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Biographical entry Wunderlich, Ernest Julius (1859 - 1945)

16 May 1859
Islington, England
11 April 1945
Bondi Junction, New South Wales, Australia
Alternative Names
  • Wunderlich, Henry Charles


Ernest Wunderlich was chairman and a director of Wunderlich Ltd from its formation in 1908 until his death in 1945. The firm, which had branches in all States and in Wellington, New Zealand, specialised in terracotta products, at first all imported but from 1910 also produced at the Wunderlich works at Brunswick, Melbourne.


Ernest Julius Wunderlich arrived in Australia as a manufacturers' agent for imported German stamped metal ceilings. He soon developed a better type of ceiling which he patented in 1988. The following year he sold the patent to manufacturer W.H. Rocke & Co. and joined the company. Wunderlich soon became the manger of the Melbourne factory and regained the patents. Next he established Wunderlich Patent Ceiling & Roofing Co. Ltd, which eventually merged with W.H. Rocke & Co. in 1908 to become Wunderlich Ltd. Ernest Wunderlich's other interests and achievements include being a Trustee and President (1926) of the Australian Museum; founder of the Museum's magazine (1921); and built an observatory at his holiday home at Gunnamatta Bay, Port Hacking. In 1924 he placed the observatory in trust for the New South Wales branch of the British Astronomical Association, of which he was president.


Life event - Migrated to Australia (Sydney)
Career position - Patented a ceiling type
Career position - Sold patents to W.H. Rocke & Co.
Career position - Manager of W.H. Rocke & Co. in Melbourne and redeemed the patents
c. 1893
Career position - Established Wunderlich Patent Ceiling & Roofing Co. Ltd
Career position - Wunderlich Ltd established through the merger of W.H. Rocke & Co. and Wunderlich Patent Ceiling & Roofing Co. Ltd

Published resources

Book Sections

  • Walsh, G. P., 'Wunderlich, Frederick Otto (1861-1951), [Medical Practitioner and Manufacturer]', in John Ritchie (ed.), Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 12, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1990, pp. 587-589. Also available at Details

Online Resources

Rosanne Walker