Thomas Henry (T H) Hicks was Mayor of North Botany in 1910, then Mayor of Mascot from 1914 to 1915 and again in 1920. You probably knew that but did you also know that he was a talented inventor, engineer and agricultural implement maker?
With a background in blacksmithing and iron mongering, Hicks patented a range of intricate, beautifully-constructed machines. Today, we may see these inventions as quirky museum objects but in their day, they were popular and in wide use when industry was thriving in the Botany area.
Slop carts, road rollers, fumigators, lamb markers, pit traps, leather-polishing and wool-scouring machines featured in the Hicks repertoire.
Did you know that ‘lamb marking’ is part of the process of ‘tail docking’ of sheep? Tail docking keeps blowfly strike under control.
In May of 1912, Hicks wrote to the Town Clerk of Botany with a tender (below) to supply his Street Watering Cart, touted as ‘the most up-to-date in the Commonwealth.’
The cart was already in use by many councils including Redfern, Waterloo, Vaucluse, and Bankstown. His tender was accepted (below).
Alderman Hicks suffered the tragic loss of his son, at the end of November 1918. Private Hector Fraser Hicks had worked in the family business as a mechanic. You can read his story here.
All images, unless stated otherwise, are from the archives of the City of Botany Bay.
Librarian: Local History/Community Engagement