Topic: G.E. Clark & Sons Ltd.
Mr George Edward Clark was born in Cambridgeshire England in 1840 and came to New Zealand in 1864. After a short stint in Auckland, where he met his wife Miss Elizabeth Victoria Garlick, he moved to Cambridge where he settled and began farming. Clark established himself as a seed merchant around the start of 1879 and two years later he went into partnership with a Mr Joseph Gane. Despite what it says on the buildings that G.E. Clark & Sons occupied, i.e. Est. 1880, it wasn't until around 1907 that the firm was established.
The advertisement above is taken from the 1910 Wise's New Zealand Post Office Directory
The image above is dated 1939 and shows the earlier of the buildings on the corner of Ward Street and Ward Lane. The round pediment at the top of the building's facade reads "G.E. Clark & Sons Ltd Established 1880". It is likely this building was demolished shortly after this photograph was taken (for the Hamilton Borough Council) as the building that replaced it (below) has a slight art moderne influence, a style still popular in the 1940s.
According to the 1953 edition of The New Zealand Business Who's Who G.E. Clark & Sons were wholesale agents for Reid Rubber Tyres, President tractors and Atco motor mowers & small farm machinery. By then they also had branches in Waitoa, Wataroa and Tauranga. George Clark died in 1935. He never saw the building that has recently had a repaint that emphasises his Hamilton connection.
"Pioneer's death : Mr G.E. Clark passes : Cambridge's "Grand Old Man" : Lifetime in Waikato" Waikato Times 9 September 1935, p. 6
The New Zealand Business Who's Who (1953 ed.) Wellington: L.T. Watkins Ltd.
The Wise's New Zealand Post Office Directory (1910) Auckland, N.Z. : H. Wise & Co.