WOOL PROVIDED JOBS FOR MANY by Alan McRae, President Bathurst District Historical Society.
Cobb & Co has a great association with Bathurst after they established Bathurst as their headquarters after their arrival in the township on 26th June, 1862. Owner James Rutherford lived at Bathurst all his life and established two Cobb & Co factories here to build and maintain their fleet of coaches.
This historic image shows two men loading bales of Rutherford - Cobb & Co wool to go to the Bathurst Railway to be sent to Sydney around 1905. Being an astute businessman James Rutherford bought land, livestock and speculative businesses as well as being on many local Bathurst committees, in particular the Bathurst Hospital Committee.
Already the workmen have loaded more than 80 bales of wool. The jute bales would be propped up with bush timber to prevent them accidentally toppling off until the wagon is fully loaded. When loaded the wagoners would properly tie the load down with hemp ropes. The draught horses would then be brought in to haul the loaded wagon to the goods yard to be loaded onto rail wagons for the trip to a wool broker or directly to the Sydney Wool Sales, then probably shipped overseas. Note the versatile pivoting block & tackle that was used to haul the bales up onto the wagon. Each bale of wool has been branded by the woolpresser with the Rutherford's registered 'COB' stencil so each bale could be identified as to who owned it. The wool would have already been classed before being compacted into the bales using a wool press, either manually operated or driven by a steam engine.There would be over 10 tons of wool already loaded on this wagon.