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Voyager Rare Books Maps & Prints

Thomas Ham (1821-1870)

Brisbane Map Engraver

Thomas Ham was one of three sons of the Rev. John Ham and his wife Ann. Thomas was born on 17th February 1821 at Teigmouth, Devon, England. The family emigrated to Melbourne in the Dublin in 1842 to be the first minister in the Collins Street Baptist Church.


Thomas was trained as an engraver and in 1843 was commissioned to engrave the corporation seal for the Town of Melbourne. With his business in Collins Street he was sole contractor for engravings and lithography for the government and designed and engraved currency notes for various banks. He jointly published a number of important works with his brothers. In 1860 he transferred the business in Melbourne to one of his brothers and moved to Brisbane. Here he was lithographer in the Survey Office from 1860 and chief engraver in 1866-70. With his brother-in-law William Knight he formed Thomas Ham & Co the enterprise behind the Voyager map. The business was dissolved in 1868 and went into a number of agricultural ventures. He died at Brisbane in 1870 leaving a wife Mary Jull and five sons and four daughters.

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