Wm Southam Pty Ltd  - NSW:

                                                 *Cover photo - Early Bill Southam Teaser that is part of the Australian Fishing Museum collection
Wm. Southam lures were made in northern Sydney, NSW by William (Bill) Southam. The company started in 1932 with Bill being in demand as a reknowned rod builder (early rods made by Bill are highly valued). Bill Southam was making rods by 1936 and Zane Gray praised them in his 1937 book 'An American Angler in Australia' which documented his visit to Bermagui, Batemans Bay, Sydney and Queensland. Zane Grey caught a 1036lb shark using a Bill Southam rod in 1936.
Wm. Southam  started in 1932 and was listed on the stockmarket in 1938 with 1st directors William L Southam and George H Montgomery. Selling split cane rods and fishing tackle the company was situated at 119 Pacific Hwy, Lane Cove in 1932 and moved to 473 Pacific Hwy Lane Cove, NSW by the early 1950's . The earliest paperwork for the Bellbrook Wobbler listed a company address as 419 Pacific Highway which seems to indicate that there was a short stay at that address before moving up the road to 473 Pacific Highway. The company ceased in 2002??
The paperwork below is from a catalogue by Smiths Sports Store c. 1950/1 which listed the 'Bellbrook Wobbler' in 4 models and introducing the 'Midget' as a new model. There are 11 colour combinations listed.
It was also at this address that the plastic boxes started - the cardboard boxed examples are rare as they were only made for a couple of years before going to plastic.
The advertisement left is from 1937 when William Southam was the preferred tackle maker for Zane Grey as he was making the best game rods in Australia at the time. Notice the reference to 'Teasers and Traces' -  the top banner image on this page being a fine example of a Bill Southam Teaser. 
The first reference to Bill Southam's Bellbrook range was in Outdoors and Fishing magazine in October 1949 where it was referred to as the 'Bellrock' lure and soon to be released - an editing error that went to print and shown below.
A further advertisement in the same magazine ran in 1950 with the address still listed as 119 Pacific Highway, Lane Cove and introducing the Bellbrook 'Flatfish', a lure that is rarely seen and the 'Brat'. The 'Swayback' and  'Wobbler' had already been released a year prior. The earliest Bellbrook lures came in two piece cardboard presentation boxes as shown left. This lure is in the most popular colour which was called 'Black Albert.
From the early 1950's through  the 1960's Wm. Southam Pty Ltd are probably most famous for the 'Bellbrook' range which was the name used by the company for all of their lure range. For any USA collector it is obvious that the wobbler lure is a direct copy of the popular Heddon 'River Runt' design and the 'Swayback' a copy of the popular L & S Mirrolures. A Sept 1951 advertisemnet in Anglers Digest announced the addition of the Deep Diver and the Midget to the Bellbrook series which suggests they were released earlier that year. These lures are sought after by collectors seeking early cardboard boxed Bellbrooks and the later plastic boxes. The paperwork below is the later insert added to cardboard boxed 'Bellbrook Wobbler' when they were released in 11 colours.
An advertisement shown earlier mentions the Bellbrook Flatfish which was a short lived model that emerged by 1950. The card above shows the Artarmon address with the lure still attached to the card. An uncommon Bellbrook model which is rarely seen and was first made at the 119 Pacific Highway, Lane Cove address.
The photo below shows an early boxed Bellbrook Lure c.1949 with the earliest catalogue showing 9 colours. It can be assumed that the addition of 'Green Scale' and 'Red Head' were added after this which would be 1950/1.
The earliest 'Swayback' models may have unmarked bibs which would date them to the earliest part of 1951 when they were released or make them earlier prototypes before full production commenced. This one below would be after 1952 when the company had moved again as shown by paperwork. The hook hardware on Bellbrook lures are often tarnished or rusted if they have been used extensively in saltwater.

The photos right show a number 1 and 2 Swayback with the markings on the bib. They are often found with the snap swivel still attached.

Shooters Monthly 1957

 (Above) Anglers Digest 1957 

(Right) Smiths Sports Store catalogue 1958 with the 'Swaybacks' now on the list.

Shown left is a great photo posted on the Lure Lovers forum showing some examples of plastic boxed 'Swayback' lures but also two examples of  Peter Southam lures in the packaging (blue). After Bill died his son Peter eventually took over the company and he brought out the reinforced Barra King model during the 70s, adding some new colours for that model. An example below is the colour 'Pretty Boy' which is rare like the later added 'Panda' colour.
The Deep Diving model which was added in 1951 is less common than regular 'Standard' models. They are an exact copy of the Heddon Deep Diving River Runt which first came out with a scooped bib just before World War 2. They are easily identified as they will have a small hole in the scoop bib and different hangers and hardware to the Heddon range.
Wm. Southam catalogue including 11 Bellbrook colours and 7 for 'Swayback'.
Wm Southam Pty Ltd also made another popular copy of an American lure (L&S Mirrorlure) and called it the 'Swayback' which took the Australian lure market by storm. The only lures available at this time was a trickle of USA made lures, the French made Rublex 'Flopy' and metal 'aeroplane'spinners' that dominated the market at the time. This particular catalogue lists the address as 419 Pacific Highway, Artarmon and includes the Deep Diving model which was released c.1951 

The catalogue below shown with an old Bellbrook 'Swayback'.This catalogue includes two sizes of 'Swayback' which are now listed as the No 1 and No 2. Another colour 'Panda' (white w/black eyes and red spot) was added to the range taking the patterns to 12 for the 'Standard' which included the deep diving model. Again the address is listed as 419 Pacific Highway but with an extra phone extension. This indicates the company moved to 473 Pacific Highway sometime in the early 1950's after 1951/2.

The paperwork below was found in an old angling book dating to the mid 1960's. Fishermen's Corner was the name of the Artarmon store and Southam factory