Morawa Museum banner

ACME WINDMILL - 8ft

1954 advert for the Malloch Bros Acme Windmill, from the Journal of Western Australia Agriculture Vol. 3, No. 6.     This machine was manufactured in Western Australia by 'MALLOCH Bros Ltd', who had a long association with windmills and other agricultural goods and implements dating back to at least 1907. At that time they were the proprietors of 'SHAW & MALLOCH', of 47 King Street, Perth and were agents for ALSTON windmills. By November 1907 'SHAW & MALLOCH' had changed to 'MALLOCH Bros' and by August 1912 they had shifted their offices and showrooms to number 52 and 54 William Street. By 1928 they had extended the address to include the adjoining number 50. They were also listing a factory in the inner Perth suburbs at Tower Street, Leederville by December 1915.
   'MALLOCH Bros' were a important business in the state over several decades and kept their name well positioned with frequent and well targeted advertising, including a large stand at the Perth 'Royal Agricultural Show'. Over the years they were agents for many products including 'Twin City Tractors, 'Lister' motors and shearing equipment, the American 'Fairbanks - Morse', 'Eclipse' engines and 'Arga' stoves. They also had manufacturing capacity of their own and the factory eventually grew to include tin-smithing, milling and lathe equipment, but foundry work was out sourced. This encouraged Charles Walter (Wally) GAUNT to set up a foundry in 1936 at number 40 Tower Street, directly across the road from the 'MALLOCH Bros' factory, to take advantage of the trade and he appears to have done all the foundry work for MALLOCH Bros from that time. He traded as 'C.W.GAUNT' and later 'C.W.GAUNT & Sons'.
diagram showing the head of the ACME windmill by MALLOCH Bros. From the Western Mail 5th February 1948.
   The 'ACME' name dates back to at least 1941 and was used by the company on goods produced for, and by them. From available information, it is most likely that the windmill was introduced to the market in February 1948. In January that year 'ACME' products, such as jack pumps, were being advertised, but no windmills. However, early the following month, the "new ACME" windmill was listed. 'MALLOCH Bros' were agents for such a wide array of goods that the windmills were only advertised infrequently and more particularly in the hotter months. The mill was only produced with an eight foot windwheel.
   'MALLOCH Bros' ran joint advertisements for both 'ALSTON' and 'ACME' brands until January 1956 although one example exists for December 1954 of the 'Acme' appearing on it's own. In September 1956 windmill adverts from 'MALLOCH Bros' only refer to ALSTON mills and as no later records for the 'ACME' exist this is accepted as the finish date of production for the 'ACME' windmill unless further information comes to light.
Malloch Bros Acme Windmill on display at the Morawa Museum 101kb
    Like several of the competitors at the time, the 'ACME' was also offered as a complete pumping unit. In July 1953 for example, the expenditure of 75 pounds ($150) would buy an eight foot 'ACME' windmill, a tower, a pump, a thousand gallon (4,546 litre) tank, a tank stand, 5.48 metres of sheep trough, a ball valve, a foot valve, some column pipe and accessories.
    The only consumer report on the 'ACME' is from the donor of the example in the museum and that was not too complimentary. The condition that the mill was received in however, suggests that problems with the fixing of the hub, which resulted in the wheel working loose and damaging the hub shaft, may have been the reason for discontent as the internals were otherwise in working condition although worn. The gear ratio on these mills is 3.2/3 to 1, although advertising refers to it as 3 to 1.
    Towers for this mill are generally portrayed with a three legged configuration, but one advertisement in July 1952 did list a thirty foot, four post tower. No serial numbers were on the example located and there is no indication of the number of units that may have been sold. There were some cast parts in the internals clearly identified by a letter of the alphabet. One example of this being the crosshead, which was marked with a 'D'. Another example is the casting holding the top of the guide bars that bears the letter 'B'.
TOP