Category Archives: Newspaper Clippings

Iron Safe Tender 1880 – W. G. Goetz defends his tender

It seems that W. G. Goetz had a few disagreements with government institutions, including that of the Post Office Scandal where he was accused of inflating prices for supplying items to the post office and bribing a senior post office engineering employee.

In the letter below he sent to The Age (10th May 1880), Goetz defends his position regarding a tender he made to the Treasury Board. (See below for transcript and the Argus Tender advertisement.)


Sir, — In answer to a charge brought against me by Messrs. M’Lean Bros. and Rigg, as to not having acted in a straightforward business like manner to the tender board, I charge the same tender board, of whomsoever it may consist, with not having dealt in a fair and business-like manner with me. I leave the public to decide. In the tender, as advertised in the Argus, there were no such conditions that the safes had to be tested beforehand and must have been in use in some public institution supplied by the tenderer. If these conditions had been stated beforehand I would never have come forward, and would not have lost my time with it for the last two months. I did not go to the Treasury as an unemployed begging for work but was invited to tender for iron safes ; and according to the tender rules this should have been settled after ten days, or my deposit returned, if the tender board did not want to accept my work. But, in place of this I was kept on week after week. I do not want to be humbugged like this by any man, not even by Mr. Service himself. I am no importer of safes, and cannot be expected to keep safes in stock, as nearly all pawnbrokers shops have them for sale. I submitted to the tender board patterns and a drawing, and told the secretary at the onset that I never made safes in the colony, but engage and stand good with my deposit to make a better and cheaper safe than any imported safe I lave seen in Melbourne, and I will submit any one of these safes to any test whatever, only asking that the safe be paid for if it stands the test, otherwise I will lose my deposit and pay the expense ; besides, I challenged Mr. Gain to open the safe he has in his office without any noise in one hour, which could not be done with my work. — Yours, &a,
W. G. Goetz, Engineer.
140 Queen-street, Melbourne, 9th May.


Below: Possibly the Tender advertisement Goetz’s letter was referring to, from The Argus, 6th March, 1880. See Schedule item 7: Ironmongery, fireproof safes, &c. For security, 10% deposit was required when tendering.

Unsuccessful tenderers were supposed to have their deposit returned within 10 days, but it seems that after 2 months, Goetz’s tender was undecided and his £30 deposit had not been returned. It seems that from his letter and other reports of the Post Office Scandal, that he was not fond of bureaucrats! Who is?

Albert Goetz

Albert Goetz (21 Dec 1884 – 27 Dec 1952) was the second youngest son of Wilhelm Gottlob and Sarag Goetz. Along with younger brother Otto, Albert was a director at W. G. Goetz and Goetz’s Hall Street Spotswood neighbour, RVB Engineering, until (or close to) the year of his death. In July 1953, Peter Moss was appointed as a director to fill the vacancy left by the death of Albert, and Otto was appointed Chairman of Directors.

Albert was married to Vera, whose sister May was married  to Albert’s brother Otto.

Below: This photo of Albert Goetz appeared in newspapers in 1940, when he was 56 year old, but looks like it may be an earlier photo. It was used as a file photo until 1950.

Below: The Herald, 15 August 1950, p.6


Albert died on 27 December, 1952, aged 68. The Herald, 29 December 1952, p.3

Advertising – Footscray Tech Magazines

Not normally known for advertising, W. G. Goetz placed these advertisements In the Footscray Technical School magazine. Form 7 students visited W. G. Goetz in 1957.

Below: ‘Footscray Technical School Blue and Gold 1947 no. 7
Magazine of the Footscray Technical School, 1947. Victoria University Archives, VUS 42.’
Page 30

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Below: ‘Footscray Technical School Blue and Gold 1948 no. 8
Magazine of the Footscray Technical School, 1948. Victoria University Archives, VUS 42.’
Page 26

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Below: ‘Footscray Technical School Blue and Gold, 1949 no. 9
Magazine of the Footscray Technical School, 1949. Victoria University Archives, VUS 42.’
Inside front cover

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Below: ‘Footscray Technical School Blue and Gold 1950 no. 10
Magazine of the Footscray Technical School, 1950. Victoria University Archives, VUS 42.’
Page 40

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Below: ‘Footscray Technical School Blue and Gold 1953 no. 13
Magazine of the Footscray Technical School, 1953. Victoria University Archives, VUS 42.’
Page 53

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Below: ‘Footscray Technical School Blue and Gold 1973
Magazine of the Footscray Technical School, 1973. Victoria University Archives, VUS 42.’
Page 40, top right

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Student Visits 1957

Always keen to promote engineering as a career, W.G. Goetz hosted student visits. In 1957 on page 2 of the Footscray Technical School magazine, the school principal wrote that ‘groups of Diploma students were taken on visits to various factories and industrial works, as part of their training in machine shop technology.’

