The Brush Factory

The Brush Factory (map)


Federation Free Classical

The Brush Factory is located at 36-42 Duke Street and is a factory building constructed in limestone with brick quoins around arched barred windows with rendered masonry. The ground floor is partially below street level.


W.A. Brushware Co. (1909) Ltd., East Fremantle, started in 1897 in Fremantle as H. Albrecht and Co. It was taken over in 1907 and a new factory was built on the corner of Duke and George Streets, East Fremantle. Additions were made in 1932. The factory employed many local Plympton workers.

An article in 1928 outlined that half their product was sold locally and the other half exported to the Eastern States. (reference)

“This East Fremantle factory is showing a fine display of their productions at the Manufacturers' Hall at the Royal Show. This firm has built up a solid reputation as manufacturers of all kinds of brushware, also wood, zinc, and glass washboards, and colored cotton mops in various sizes. They specialise in brushes for the dairy, flour mill and butter factories. A striking fact of note is that this factory competes successfully with the Eastern States trade. Every housewife should insist on buying the high quality productions of this local firm”. (reference)

A full and fascinating list of products made in their State factory can be found: (reference)

“Employees of W.A. Brushware Co., Fremantle recently held a dance in aid of the Orphans' Christmas Cheer fund and as a result handed in £20”. (reference)

A contract between the WA Brushware Company and the Commonwealth (Defence), 17 May 1911 supplying brushes, harnesses and horse brushes. (reference)

In June 1954, there was an industrial dispute: United Broom and Brush Makers' Union vs. WA Brushware Co. (1909) Ltd. (reference)

Lauder and Howard Antiques, 1979 - 2009

Established in 1979, partners Les Lauder and Mark Howard, were antique dealers with showrooms situated in the old Brushware building until 2009. Les Lauder was awarded an Order of Australia in 2017 for his services to heritage. Always a passionate advocate for the heritage of Fremantle he founded and served as President of the Fremantle Society (credited with saving Fremantle from the wrecking ball) and was a Fremantle councillor several times -most recently (2005-2009). In 2017 they moved to Tasmania.

Brushware Factory, 2018

The Duke on George - a New Orleans Jazz and Blues bar, is a 200-seat venue in the basement of the Brush Factory.


1909 - 1910: W.A. Brushware Co. Ltd. (Robert Harris, manager)

1911 - 1939: W.A. Brushware Co. (1909) Ltd. (Percival F. C. Anderson, manager)

1939 - 1949: W.A. Brushware Co. (1909) Ltd, brush manufacturers

1979 - 2009: Lauder and Howard Antiques

2018: Starblade (Director Peter Unsworth, Christopher Coyle and WAAPA Graduate Renee Coyle)


Courtesy of the Town of East Fremantle Heritage Trail, Artist: Miles Noel

“This new factory for the WA Brushware Co. started life in 1907. In 2018, the newly renovated premises re-opened, featuring the Duke of George jazz bar.”