Deane’s Sticka

W J Deane in 1896 were selling both the Woolloomooloo Warbler and the Kangaroo Chalmer. In ‘97 they advertised the newly invented Native Waratah and Boomerang mouth organs and in ‘98 Deane And Son had their own model The Bugler for a Bob. I had initially thought The Bugler mouth organ may have been produced by Seydel as William’s earlier models had been and also because of the connection he had with J Albert & Son. His wife Pauline was a daughter of Jacque Albert (sister of Frank). I’m not too sure it was Seydel as there doesn’t appear to be a registered trademark.

Maybe in line with their move in 1911 from the corner of Royal Arcade on George Street to their new premises in Pitt Street, W J Deane and Son launched their Swastika mouth organ range. They also offered violin strings under the same brand. The Swastika in these times was a symbol of good luck and had ancient links with Hinduism and Buddhism. Its origins go back several thousands of years to the Indus Valley. Jewellery featuring the symbol, was a popular item of fashion and it was even on the label of Carlsberg beer (see pictures below). I could find no other information on this mouth organ. I had a hunch it was an American manufacturer. William had visited the States quite a few years before and became a sole agent for someone there, however there is nothing conclusive. It is just possible that this was an Australian model. I asked Guru Pat his thoughts on W J Deane’s branding on both the mouth organs and violin strings querying if anyone was specialising in just these two items overseas. He suggested that, “Possibly. One of the Richters went from making harmonicas to making strings. More likely that Deane owned the trademark and stuck it on a wide range of things they imported.” This does seem more likely especially since his published music included the Swastika brand too.

The Swastika even appeared on their published music.

Messrs. Deane and Sons business success had been built on their music publishing, and here they interestingly promoted themselves under the headline of ‘The House Of Musical Hits’. (The Farmer & Settler, Sydney Friday 13 September 1912) Were they the original ‘House of Hits’?

William Deane (1871-?) and Pauline Albert (1876-1960) married with Jacques Albert’s consent (Pauline was only twenty) on April 13, 1896 at St. Mary’s Cathedral Sydney. They raised five children who are pictured below.

The Deane clan in 1912
(Left to right: Walter, Olga, Leona, Albert, Frank, Pauline and William)

A wee bit of information on a couple of the tin lids. Olga would be well known as one of the first Rexona girls promoting Rexona soap in 1920. Albert answered a Paramount Picture’s advertisement for reserve seats at the opening night of a theatre in New York in 1929. He was the only applicant from the advertisement which had been printed in all English speaking countries. Albert stated, “They were so tickled with my reply that they immediately invited me to Hollywood for a visit and paid my fare.” ( The Daily Telegraph, 12th March 1947). Albert never returned, he married an American girl and carved out a successful career working for Paramount Pictures.

William and Pauline’s marriage ended acrimoniously in 1920. In June 1918 William wasn’t particularly happy with his wife’s conduct with another man, a man he had previously forbidden her having anything to do with seven years before. William had also threatened her with divorce then. Pauline hadn’t liked William’s interference this time telling him to leave the house. The house was in her name, but William had stated to the court it was he who was paying. In September 1919 William filed for divorce with a suit for desertion against his wife by reasons of failing to comply with a decree for restitution of conjugal rights that had previously been granted by Justice Gordon.

In 1923 Pauline closed her music establishment Pauline’s Song Shop. She provided an insight to the unique working of her store in a man’s world, “we put young girls with winning ways and pleasing personalities behind the counter to sell and try over the music.” (The Sun, Sydney 6 September, 1923). As for William curiously his story goes cold after their divorce. Not even a death notice. In fact I’m declaring him a missing person with suspicious circumstances. His store had a couple more moves after residing at 224 Pitt Street – in 1913 they were at 500 George Street opposite the Victoria Markets and by 1918 they were back in Pitt Street, but at number 177. He was seen promoting Clements Tonic with an advertised testimonial in 1918 (below). Things go very quiet from then on with no store advertising or any mention of William again except for the divorce proceedings in 1920.

If you have seen or heard of this man after 1920 please provide details of his whereabouts below.

Ch EssDawg

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2 thoughts on “Deane’s Sticka

  1. It’s amazing how quickly things can have their meanings turned around 180⁰ in a few short years! Who would have thought the Swastika was a symbol of good luck!
    Interesting read. Thanks EssDawg 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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