This is a magnificent historical photo of James Ferguson and five of the Ferguson & Urie employees circa 1890. I would guess this photo may have been taken at the rear of the Curzon street workshops North Melbourne which was their first workshops when they started business in 1853. They advertised from the site as early as 1853 but I don’t believe the workshop building was erected until after 1858. The building still exists as at 2012 but the interior has been converted to individual apartments and only the shell and facade remain as it appeared in the Ferguson & Urie employee photos of June 1887.
The only two positively identified men in the photo are, James Urie Jnr, James Ferguson Snr and James Ferguson Jnr. The other identifications are based on a likeness from the 1887 employees photos that were taken for the company dinner held on the 22nd January 1887.
When the building was being converted to apartments in 2012 the sales brochures indicated that the building had been “remodeled circa 1875 to become the North Melbourne Masonic Lodge”. This incorrect. Ferguson & Urie retained the building as their workshops as late as September 1897 as indicated in their tabloid advertisements.
The buildings last known use prior to 2012 was as North Melbourne’s Masonic Lodge and at the time of it’s sale it still had the masonic Lodge sign hanging from the second floor over Curzon Street.
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