Hand Tool Preservation
Association of Australia Inc

Directory of Australian Tool Makers

This online database is based on the database compiled by HTPAA member Rod Thomas and published in 2001 as a printed directory by Rod (Directory of Australian Tool Manufacturers & Makers ©2006 Rod Thomas, ISBN 0 9579110 1 7).

As well as Rod Thomas, HTPAA thanks all those who have supplied additional information to add to the database and welcomes additional contributions of historical information.

If you can add any further information on Australian manufacturers or branded suppliers to either extend or correct existing entries, add new entries or contribute images of makers' marks, please make contact with us via the Australian Maker's Database Update form.

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Maker: Advance Industries Ltd
Products: Hand tools, instruments, lathes and drills. Produced in Australia during the 1950s, the Advance lathe was manufactured by Bert Kirby in Mount Alexander Road, Mooney Ponds, Melbourne. After the owner's retirement in the early 1960s the rights were bought by Alfred Stewart Pty Ltd. a tool merchant and tool manufacturer - they produced engineers' hand tools from a factory in North Melbourn - who traded, until about 1975, from 391 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne. Despite the simple arrangements that such a transfer would seem to imply some lathes are marked "Alfred Stewart Pty. Ltd. Melbourne, Aust. Sole Agents for Advance Machine Tools Pty. Ltd." while others carry the legend: "Alfred Stewart Manufacturing Engineers Pty. Ltd. Kilsyth Victoria".

After Alfred Stewart Industries (who marketed Myford lathes), production was continued from around 1980 by J. & G. Wylie Industries at Moorabbin (Melbourne), a manufacturer of woodworking and lapidary equipment, who introduced an improved model, the Advance Mk. 2 that was badged, appropriately, as the New Advance.

With the first known advertisement traced to 1947, the Advance was intended to occupy the same market segment as did the contemporary ML7 in the United Kingdom. Well constructed, with no evidence of penny-pinching in its construction, some parts of the Advance, such as the full-circle, beautifully-finished handwheels, were of exceptional quality for its class. Like the contemporary English Perfecto and Swedish VLG, the Advance was based on the design of the pre-WW2 English Myford ML1 to ML4, where the aim was to provide a small, inexpensive lathe that could be adapted to a variety of tasks. (Supplied by Tristan Evans).

State: NSW
Date added: 20 March 2013
Added by:


This database has been developed by the HTPAA as a useful reference for collectors, interested tool owners and researchers seeking more information about historic Australian tool manufactuers and suppliers and their products.

This online version has been added to progressively by HTPAA members, members of similar interest groups and from members of the public with special interest in tools. and now holds many more entries. Information has been gleaned from various publications such as: catalogues, brochures, newspapers, magazines, from advertising material and packaging and the Internet. In particular, much information has been acquired from the Intellectual Property Office namely: patents, trademarks, registered designs, principles, addresses and dates.

As well as Rod Thomas, HTPAA thanks all those who have supplied additional information to add to the database and welcomes additional contributions of historical information.

Please note the HTPAA is not connected to any trade groups or organizations, so information about current manufacturers and suppliers should be sourced by the enquirer from trade journals, phone books, libraries or online. The HTPAA does not have a retail business so offers of tools from makers are pointless, as are requests to source tools or components. The HTPAA does maintain a collection of historic tools and welcomes donations of such.

Next Antique & Collectable Hand Tool Market

The next Antique & Collectable Hand Tool Market is on Sunday 21st April 2024 9.00 am to 12.30 pm at St. Anthony's Parish Hall, 164 Neerim Rd, Corner Neerim & Grange Rds, Caulfield East, Melway Ref. 68 F4. For more information see the Tool Market page.