1992 ACTEW Sculpture Commission
Commonwealth Park, ACT
Extract from Colac Herald Newspaper Article
The firm began in 1888 when Archie Bryan, then only 18 years old, and his brother George decided to open a windmill manufacturing business.
They commenced business with a loan of 18 pounds from the National Bank, after being refused a loan from the Bank of NSW,
and began operating out of a shed in Colac, Victoria.
As well as windmills the brothers manufactured stoves, tanks, tank stands and other allied products throughout Victoria, NSW and South Australia.
In 1902 they shifted premises and set up a manufacturing plant with a foundry for turning out iron and brass castings. They also opened another factory in West Footscray in 1925 which operated there until the Depression of 1932-33.
The Colac business was sold in 1944 to Mr R. A. Borch. In 1960 a private company was set up under the name Bryan Bros and Borch. The windmills were completely manufactured in Colac until 1975 when the EPA put and end to the foundry, claiming it was causing pollution in the centre of town. With having components formed at foundries in Geelong and Melbourne, the company continued to make cast iron mills untill 1980.
In order to compete with other top brands of mills, the company had to reduce their production costs. To do this, the design was altered by using a steel fabricated gearbox housing, steel machine cut gears and sealed ball bearing races. There were 4 geared windmill sizes, 6ft.,7ft., 8ft., and 9ft. The mills were marketed and sold around the country and were well accepted. They also added a 6ft Direct Acting mill to their range, it was cheap but effective.
In 1987 was bought by Colac Water Supply Specialists. Bryan Windmills Colac was formed with three additional shareholders.