Vivian Lewis Limited, miscellaneous locations in Adelaide

An overview of the Adelaide presence of the Vivian Lewis companies would highlight the continuous tenure at Freeman Street/Gawler Place, and the moves through McHenry Street, Victoria Square and Molton Street, Gawler Place South, Waymouth Street and finally Franklin Street.

In addition to these major locations, it's likely that small workshops were used from time to time as needs arose. I will list them here as I come across them.

Vivian Lewis Limited, Electroplaters, Wyatt Street, Adelaide 1911-1913

Directories for 1912 and 1913 list Vivian Lewis Limited, Electroplaters, on the east side of Wyatt Street, 3 doors down from Pirie Street. Given the transient nature of the listing, we can assume that alternate arrangements were made for plating before and after these dates. Were I to guess, I'd say that prior to 1912 Lewis may have used the services of a commercial plater and post 1913 the plating shop may have been accommodated in the large Lewis works in Gawler Place South. Equally, Lewis may have had their own electroplating establishment elsewhere in the city or suburbs. With motorcycle production in full swing, their electroplating needs would have been large, with each machine featuring nickel-plated tanks, radiators, wheel and belt rims, as well as numerous sundry parts.

Lewis Cycle Works Limited, Commercial Road, Port Adelaide c1924

When Lewis Cycle Works Limited was established in June 1924 - as an entity separate from Vivian Lewis Limited - part of the preliminary agreement dictated that the new company would take over an existing tenancy agreement on a property in Commercial Road, Port Adelaide. The building belonged at the time to Port Adelaide Co-operative Bakery Society Limited, and the weekly rental was 2 10/-.

Until a link is found to suggest that this operation was operating earlier under the Vivian Lewis Limited banner, an educated guess would be that the operation at Port Adelaide was essentially a suburban bicycle shop.

Lewis Cycle and Motor Works foundry, unknown location, Adelaide c1905

Photographs 26, 27, and 28 of the Lewis album show activities normally associated with a foundry. Since the photographs were taken for Lewis publicity purposes, it seems likely that this location was operated by Lewis, but it has not yet been identified. One of the resources consulted are Fire Insurance maps, which show, in particular, any installation that constitutes a fire risk. From these maps, it is clear that there was no foundry associated with McHenry Street or the bicycle factory on Gawler Place. The search continues.

Lewis Cycle and Motor Works workshop, unknown location, Adelaide c1904

Photograph 24 of the Lewis album shows men at work building, or possibly rebuilding, a single-cylinder De Dion-powered car. Scattered through the photo are enough parts to suggest the presence of at least two cars. This photograph is not taken in any of the know Lewis workshops. From other photographs and period plans we know that there was no vehicular access available to the bicycle factory, and that space at the McHenry Street factory was limited, so it is likely that Lewis had another, temporary, workshop in use before the Motor House on Victoria Square and the new factory on Molton Street became available at the end of 1904. I'm still searching - suggestions welcome!

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