The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences acknowledges Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land and gives respect to the Elders – past and present – and through them to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are advised that the MAAS website contains a range of Indigenous Cultural Material. This includes artworks, artifacts, images and recordings of people who may have passed away, and other objects which may be culturally sensitive.
88/892 House model, 1950s Australian suburban home, the 'St Ives', mixed media, made by George Hudson Pty Ltd, Cabramatta, New South Wales, Australia, 1955-1956, used by Berger & British Paints, Alfred Street, Rhodes, New South Wales, Australia. Click to enlarge.

Architectural model of St Ives, display home by George Hudson Pty Ltd, 1955-1956

Made in Australia, Oceania, 1955.
This is a model of a free-standing suburban domestic Australian home of the 1950s. Called the 'St Ives', it was made by George Hudson Homes of the Sydney suburb of Cabramatta and used by Berger Paints & British Paints of Rhodes for display and promotions of their exterior paint colour schemes.

The George Hudson company was a pioneer of prefabricated building elements and buildings in Australia. Despite its association with modernism prefabrication has a long history in Australia. It was timber, the most traditional building material which proved amenable to prefabrication and powered technology. From the 1850s the gang-saw, comprising several blades, could cut a log or flitch into several boards in a single pass. Later, the development of moulding machines led to boards with inter-locking weather-proof profiles.

Many of the tasks previously performed by carpenters either on-site or in their small workshops were taken over by joinery mills. Timber fittings such as tongue-and-groove floorboards, window frames, skirting boards and doors were increasingly fashioned and assembled as much as practicable at large joinery mills along factory lines of production.

Standardisation of size and design was an integral part of this process. The simultaneous development of timber-framed construction opened the way to partly prefabricated houses. The Australian stud frame, somewhat lighter and simpler than the North American balloon frame was also amenable to mill fabrication and on-site assembly. By 1900 timber companies such as George Hudson and Goodlet & Smith in Sydney and James Moore in Melbourne were offering 'Ready-Cut' timber homes.

Carpenter William Henry Hudson emigrated to Sydney from England in 1846. He established a joinery firm in Redfern around 1855 and during the 1870s this venture expanded into an engineering enterprise which moved to Clyde near Parramatta. William Henry's son George took control of the joinery business, which became known as George Hudson & Son Ltd in 1905.

George Hudson & Son produced doors, windows and other timber building elements. By 1870 Hudsons's joinery in Redfern was able to produce 500 pairs of sash windows and 200 doors per week. The resulting economy of scale made these building components considerably cheaper than skill intensive on-site methods. Around 1900 the firm began to produce partiallly prefabricated timber houses. For most of the twentieth century Hudson Ready-Cuts were a popular and affordable form of suburban housing, substantially reducing the amount of on-site work involved in construction. In addition, Hudson's supplied the prefabricated hut used by Douglas Mawson's Antarctic expedition of 1911; this hut is still standing.

From 1917 Hudson's presented display homes at the Sydney Easter Show, while the company's voluminous catalogues are a remarkable record of suburban architecture, as well as convincing evidence of the company's importance in adopting and promoting contemporary design trends. The 1950s was perhaps the peak of Hudson's success, as the many owner-builders then active were attracted by the simplified construction of Ready-Cuts and their contemporary design. At this time Hudson's houses were displayed in Grace Bros department stores.

George Hudson Homes (as the company was named by 1959) continued to produce kit-homes into the 1970s.

Charles Pickett, curator Design and built environment.

Summary

Object No.

88/892

Object Statement

House model, 1950s Australian suburban home, the 'St Ives', mixed media, made by George Hudson Pty Ltd, Cabramatta, New South Wales, Australia, 1955-1956, used by Berger & British Paints, Alfred Street, Rhodes, New South Wales, Australia

Physical Description

House model, 1950s Australian suburban home, the 'St Ives', mixed media, made by George Hudson Pty Ltd, Cabramatta, New South Wales, Australia, 1955-1956, used by Berger & British Paints, Alfred Street, Rhodes, New South Wales, Australia

Model of a free-standing suburban domestic Australian home of the 1950s. The house represents a double-gabled, triple-fronted weatherboard house with porthole garage doors. It is painted white with red 'tiled' roof and black gutters. The model is made of wood, masonite, chipboard, perspex and plasticine.

Dimensions

Height

480 mm

Width

1430 mm

Depth

1110 mm

Production

Made

Australia, Oceania 1955

Notes

In 1955 George Hudson Pty Ltd built two 'Ready-Cut' display homes at Mona Vale Road, St Ives at the corner with Kitchener Street. One of these was a new design the 'St Ives'. At this time it was company policy to name its products after Sydney suburbs.

The St Ives was similar to another Hudson house, the 'Warrawee', with the addition of an attached garage. Both houses are typical of 1950s suburban architecture, featuring a low-pitched gabled roof, a generous paved patio and large 'picture' and hopper windows and French doors to maximise views and access between exterior and interior.

History

Notes

This model was used by Berger & British Paints to promote its exterior paints and colour schemes. In this role it was frequently repainted in a variety of colours. Along with information on interior design and coloour schemes, George Hudson homes and designs were featured at Grace Bros Home Plans Service at Grace Bros' department stores during the 1950s, so it is possible that the model was orginally used in this context.

The model was lent to the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences in 1984 for display in the 'Sydney at your fingertips' exhibition at the Hyde Park Barracks. Prior to display the model was restored to its original white colour scheme.

Cite this Object

Harvard

Architectural model of St Ives, display home by George Hudson Pty Ltd, 1955-1956 2020, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 14 August 2020, <https://ma.as/89090>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/89090 |title=Architectural model of St Ives, display home by George Hudson Pty Ltd, 1955-1956 |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=14 August 2020 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

Incomplete

This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.

Know more about this object?

TELL US

Have a question about this object?

ASK US