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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]

The Cyclopedia Company, Limited

The Cyclopedia Company, Limited. Directors, Messrs. J. R. Randerson (Chairman and Managing Director), J. Cole Edwards, and Arthur McKee, Publishers of the Cyclopedia of New Zealand. Registered office, Colonial Mutual Buildings, Harbour Street, Wellington. Branches in all other cities of the Colony as required. Telegraphic address “Cyclo Wellington.” P.O. Box, 388. Bankers, Bank of New South Wales. Private residence of the Managing Director 77 Brougham Street. This Company was in corporated in June, 1894, Some months prior to that date, Mr. Randerson, who was at that time a resident of Christchurch, visited Wellington, and took that opportunity of laying before Mr. Edwards (who had aheady successfully carried out several large printing contracts for him) a scheme which he had conceived for publishing a work, which would afford information useful to the commercial and industrial sections of the community. In conside ation of the valuable suggestions made by Mr. Edwards, it was decided that the work should be compiled and published by these gentlemen jointly. The public at once recognised that the Cyclopedia offers better opportunities for letting the world know what is going on in New Zealand than any other means that has yet been tried. They also saw that the information would be most useful to all within the colony; and accordingly they patronised it with a liberality which has enabled the Company to produce a work, the production of which without such valuable support would have been an impossibility. The Cyclopedia speaks for itself and the dullest can now see that it is a great work, destined to accomplish great things. The proprietors take this opportunity of expressing their gratitude to the public for the kindness which they have received from all classes, and which has been so helpful to them in their arduous duties. In May, 1894, finding that the Cyclopedia was destined to be a much larger and more important work than was at first expected, and finding also that Messrs. McKee and Gamble, the well-known engraver and printers had in contemplation a work on somewhat similar [unclear: lin]es, a union of forces was proposed, and an amalgamation took place, thus bringing the Cyclopedia Company into existence. Mr. Randerson, who is the large[unclear: s]t shareholder, was elected Chairman and Managing Director, Mr. Elwards and Messrs. McKee and Gamble completing the Board. The Cyclopedia is being published by the Company, and printed by Messrs. McKee and Gamble and Messrs. Edwards, Russell & Co., Ltd., conjointly. The latter do all the type-setting and the former make the engravings and execute the stereotyping and machine work. Both these firms carry on an extensive business apart from this special work, but the page 727 production of the Cyclopedia necessitated a largely increased staff at both offices. Since the registration of the Company the scope of the Cyclopedia has been very much extended, and what was originally expected to be a single book is now being issued in six large volumes, one each being allotted to the four largest provincial districts. In the matter of illustrations, too, the anticipations of the compilers have been very greatly exceeded, both as to number of pictures and the quality of Messrs. McKee and Gamble's work in their production. Almost every day some improvement in methods and appliances is being introduced, and it is a commonly shared opinion that the pictures will in themselves be worth more than the cost of the whole work. It is difficult to conceive of a more appropriate present for friends in other parts of the world, for the Cyclopedia deals with every phase of the national life of this young and progressive Colony—a Colony that must attract increasing attention from outside as the years roll on. Some refere[gap — reason: illegible]ce is made below to the Chairman and Managing Director of the Company, Mr. J. R. Randerson. Messrs. McKee and Edwards are also sketched in their capacity as directors, and some notice of Mr. Edwards as an ex-Councillor appears on page 301 of this volume.