W. G. Goetz was visited by the seventh form students, who left a favourable impression on the company. In a list of Form 8 students on page 35 (‘Pertinent Pars’), there is included a Grahame Goetz. It seems that the magazine mis-spelled his name Graeme, who was the grandson of Emil Goetz, one of W. G. Goetz’s sons. (Emil is pictured wearing a bowler hat in the 1905 West Melbourne factory photo). However, it seems reasonable to assume that Graeme (or Grahame) being in Form 8 at the school that year was the reason that W.G. Goetz was one of the companies visited by the Form 7 students.

Below: Portion of ‘The Principal’s Page’, Footscray Technical School Blue and Gold 1957 vol. 4 no. 2, page 2. Magazine of the Footscray Technical School, 1957. Victoria University Archives, VUS 42. Read the full edition here.

RVB 21st – W.G. Goetz & Sons advertising

In May 1956, Goetz’s Hall Street neighbour RVB Engineering Products were celebrating their 21st anniversary. Not being one to usually advertise in the papers, Goetz took out a half page ‘congratulations’ style advertisement on page 9 of The Argus, 22nd May 1956 as part of the RVB celebration and promotion. Roy Butler is featured in the ad along with a photo of employees posing in front of the old Bickford, Smith & Co. Explosives building, which is set back from Hall Street, in between RVB and Goetz.

The caption reads ‘MR. ROY V. BUTLER, managing director of R. V. B. Engineering Products Ltd., surveys (top left) a picture of the company’s first home at North Melbourne, 21 years ago, and the staff of 230 at the present great Spotswood plant.’

Underneath , Goetz are saying ‘”WELL DONE” to an old friend – R.V.B. ENGINEERING PRODUCTS LIMITED’. RVB made tyre guages, automotive horns and other pneumatic equipment – some of it using Goetz machinery.

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Directors of RVB at times included names associated with W.G. Goetz and Sons. A newspaper clipping from The Argus on January 23rd 1951 regarding an RVB share offer following its conversion to a Public Company, lists directors including Captain J.H. Moss, O. Goetz, A.Goetz, F.C. Craddock and R.J. Burns.

RVB Engineering Products Limited was renamed as RVB Limited on 28 March 1974, which was in-turn deregistered on 26 April 1985. They had 11 patents listed with Intellectual Property Australia from 11 March 1954; the last being 24 March 1985 – a month before they were deregistered.

Going Public. From Pty Ltd to Limited Public Company

In April 1939, W.G. Goetz and Sons Pty. Ltd. became a public company, renamed with the dropping of ‘Pty’ and simply becoming ‘Limited’.Going-public_argus_300339_p9Above: The Argus reports W.G. Goetz as a new public company, 30th March 1939 p.9.
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Below: W.G. Goetz and Sons Limited business registration certificate, entitling commencement of business as a public company from the 29th of April, 1939. Click image below for larger version.


100 Years it’s time for whoopee! 1975

This article appeared in The Herald, Thursday September 4th, p.19. The article mentions the forthcoming celebration dinner to be held the next day at the Southern Cross Hotel. For more info and a look at the dinner menu, go to the post ‘Centenary Month & Dinner 1975

The article contains some errors:

  • W. G. Goetz’s death as 1917. Recorded death 12th May 1913.
  • His arrival from Germany in 1875. Gottlob Wilhelm Paul Götz actually arrived in Australia aged 23 at the Port Melbourne Pier, on 14th December 1863 aboard the S.S. Great Britain, from Liverpool. No information regarding his journey from Germany to Liverpool has been found so far. One can only speculate that the reason for his emigration was to avoid military service. Had he remained in Germany, he may have been caught up in the Austro-Prussian war of 1866 when his native Würtemberg took up arms on behalf of Austria. Austria was defeated by the Prussians, who promptly occupied northern Würtemberg. W. G.’s relocation to Australia turned out to be a good move!
  • No evidence has been found that his business commenced in 1875. Contrary evidence suggests later dates. For further discussion see this page Beginnings — Queen Street, Melbourne