Colton, Palmer & Preston. ( Peter Pan Sewing Machines)

John Colton and his wife Mary arrived in Adelaide from England in 1839. He formed " Colton and Company " in 1842, supplying horse bridles and saddles as well as general hardware items. By the 1860s, he had begun manufacturing bicycles and kerosene lamps.

John Colton was premier of South Australia in 1876/1877, and again in 1884/1885. He was awarded a Knighthood in 1892 due mainly to his strong charitable acts while in parliament. He died in 1902.

Mary Colton was elected president of the Women's Suffrage League after her husband was knighted, and was a strong influence on the passing of a Young Persons Protection Bill through parliament. She was co-founder of the Adelaide Children’s Hospital, and also the Y.W.C.A.

During the years of the Second World War, the company manufactured hand grenades for the Australian army. In the mid 1950s, the leather and canvas operations were bought out by a Ken Major, and the business, now known as Colton, Palmer & Preston, began to concentrate on light engineering. Roy Palmer, who grew up in Adelaide, became managing director.

The company ceased operations on January 1st 1965 after being bought out by George Wills & Sons.


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