Thomas Broadhurst was born in Windsor, Victoria in 1858. In 1874 he began working at Braithwaite's tannery in Preston. After that he worked in several other tanneries before commencing his own tannery, in partnership with J. T. Hull in 1880. It was located on the corner of High and Gower streets, Preston.
By 1887 Broadhurst's tannery employed between 15 and 20 people, processing about 100 hides per week. By now Broadhurst had taken sole ownership of the tannery, renaming it the Jika Tannery.
In the land boom of 1890 Broadhurst sold the business, but after the collapse of the land boom, moved back to Preston and established another tannery on the land border by railway line and Mary Street and Murray Road and Cramer Street.
The tannery, known as Thos. Broadhurst Pty. Ltd., grew to be one of the largest in Victoria by the time of Broadhurst’s death in 1919. Robert Broadhurst, Thomas’ oldest son took over the family business, running it until 1950 when it was sold to Johnson Leathers of Sydney. The tannery closed down in 1960.
Preston Historical Society (1968). Brief biographies of prominent Preston People. Preston, Vic: Author.
Victorian Pioneers Index: 1837 – 1888 [CD-ROM]. (1991). Melbourne, Australia: R.M.I.T.