Cobb and Co Factory in Charleville

Among State Library of Queensland’s collection are numerous old business catalogues, some of which are beautifully illustrated. One such example is the recently digitised Cobb & Co.’s catalogue of high class vehicles¬†published sometime between 1910 and 1920.

Cobb & Co's catalogue of high class vehicles. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.

Cobb & Co’s catalogue of high class vehicles. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.

This catalogue contains a sample of vehicles produced by Cobb and Co’s factory in Charleville. These vehicles range from the moderately priced Plain Buckboard Buggy at 37 pounds to a large passenger coach valued at 175 pounds.

Cobb & Co's catalogue of high class vehicles. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Cobb & Co’s catalogue of high class vehicles. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Cobb & Co's catalogue of high class vehicles. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Cobb & Co’s catalogue of high class vehicles. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

The catalogue also provides an overview of operations at the Cobb & Co. factory at Charleville. The factory was opened in 1886 after moving from Brisbane. The catalogue explains the reason behind this¬†move –

“As our coach routes extended out West we commenced to notice that our vehicles built with coastal seasoned timbers would not stand the dry inland climate, they would crack and gape at all joints. This became so serious at last we decided to move our Factory to a suitable inland locality, and after considerable thought Charleville, nearly 500 miles inland, was chosen… The effect of this move was immediately apparent, for we purchased large stocks of timber and seasoned it in the same hot dry climate in which traps when built were used, and the result proved extremely satisfactory.”

Cobb & Co's catalogue of high class vehicles. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Cobb & Co’s catalogue of high class vehicles. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Cobb & Co's catalogue of high class vehicles. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Cobb & Co’s catalogue of high class vehicles. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Cobb & Co.’s catalogue of high class vehicles has been digitised and can be viewed in its entirety via our One Search catalogue.

2016 marks 150 years since the first Cobb & Co. coach service began in Queensland. You can peruse a gallery of historical Cobb and Co images from our collection on our blog.

Myles Sinnamon – Project Coordinator, State Library of Queensland