Samuel Perry (1865–1930), a Shropshire-born engineer moved his Adelaide workshop to Mile End in 1912 and from 1915–27 also owned a plant at Gawler to the north of Adelaide, which produced locomotives and rolling stock. During the Second World War, the firm took a major role in manufacturing munitions components and established a reputation as a defence manufacturer.

Expansion continued after the war, both at Mile End and at a new heavy steel fabricating plant at Whyalla on Eyre Peninsula. Merging with Johns and Waygood in 1966, during the 1980s and 1990s the company had several owners, including Boral and Pope Electrical, and became a non-core company in their portfolios. Much weakened, Perry’s continued producing significant components for engineering, mining and defence interests, but was placed in receivership in May 2000.  

Catherine Manning's picture
Catherine Manning says:

Again we don't hold anything here I'm afraid, but you may find some leads in the State Library of South Australia records:

Dr K McKellar Stewart's picture
Dr K McKellar S... says:

My maternal grandfather, Leslie Cecil Leslie was an engineer at Perry's. Any information - stories, photos of Leslie, would be much appreciated. i have just returned from Adelaide and my mother's family home at Glenelg.

(My paternal grandfather was Professor John McKellar Stewart, Adelaide Uni.)

Catherine Manning's picture
Catherine Manning says:

I'm not sure about that Kay, but I believe the State Library of South Australia holds some related records, which may give you further leads. You can search their catalogue online:

Kay Lewis's picture
Kay Lewis says:

S. Perry purchased Martin & Co works Gawler, April 12, 1915. Seeking employment record of Michael, and his son James Manning. Are the employment details held in archive for Martin & Co works circa 1899 to 1903?

George 's picture
George says:

Cam across this photo of the Perry Engineering name on a ball mill at Adelaide Brighton Cement - may be good historical data.

Catherine Manning's picture
Catherine Manning says:

Thanks for that generous offer Shelley,
I'll pass on your details to our acquisition committee.

Shelley Watson's picture
Shelley Watson says:

Good morning!

I'm currently in possession of a photo album from the Perry Engineering Company Limited entitled "75' Steel Tugs 1944-5". It has a complete printed paper document outlining steel tug construction with reference to the photos. I acquired it back in the early 1980's and have decided that the album should be returned to South Australia if it proves to be of historical value. Anyway, if you are interested I can send you some images of the album cover, the first page of the document, and a shot of the photographic content so you can get a better idea of what this item is. If you are still interested after that, I can organise to get it down to you (I'm in Brisbane, QLD).

Best regards


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