Zealandia Cycle, Hawke's Bay Hearld ad, 2 January 1895.
Oates, Lowry and Co's Zealandia Cycle Works, 82 Manchester Street, Christchurch, circa 1900.
Cyclopedia of New Zealand - Canterbury, 1903, p. 315.
Nicholas Oates, senior partner of the firm of Oate, Lowry, and Co., established the business in 1880 with the firm's Zealandia Cycle Works becoming one of the first cycle manufacturers in New Zealand. Alexander Lowry joined the partnership in 1897.
Cyclopedia of New Zealand - Canterbury
The Cyclopedia of New Zealand reported in 1903 that the business located at 82 Manchester Street in Christchurch was housed in a large two storey building. The retail store, the Cyclopedia stated, consists of a "large double-fronted shop, with handsome plate-glass windows, displaying a varied stock of bicycles. Behind are the offices, and at the back is the factory, which is thoroughly equipped with all necessary plant and machinery, and is claimed to be the largest in the Colony."
The firm produced its own Zealandia and Atalanta brand bicycles. "[E]verything connected with cycles, except chains, hubs, saddles, pedals, and rims, is made on the premises; the tubing, rough castings, and wrought iron-work are imported, and turned, finished, and plated on the premises."
Between 30 and 40 workers were employed in cycle manufacturing in Christchurch, while repair facilities were operated out of premises in Timaru, Ashburton and Napier. In 1901, a retail store run by Oates, Lowry was operating in Cuba Street, Wellington and other sales outlets were run on an agency basis throughout the country. For example, F W Ansley's Zealandia Cycle Deport sold Zealandia and Atalanta cycles from his premises in Ridgway Street in Wanganui in 1900.
Oates, Lowry and Co was also the first to import a petrol-driven motor car into the Australasian colonies. No date is given for this event.
Ellesmere Guardian ad, 15 December 1897.