In 1887 Australia was still a British Colony racing towards Federation. Henry Markwald from Adelaide established a trading company that was to become ABEL LEMON & Co., these foundations were built upon by visionary Traders, Mr H.M. Abel and Mr G.H. Lemon, who soon had offices also in Sydney and Melbourne.
Goods were brought by sea, in bulk, and unloaded by hand on the wharves, then carried by horse and cart to a growing population that eagerly sought the latest shipments from England of goods from India and exotic Asian and Pacific Island locations. Fast Clipper ships, such as the CUTTY SARK, raced from England to Australia, often making the journey in 2 to 3 months, but cargo and passenger vessels could take up to 4 months.