William Hesketh Lever was the first person to stamp soap with a brand name and wrap it before selling it to the public. The brand was Sunlight soap and the year was 1885. In the late 1880s, Lever Brothers Sunlight soap was first imported to NZ from the UK. In 1899, Lever Brothers began soap production at Balmain in Sydney, followed by the commencement of production in New Zealand in 1919.
Balmain Coal Mine. The Birchgrove site was bought in 1895 for $15 000. Balmain Colliery produced coal from 1897 until 1931 and natural gas until 1945. It is the deepest coal mine ever to be sunk in Australia. It had poor working conditions and suffered several disastrous accidents. The property was sold in 1955 and the shafts filled in and sealed two years later.