Comeng: A History of Commonwealth Engineering
By John Dunn
The company Commonwealth Engineering (Comeng) began as Smith & Waddington in 1921 Australia - a small firm building custom bodies for motorcars. A larger factory enabled the company to begin building railway rolling stock, but the advent of war brought new changes. The Australian government took over control, and the plant became a manufacturer of wartime products. The company was so successful that the government took up the controlling shares in 1946 and the name changed to Commonwealth Engineering. Post war brought huge contracts for double deck buses and passenger railway vehicles. By 1955, an agreement was signed with the Budd Company of Philadelphia giving Comeng a license to build stainless steel passenger trains in Australia. It was a turning point in the company's fortunes. Author John Dunn joined the company in 1956. When the company closed, its owners ordered the destruction of all the archives and records. Dunn managed to salvage some materials. Since the activities of Comeng represented a significant part of the industrial and manufacturing history of Australia, Dunn's intention has been to document its 70-year story. This monumental work, with numerous interviews and photographs, will be published in three volumes over the next three years.
Publication Date: 12/31/2006