# 20275


The staff of The Commercial Tailoring Company in their workroom in Hay Street, Perth, Western Australia, circa 1914.

Silver gelatin print photograph, 140 x 195 mm, laid down on its original board mount, with imprint of The Dease Studio, 117 [Barrack Street] at right margin; the print is in good condition (a few minor surface marks), and the image has extremely crisp detail.

This wonderful photograph of the interior of The Commercial Tailoring Company’s premises (identified by the large advertising sign in the background at left) includes what was presumably the entire staff, numbering over 50 men and women. The seamstresses with sewing machines are seated at individual tables, while those women working without machines sit at long work benches covered with fragments of fabric and unfinished garments; scraps of discarded paper patterns and fabric are strewn on the floor. The male tailors stand or sit separately from the women, and at the far end of the room the administrative staff – all men – stand in front of an office partition.

Newspaper advertisements suggest that The Commercial Tailoring Company was active from around 1907 until at least 1918. The business offered custom tailoring rather than ready-to-wear clothing, and was unusual in that it did not have a shopfront. It occupied upstairs premises centrally located in Hay Street, not far from His Majesty’s Theatre. These served as both a garment factory and showroom.

The following advertisement appeared in the Perth Truth, 21 December 1907:

‘The power of dress is very great in commanding respect. The Commercial Tailoring Company’s mission is to make people have that power, and their mission seems to be an assured success. This power-house is in Hay-street, opposite Zimpel’s (upstairs). They meet their clients’ wishes in the matter of payment. Extended terms may be secured if required.’