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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Auckland Provincial District]

The Cousins And Atkin Carriage Factory

The Cousins And Atkin Carriage Factory ; Messrs Atkin Bros., proprietors (Arthur Charles Atkin, William Henry Atkin, and Edward Rogers Atkin), Elliot and Albert Streets, Auckland. Telephone 298 Cable address, “Carriage”; trade mark, wheel on the horizontal. Bankers, Bank of New Zealand. Agencies throughout the North Island. The late Mr. Charles Atkin, the founder of this firm, is referred to elsewhere in this volume as an ex-councillor of the City of Auckland; and Mr. Arthur Charles Atkin's career is described on page 120 as a member of the Auckland City Council. In May, 1864, Mr Atkin, in conjunction with Mr. J. S. Cousins, founded the present business in Cook Street, and at the expiration of the lease, the firm moved into a portion of the present premises. Machinery was introduced in 1872 to meet the requirements of the steadily increasing business, and has been added to from time to time, until the factory now contains the latest and most complete plant in the colony. Mr. Cousins died while his eldest son was still at school, and Mr. Atkin, having sons at the factory, purchased the widow's entire interest in the buildings, plant, stock, and goodwill, at her valuation, there being no deed of partnership. About two years afterwards the premises were found insufficient for the increased business, and Mr. Atkin secured an adjoining site, on which he erected a double-storey building fronting Elliot Street, and two single-storey buildings covering nearly the whole depth (220 feet) to Albert Street. In 1899, two sections fronting Albert Street were purchased, when the present block was completed and new buildings were erected. The factory now consists of three double-storey brick buildings, with about 100 feet of frontage to Elliot Street; one double-storey building, with 120 feet of frontage to Albert Street, and six single-storey annexes connecting with Elliot Street, covering, in all, about half an acre. Every description of vehicle is made on the premises, from a dray to a landau, omnibus, or tramcar; and the firm is constantly introducing new styles. Its two-wheelers are perfectly balanced; and special grade steel for springs, and special axles for this work, are imported by the firm. The firm issues an annual catalogue for the convenience of its customers, and, in addition to the trade done in Auckland city and province, it sends vehicles throughout New Zealand, but chiefly to Taranaki, Wanganui, Hawke's Bay, Poverty Bay, and the South Sea Islands. The raw material used in the business is imported direct from the manufacturers in England, and the firm holds a large stock of seasoned woodware, hardware, carriage trimmings and lamps, which enables it to turn out vehicles of any description at short notice. The firm is the designer and patentee of the Excelsior, Jubilee, Palace Jubilee, Triple-seat Jubilee omnibuses and road cars, so well known in the colonies, and designs
Mr. E. R. Atkin. Mr. W. H. Atkin. Mr. A. C. Atkin.Hanna, photo.

Mr. E. R. Atkin. Mr. W. H. Atkin. Mr. A. C. Atkin.
Hanna, photo.

The Cousins and Atkin Carriage Factory.

The Cousins and Atkin Carriage Factory.

page 341 most of the styles in Auckland, including landaus, the popular ralli cart, Clifton and McCullagh buggies, dux waggons, and others. The firm manufactures 250 vehicles, has about 3000 repair jobs annually, also makes 400 pairs of wheels and puts on 2000 tyres. About sixty hands are constantly employed in the factory. A special feature of the firm's business is wheel-making, and dressed wheel material is supplied largely to the trade. The proprietors are experts in the various branches of the business, and exercise personal supervision over the departments. Many of the present employees have been trained by them, and some of them have been in the service of the firm for thirty-five years. Messrs Cousins and Atkin exhibited at the Wellington Exhibition in 1885, and received a silver medal; at the Indian and Colonial Exhibition, London, in 1886, and received a bronze medal; also at the Auckland Exhibition, but not for competition; and they have taken over sixty first class prizes at Colonial shows. During the thirty-seven years the factory has been going, the proprietors have built up the largest carriage business in New Zealand, and are justly proud of their reputation throughout the colony for first-class work.