A J Shackell & Co
By Ryan Aden

Location: 60 William Street (later 77 Barrack Street), Perth

What was sold?
Arthur James Shackell was a “high class tailor” who sold the finest clothing for gentlemen, including fancy vests, sweaters, Crimean shirts, collars, cuffs, tennis shirts, socks and ties, as well as the latest motoring coats and caps. (See this link)

When did he go into business?
In the early 1900s Arthur, a tailor, worked as a cutter for NZ Woollen Co Tailors. In January 1905 they sent him on an extended tour of Great Britain, France, and Germany, during which he picked up the latest ideas in tailoring. He returned to Perth in July 1905, bringing with him the finest selection of fabrics. His firm proudly proclaimed:

“Our representative got right in touch with the best masters in London, Birminhgham, Paris, Brussels and other Continental Sartorial Schools with results that now place us laps in front in the tailoring business. … To take a customer's measure anatomically and put the measurements into a true fit, with perfect set, and comfortable touch … We have snatched the secret of PERFECT FITTING SUITS!”

The Daily News, 27 July 1905

Arthur, proclaimed a ‘sartorial expert’ went into business under his own name in around 1907, with his earliest advertisement found in newspapers in March 1908. (See this link.) Later, he moved to 77 Barrack Street (near Hay), but made regular trips to the country, to cater to his regular rural customers.

When did he go out of business?
Soon after war was declared in August 1914, Arthur decided to liquidate his Perth business. All stock and contents were auctioned in January 1915. (See this link.)

About Arthur Shackell:
Arthur was the son of Joseph, a tailor, and born in Islington, London, in 1876. He married Eliza Sillitoe in early 1899 in Fulham, London, and came to Western Australia, where their daughter, Adelaide, was born in 1903. A son, Percy, was born in 1909 but died in 1911. In Perth they lived in Barker Road, Subiaco, then 212 Hamersley Road, Subiaco.

After closing his Perth business Arthur moved his family to New Zealand. In 1929 they moved to Buckinghamshire, England, where he died in 1955.

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