Centenary of Birchall`s Stationery StorePrint Page Print this page

Photographs supplied by Diane Watson

The plaque commemorates the centenary of Birchall`s stationery store from 1867 to 1967.

Birchalls Ltd was a Tasmanian bookstore, former publisher, education supply and stationery company. Founded in 1844 by Samuel Tegg, it was the oldest book store Australia at the time of its closing. In 1902 J.A. Birchall, owner of the store, invented the first commercial notepad. The Tilley family have owned the company since 1969. It was announced the store would close in 2017 after ten months for sale with no buyer.

Famous as the oldest stationery and book sellers in Australia, Birchall`s was also noted for its innovative and progressive ideas. One example is the humble writing pad, an idea of Birchall`s. Before production of the writing pad, all writing paper was folded and sold in lots of 24 as a "quire" and fitted into a box which was sold as a ream or 20 quires. This included J.A.Birchall suggesting a more convenient idea that the paper be cut into smaller sheets, packed on a piece of cardboard and gummed together at the top.

The suggestion was considered outrageous and rejected out of hand by the directors of the British paper manufacturing Company, Wiggins & Teape. Through the years Birchall persisted with this suggestion and a trial shipment of Silver City Writing Tablets were finally made up and sent out as an experiment. Acceptance by the public was enthusiastic as people started to appreciate the convenient form of new packaging. Sales increased and other manufacturers copied the idea using various types of paper and so the writing pad was born.


Address:118 Brisbane Street, Launceston, 7250
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -41.437505
Long: 147.138316
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Technology
Approx. Event Start Date:1867
Approx. Event End Date:1967


Front Inscription

Historic Bookshop

Knowledge art & culture have been disseminated from this site since (1844).

This plaque was unveiled by Ida L. Birchall F.R.C.S. Edin, F.R.C.O.G. on the occasion of Birchall`s Centenary (1867 - 1967)

Stanley V. Tilley F.C.A. F.A.S.A.  Managing Director

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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