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Saturday, February 18, 2012


When George Mawbey's first two children were born in 1842 and 1843, he was working as a clerk for a bookseller and stationer in Pitt Street, Sydney.
His employer appears to have been William Moffitt, owner of The Old Australian Stationery Warehouse.
A search of NLA digitalised newspapers published in those years revealed that Moffitt was the only stationer and bookseller in Pitt Street.
An advertisement for Arden's Sydney Magazine of Wednesday 20 September 1843 indicated that most of the others were in George Street.
Moffitt claimed in an advertisement he placed in The Sydney Morning Herald on Tuesday 11 July 1843,that  his warehouse, at No. 23 Pitt Street, was the oldest and cheapest stationery establishment in New South Wales.
The colony had been in existence for 55 years.
Books he stocked included Goldsmith's History of England, and novels by Trollope who some 30 years later was to visit the colony twice.
According to the advertisement, Moffitt also had a book and stationery shop in London, either concurrently or previously.