Desk Set that belonged to Arthur Calwell #2010-0284
Desk set with black stone base, two adjustable metal pen holders and metal plate engraved with Arthur Calwell’s signature; accompanied by one black pen.
This desk set is part of a collection of objects that belonged to Arthur Calwell, Australia’s first Minister for Immigration (1945-49) that were donated to the museum by his daughter, Dr Mary Elizabeth Calwell.
Dr Calwell commented on the provenance of this desk set:
‘The pen set must have been presented to my father by the Sheaffer company as they were involved with an Australian friend and businessman, Glen Stott who introduced them and I met the son, John Sheaffer around 1950, a charming young man who was killed in a plane crash on his way home. It was shocking. My parents were very upset…my father was enthusiastic about developing friendly American associations as he had an American grandfather.’
It is worthy of note that the Sheaffer company pioneered an employee profit-sharing and consultative management scheme from the 1930s on, which may have also contributed to Calwell’s interest in the firm.