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  • Title
    James Alexander Holden family papers, 1801-1975
  • Creator
  • Call number
    MLMSS 3799
  • Level of description
  • Date

  • Type of material
  • Reference code
  • Physical Description
    5 folders of textual material (1 box) - photocopies

    James Alexander Holden, 1835-1887, was born in England, the son of Edward Holden. He left home at the age of sixteen, eventually arriving in South Australia in 1852. In 1856 he set up a leather business in Adelaide, South Australia, J. A. Holden and Company, which made mainly saddles and harnesses. In the same year he married Mary Phillips, daughter of Thomas and Sarah Phillips. James' eldest son, Henry James, joined the firm in 1885 at a time when the firm was in difficulties so that Henry was obliged to take on a partner, Henry Frost and from 1885-1925 the firm became Holden and Frost. In 1905, when Henry's son Edward Wheewall Holden joined the company they began to go into the motor vehicle industry. Initially they made hoods and side curtains for cars but soon extended into making custom built bodies for cars of foreign manufacture. In 1920 a new company, Holden's Motor Body Builders, was formed, which in 1923 signed an agreement with General Motors to make bodies only for them at Holden's new plant at Woodville, South Australia. In 1931 these two firms amalgamated to form General Motors-Holdens Pty. Ltd. In 1948 this firm produced the first Holden motor car
  • Scope and Content
    Series 01: James Alexander Holden, 1856-1887
    FOLDER 1
    a. Diaries, 1856, 1863

    FOLDER 2
    b. Papers relating to the estate of Edward Holden, 1857-1863 with power of attorney to F. B. Oerton to act for John Alexander Holden in the settlement of the estates of Edward Holden, 1863

    FOLDER 3
    c. Man compared to Lower Animals and a parable, ca. 1856
    d. Letters received, 1872-1879
    e. Address to John Alexander Holden from his employees, 1870
    f. Copy of will, 1886, registerd for probate, 1887

    Series 02: Mary Elizabeth Holden, Mrs James Alexander, nee Phillips, 1863-1914
    a. Letters received, 1863-1878, from her husband
    b. Will, 1914

    FOLDER 4
    Series 03: Edward Holden, 1846
    Will and codicil, 1846

    Series 04: Hubert William Holden, 1901
    Testimonials, 1901

    Series 05: Annie Maria Holden, Mrs Hubert William, nee Turner, 1903-1935
    Letters received, 1903-1935

    Series 06: Ellen Turner Holden, 1903-1963
    Letters received, 1903-1963

    Series 07: Thomas Phillips, 1801
    Diary, April-June, 1801

    Series 08: Sarah Anne Phillips, Mrs Thomas, nee Thompson, ca. 1865
    a. Address from ladies of Norwood Baptist Church, South Australia, no date
    b. Fragment of letter received, ca. 1865

    Series 09: Miscellaneous Material, 1905-1975
    FOLDER 5
    a. Papers relating to the company including patent specifications, 1905-1919, printed reports and statistics, 1957-1961, cheque and share certificate of General Motors Pty. Ltd. purchase of Holden's shares, 1931 and taxation receipt, 1951
    b. Articles relating to Holden family and business, 1913-1975
  • Description source

    Information transferred from Manuscripts Leaf Catalogue No. 1 (1-320C) as part of the eRecords Project, 2010-2011
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