Motorising Queensland – Introducing the Canada Cycle and Motor Agency (Qld) Ltd

Guest blogger Dr Hilary Davis, 2018 Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame Fellow

Between 1905 and 1929, the Canada Cycle and Motor Agency (Qld) Ltd (CCM) put Queenslanders on the road in a wide variety of motor vehicles. Owned by Queensland investors and headquartered in Brisbane, the CCM had branches in Rockhampton, Townsville and Lismore, and agents in towns throughout the State.[i]

This company formed after Alexander Vaughan Dodwell, the manager of the Brisbane branch of the Canada Cycle and Motor Company, took over that business in 1905.

Based in Toronto, the Canada Cycle and Motor Company gained branches overseas in the late nineteenth century, when it formed from five Canadian companies. These included Massey Harris Co Ltd, which manufactured farm machinery and bicycles, and operated a Brisbane branch by 1893.

 Dodwell and the CCM Building in EJT Barton (ed), Jubilee History of Queensland, Diddams, Brisbane 1909 p302

Dodwell and the CCM Building in EJT Barton (ed), Jubilee History of Queensland, Diddams, Brisbane 1909 p302

Soon the CCM was selling the Canadian ‘Russell’ car; a range of British cars including the reliable ‘Clement Talbot’; the Italian ‘F.I.A.T.’; and the French ‘Renault’. Queensland’s elite took to the road for work and pleasure. Motoring excursions to places of interest and beauty, such as the White’s Hill Kiosk on Brisbane’s southside, became popular.

Talbot motor car parked at Whites Hill Brisbane 1911. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland Neg #108195

Talbot motor car parked at Whites Hill Brisbane 1911. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland Neg #108195

The CCM’s range of motorcycles, snapped up by shearers travelling between pastoral stations and by young men with a love of speed, included the British ‘Triumph’ and ‘B.S.A.’ and the USA’s ‘Indian’.

The CCM sold chasses with custom-built bodies for ambulances, buses, and fire trucks.[i] It supplied the Brisbane Ambulance Brigade’s first motorised ambulance in 1909, and that of the Ipswich Ambulance Brigade.

It built the 30-seater ‘Commer’ bus used by Mr Canaan for the first motorised bus service between New Farm and North Quay in 1911. An ‘Albion’ bus from the CCM transported passengers in the vicinity of Jundah in western Queensland by about 1912.

Albion truck advertising Williamson & Coy. Jundah ca 1912. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg #169428

Albion truck advertising Williamson & Coy. Jundah ca 1912. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg #169428

In the years to come, more and more Queenslanders took to the road in motorised vehicles, and the CCM widened its range of makes and models.

For further information about the project or to contribute any memories or connections to the CCM contact State Library of Queensland at slqevents@slq.qld.gov.au or 3840 7424.

To see more images of the CCM and its vehicles, go to Flickr: Canada Cycle & Motor Agency Flickr set

Using the State Library Queensland’s One Search catalogue you can explore resources connected to this interesting Queensland company via this tag Canada Cycle & Motor Agency

Hilary Davies is the recipient of the 2018 Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame Fellowship for her project Putting Queenslanders on the Road: The Canada Cycle and Motor Agency Ltd.   Through examining the collections of the State Library of Queensland, this project will endeavour to make the Canada Cycle and Motor Agency’s achievements, its employees, and its importance in Queensland’s business landscape visible.

References

Barton, E.J.T. Jubilee History of Queensland: a record of political industrial and social development from the landing of the first explorers to the close of 1909. Diddams, Brisbane, 1909, p. 302.

Brisbane Courier: ‘Canada Cycle and Motor Agency Ltd’, 16 Dec 1905, p. 11; ‘Canada Cycle and Motor Agency, Limited’, 8 Aug 1906, p. 13; ‘The Motor Boom’, 2 Feb 1907, p. 11; ‘Notable Exhibits’, 14 Aug 1907, p. 13; ‘Studebaker Automobiles’, 29 Feb 1912, p. 7; ‘Motor Cycle Record’, 16 Sep 1914, p. 3.

Darling Downs Gazette: ‘Exhibits’, 5 Aug 1893 p. 3,

McKenty, John A. Canada Cycle and Motor: The CCM Story 1899-1983, Essence Publishing, Perth, Canada, 2011 (digital copy), pp. 77-8, 85.

Queensland Country Life, 1 Oct 1910, p. 17, ‘Canada Cycle and Motor Agency’.

State Library of Queensland: Image 64779, ‘Advertisement for CCM (Qld) Ltd 1910’; Image ‘Albion truck advertising Williamson & Coy, Jundah, ca.1912’,  online.

Telegraph: ‘Talbot Motorcars’, 27 Mar 1909, p. 8; ‘Great Show of Motor Cars’, 25 Mar 1911, p. 17; ‘C.C.M. Agency’, Telegraph, 1 Apr 1911, p. 18.

The Pastoralist Review, 15 Jul 1910.

[1] The Canada Cycle and Motor Agency Ltd was superseded by the Canada Cycle and Motor Agency (Queensland) Ltd in 1908, through an increase in the company’s capital.