Australia is still a colony when founding forefather Jabez William Wedderburn officially opens the doors to Wedderburn Scales in Sydney in 1896 at 88 Liverpool Street.
With no help from home, the early years were difficult. Although a qualified scalemaker, Jabez was forced to work as a coal miner, a wharfie and a professional runner to make ends meet. But by the turn of the Century, he had five employees and was known not only as a proficient mechanical scalemaker, he was also well known with city weights and measures officials.
In the early 1900’s, Wedderburn continues to expand and purchases property in Redfern, a manufacturing plant in Chippendale and a shopfront at 73 Liverpool Street, where it remains until 1970.
1960’s and early 70’s – Decimal System, Growth and Consolidation
In 1965 the current chairman, Bill Wedderburn took over Wedderburn Scales when his father, Walter Wedderburn retired. The following year, the decimal currency is introduced, and Wedderburn gets its big break. Wedderburn commences early conversion and is the first Australian company to supply weighing scales with decimal currency.
As Wedderburn continues to grow, the decision is made to consolidate premises and move everything under one roof. Wedderburn purchases 90 Parramatta Rd Summer Hill, where it remains until 2010.
Mid – 1970’s – Technology Advances, the Metric System and National Growth
The transition from Mechanical to Electronic Weighing systems begins. Wedderburn were pioneers in accepting, and training for technological change and partnered with major electronic scale makers, Teraoka Digi, to introduce an innovative electronic product range to the Australian market.
The changeover to the metric system further sealed Wedderburn’s growth when all scales had to be converted from pounds to kilograms. In 1977 Wedderburn opens its first interstate office in Melbourne, Victoria. Other states quickly follow.
1980’s – Major Supermarkets and Labels
Throughout the 80’s Wedderburn continues to grow and expand, particularly in sales and service.
In 1984 barcode scanning is adopted by fresh food retailers and Wedderburn begins supplying major supermarkets in Australia, a partnership that continues to this day.
In 1987 Wedderburn launches the Label Division, in response to the growing needs of our customers. The Labels division starts by printing basic scale labels for our retail customers, but the division grows rapidly. Today we print over 7 million custom and stock labels a day from our factory in south-west Sydney.
1990’s – International and Product Expansion
Wedderburn’s first sister company opens in Auckland, New Zealand. Expansion starts throughout New Zealand. Wedderburn Australia continues to diversify their product offering introducing Packaging Equipment in 1995.
In 1996, Wedderburn celebrates its 100th anniversary, a remarkable achievement for any business and one we could not have achieved without the ongoing support of our customers, staff and suppliers.
2000’s – Diversification and New Head Office
Wedderburn Scales, becomes simply “Wedderburn”, as we continue to expand our product range. Growing into much more than a scale business. In 2002 Wedderburn introduces Printers to the range, in 2005 POS Systems and in 2008 Food Equipment.
In 2010, Wedderburn relocates its head office and four branch offices to a larger establishment in Ingleburn NSW. All head office, Sales, Service and Labels staff are now under the one roof, enabling better integration of departments and improving customer service.
2013 – Growth and a Rebrand
Wedderburn launches a fresh new brand and logo to better reflect the current business. The Label division continues to grow and the Ingleburn office is expanded by an additional 3500sqm to make room for innovative equipment. We can deliver unique packaging and advanced labelling product applications.
In 2019 Wedderburn embraces its history and experience, reverting to its original tagline, “Since 1896”. We’re incredibly proud to have over 123 years of industry experience to share with our customers.