In 1903 Edward Fellowes established the Universal Carriage Works at 285 – 287 High Street, just across Hawthorn Road from the Commercial Hotel. It was a large establishment taken over from the previous blacksmith W. A. Harrison. The business offered a range of services including the building and repair of carriages and carts, the sale of both new and second hand vehicles and a forge for general blacksmith tasks.
In November 1907 Fellowes shifted the large bulk of his business further up the road to 516 – 522 High Street. There he established a new factory for his carriage works. His coach building factory was large (118 x 30 feet and the adjoining paint shop 50 x 30 feet), and was capable of handling eighteen jobs simultaneously. Fellowes rapidly built a state wide reputation and won important contracts such as the building of ambulance vans for the Commonwealth Defence Department.
Fellowes retained the part of the original premises as a forge but the bulk of the building was used by the Northcote Fodder Company.
Fellowes continued to operate the carriage factory until after the First World War. By 1923 the company was advertised as McDonald and Curtis Coach manufacturers, whilst Fellowes operated a livery next door. Only a few years later the livery had disappeared and the Northcote Motor Company was using the site.
Northcote Leader (Northcote, Vic. : 1882 - )
Sands and McDougall’s Melbourne and Suburban Directory 1864- 1974. [Microfiche]. (1974). Melbourne, Australia: Sands & McDougall.