriage builders, Prahran, to Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. J. O'Connell, South (incomplete).

Here is a photo I recently took.

I think it is a fair call on my part to suggest that the original building, below, has not been demolished, only altered. On the right hand side of the above photo older areas can be seen.

You can see another photo here at Picture Victoria.


  1. I like this sort of post. I have studied the two images and cannot for the life of me work out why they had to make so many changes. Like, why carve off the curved top?

  2. They've gone from "& Son" to "& Sons" so maybe drastic extension work was carried out to accommodate enough space to generate income for more than 1 heir's family?
    Def changed the window frames, too, the current ones seem to be from circa 1920s/1930s, perhaps when the big alterations took place.

  3. Certainly looks like the top was reduced Julie. But you only have my opinion that it is the bones of the original building.

    Jayne, I guess when things are altered so drastically, it is a hard call as to whether you can still call it the original building. I missed the son to sons.

  4. It does look like they could be the same building. I am interested in the metal sign. It might help date the change in style - 1940s perhaps. It would be very interesting to scrap away some paint and see if the any of the old painted signage remains.

  5. Never noticed metal sign either LiD. I agree, about the forties. We are getting deep now, paint scraping, haha.

  6. You are right! LMAO. This is getting very serious.

  7. I walk down this street every Saturday. Will have to take more notice now.

  8. How many times have we passed each other in that street MD on Saturday mornings? Many times I guess.

  9. I would imagine so, Andrew. Is it just me or are those footpaths much too narrow? Admittedly we're walking with our little grandma trolleys but it is night on impossible for Tom and I to walk side-by-side post market grab.

  10. As is Cato Street too MD. R tends to be chivalrous and step onto the road. I maintain my keep to the left and nudge grannies into the gutter.

  11. A quick nudge and side-step is the way to go.

    Now, if you wandering down Cato St en route to Ice of a Saturday then we have definitely crossed paths. Best coffee in Prahran in my humble opinion.

  12. Been a couple of times to Ice, but there seemed to be a lot of homosexuals there. Not sure that I care for such people. Really though, I wasn't keen on staff attitude and I felt a little claustrophobic inside. Usually go to Pran Central place that has Greek or Italian owners or Mojitos and sit in the market courtyard.


Democracy is all very well, but why give it to the people - Audrey Forbes-Hamilton.