Sunday, 22 May 2011

Nylex Clock - History

The Nylex Clock is a Melbourne icon. Why is it there?

Beginning as Moulded Products in North Melbourne the business established by John Derham was a pioneer in the manufacture of plastics in Australia. The business relocated to Cremorne Street, Richmond, manufacturing with brand names Duperite and Nylex. The top of the Richmond barley silos was visible from John Derham's corner office window and it occured to him that it would be an ideal spot to promote his emerging business empire. Nylex would go on to be one of the largest manufacturers of plastics in Victoria and employ as staff or consultants many Victorian designers including; Lionel Suttie, Geoff Fitzpatrick, Edward Kayser, Ross Whitehead, Michael Simcoe, and consultants Catalyst, Cobalt Niche and Design + Industry.

Melbourne Icon the Nylex Clock.

The "clock on the silo shows eleven degrees" are the lyrics from the Paul Kelly classic Leaps and Bounds. The film clip features the band under the clock on top of the Richmond silos, and is great for it's panorama of Melbourne circa 1987. During 1986 I would regularly pass under the clock on my way to Vermont South to work with my first employer John Westwood at John Westwood Design Associates.

image: copyright Paul Kelly 1987

The Nylex Clock is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register (File No. H2049) and the National Trust cites it as being of "state significance" (File No. B7130).  

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