The history of the Redfern-based company that supplied rolling stock to the fledgling NSW Railways and eventually became Clyde Engineering.
Plymouth cabinet-maker William Henry Hudson, arrived in Sydney in 1846 with his family and started a joinery business in Redfern which became known as Hudson and Sons. Hudson became one of the main builders in Sydney providing timberwork to many notable buildings including the Great Hall of Sydney University.
In 1866, William Henry retired and left the business to his three sons Henry, Robert and William. The firm now took on the new name of Hudson Brothers and a new direction.
Under the leadership of Henry Hudson the firm imported the latest woodworking machinery from America and rebuilt the original Redfern joinery shop as the Steam Joinery Works. They also operated their own sawmills in the Myall Lakes district and Pyrmont and had depots in various NSW country towns such as Hill End.
The brothers moved into rolling stock manufacture after the collapse of P.N. Russell and Co. and greatly expanded the Redfern works. Their success required further growth resulting in the company building a massive industrial complex in Granville and acquiring a third plant in Wickham.
The firm was incorporated as Hudson Brothers Limited in 1882 and became the major railway rolling stock manufacturer at the time. Thousands of goods wagons, passenger carriages and tramcar trailers were built for NSW.
Author: David Jehan