New routes and imported coaches soon increased passenger numbers. Cobb & Co, under the direction of Rutherford, helped this young nation spread its wings, bringing ideas and cultures together, and literally carrying the colony's economy.
In 1853 Cobb & Co set up business in Australia, transporting miners 175 kilometres from Melbourne to Bendigo for five pounds a head. However, a combination of severe winters and poor management saw the company flounder, with Freeman Cobb selling out in 1856 and returning to the U.S.|
In 1858, a booking clerk at the ailing company formed a syndicate to buy it. His name was James Rutherford and with a strong business vision, he turned Cobb & Co into a thriving operation.
Rutherford was an ethical businessman, paying his employees generously and treating his competitors with respect. He became a prominent community figure, founding the Advocate Newspaper in Bathurst, and serving as the Mayor for several terms.
The railway was eventually to put Cobb & Co out of business, but Rutherford's investment in an iron smelter would lay the foundations of Australia's iron and steel industry.
James Rutherford died in 1911.
Source: Booklet accompanying the 1995 Masterpieces in Silver - Colonial Australia - Set.
Cobb & Co. is featured on the following Australian coins:
1995 Five Dollars
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Last modified: 05 December, 2007