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George Henry Michell, a boot-maker, and his wife, Catherine, emigrated from Cornwall to South Australia in 1866. In Adelaide Michell established a boot-making business, but after a year the Michells moved out of the city to Cudlee Creek. Here Michell took up farming and developed an interest in stripping wool and tanning leather.

The family moved again in 1870 to Undalya, a small town on the Wakefield River in South Australia's mid-north. Michell started a business stripping wool, buying the sheepskins from farmers in the surrounding areas. Michell diverted water from the river to a series of vats in which the wool was washed. Once it was processed, Michell packed the wool and sent it to Adelaide from where it was shipped to London and auctioned.

Eventually Michell moved his business to Hindmarsh in Adelaide so that it could expand. His four sons joined the business and continued with its management after Michell's death in 1918. In 1937 carding and combing equipment was installed at the Hindmarsh works.

In the late 1960s, the company moved to their current site on Main North Road, Salisbury South. In 1973 a new tanning facility was established. Today, this processing plant is one of the biggest under one roof in the southern hemisphere and Michell buys almost 15 per cent of Australia's unprocessed wool, mostly directly from the woolgrowers themselves. The company is still owned and operated by the Michell family.

Hindmarsh: GH Michell and Sons employees
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Tannery, Hindmarsh
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