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Geebung Building with Splayed Sides

An Eye Catching Building.

229 Robinson Road, Geebung is an unusual building in that it has sloped or bell shaped front and back walls. It does not seem to be any particular architectural style, but it does catch the eye. This effect is further enhanced by the three gables let into the front wall.

In July 2010 the following email arrived at the Society:

Hello -

I quite often pass by an interesting looking wooden building at 229 Robinson Rd, Geebung. I would guess it was built during the war and has a distinctive architectural style. I was speaking with the owner who's owned it for a long time and it's likely to be demolished in the not-too-distant future. I wonder if anything is known about it's history or whether in fact it has come to your society's notice.


Since we didn't know anything about the building it took some time to come up with some answere. And some more questions, but that's the way history goes.

Indstriall Sales And Services (ISAS)

This building was the local branch of ISAS and was built in about 1947.

Cath Ballard, the Historian of Geebung, had information and photographs of the building and its environs going back to its inception in 1947. At that time Geebung was like all the local suburbs, scattered housing, small farms, bush with a few large enterprises just beginning. One of the latter was Industrial Sales and Services or ISAS which grew at No. 229.

It would be interesting to know how the materials for such a large building were obtained as there was a monumental shortage of building materials at the time. Possibly the State or Federal Government 'fast tracked' the process in order to get supplies of tractors.

Aerial View of the Site

This aerial photo taken in 1947 shows the lay out of the entire site. The two igloo huts were probably from Army Disposals sold off after World War II. (Photo courtesy of Kath Ballard)

Notes from Geebung Story - The Next Fifty Years by Kath Ballard Ch. 13 p.214-219

In February 1947 the firm of Industrial Sales and Service (ISAS) opened at 229 Robinson Road East, Geebung with George Lionel Ferguson as Chairman and Managing Director. The site was formerly occupied by Usher's Samsonite factory which was destroyed by fire some three years earlier. (Samsonite was used in making ports or suitcases, school children used ports made of Samsonite to carry their books in the days before the, now universal, 'bags' appeared.)

ISAS supplied and serviced heavy machinery such as International Tractors with caterpillar or tank tracks which were just coming on the market in Australia. The business prospered and eventually employed some 150 persons.

The igloo huts with the ISIS sign are clearly visible as are the caterpillar tractors of International Diesel. The figures in the foreground are interesting. The gentleman in the double breasted suit reminds me of President Harry Truman and looks like a VIP while the younger man in the single breasted suit is paying him very close attention. That man is George Lionel Ferguson, recently (8-6-14) identified by his daughter, Dianne McGinn. (Photo courtesy of Kath Ballard)

Wikipedia has supplied the following information. The Nissen hut or Romney hut or Quonset hut or Igloo was designed by Major Peter Nissan of the Royal Engineers during World War I. The hut is made in sections and can be easily erected simply by bolting the sections together. A team of six men can build a hut in a matter of hours depending on how big a hut is required; vast numbers were used in both World Wars.