W R Carpenter & Company Limited was registered in Sydney in 1914. The company was founded by Walter Randolf Carpenter. He was subsequently joined by his brothers, J A and W H Carpenter and, still later, by his two sons, R B and C H Carpenter. The company was initially involved in shipping and trading island produce in Papua, including copra, cocoa, trochus, beche-de-mer and green snail shell. After 1920 it became involved in copra plantations in the Mandated Territory of New Guinea and extended its interests to the Solomon islands, and the Gilbert and Ellice Islands. In 1938 it pioneered an air link between Sydney and Lae. After the War, in which Carpenters suffered heavy losses, the company was restructed as a holding company. In 1956, when R B Carpenter was Chairman of the Board of Directors, the Carpenter Group purchased the retail operations of Morris Hedstrom & Co in Fiji, Tonga and Samoa.
This is a poor quality photocopy of the original, Ts., 97pp., given to the Bureau by Pepita Carpenter. Ch.1, Pioneering the Pacific, pp.1-3; Ch.2, The Costa Rica Packet, pp.4-7; Ch.3, Treasure in Trochus, pp.8-9; Ch.4, A Small Beginning and a Stumble, pp.10-13; Ch.5, The Company Regained, pp.14-16; Ch.6, Between the Wars – an Era of Expansion, pp.17-21; Ch.7, The Creative Years – Shipping, pp.22-25; Ch.8, The Creative Years – Aviation, pp.26-31; Ch.9, The Creative Years – Merchandising, pp.31-38; Ch.10, The Creative Years – The Plantation Industries, pp.34-38; Ch.11, Sir Walter – Thoughts and Theories, pp.39-45; Ch.12, Stranded in Canada, pp.46-50; Ch.13, The Ravages of War, pp.50-53; Ch.14, Gains and Some Losses, pp.54-59; Ch.15, A New Chairman – Growth Continues, pp.60-65; Ch.16, The Tradition Maintained, pp.66-70; Ch.17, The Pattern Changes, pp.71-79; Ch.18, Some Turbulent Years, pp.80-84. Appendix 1, Profit and Dividend History, pp.85-86; Appendix 2, A Brief History of the Major Elements of the W R Carpenter Group in Australia…, pp.87-91; Appendix 3, Extracts from correspondence between J M Hedstrom and W R Carpenter, 1920-1922, following takeover of W R Carpenter & Co Ltd by Morris Hedstrom Ltd, pp.92-97.