From State Library NSW records:

“J. Ratner & Co. Pty. Ltd. was begun by Joseph Ratner, grandfather of the donor, David Ratner. Joseph Ratner “was born in Russia, lived in England & America, married an English girl, came to Australia in 1904, lived in Annandale, began firm c.1911, built factory himself.” Two of Joseph’s four sons, Saul (1900-1980) (David Ratner’s father), and Harry, worked for the firm. David described Saul and Joseph as a “master craftsmen, real artists who made very fine furniture … Did work for local churches. Also ANZ Bank, Newtown, Catholic Church, Manly, St Thomas’s, Lewisham, synagogues. Grace Bros was one of their major clients. In earlier days used cedar, Queensland maple and mahogany. Later used mainly coachwood. Production stopped last year. Ratner’s designed furniture in Egyptian Room of Royal Scottish Arch Temple, College St, Sydney – the temple has since been demolished, but the room was re-erected at Canterbury Rd, Petersham (c.1977)”. The firm’s archives were presented to the Library following the sale of the factory and family home — notes by Field Librarian from information supplied by donor, on ML correspondence file, 28/10/1981.”


Michael Bogle
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