Howard Florey

Howard FloreyLord Walter Howard Florey was born 24 September 1898. Raised in Malvern, he was the youngest of three children.

By 1916 Florey entered the University of Adelaide's Medical School. He received a Rhodes Scholarship in 1921, and in the 1930s held the post of Professor of Pathology in a number of English universities.

Florey is most famous for the major role he played in the medical team which researched and developed penicillin. He received a knighthood for this work in 1944, and in 1945 shared the Nobel Prize for science.

Penicillin was widely used by the Allies to fight infection during World War Two (1939-45).


Standard Show LeatherHoward Florey(Sunday Mail, 29 May 1994)  Standard Shoe Leather Co.



Joseph Florey

Joseph Florey was the father of Walter Howard Florey, and manager of the Standard Shoe and Leather Company, a manufacturing and importing business with factories in both Adelaide and Melbourne.

His home was in Springfield, at the property know as Coreega.

In 1892, in his role as manager, he escorted the SA Parliamentary Shops and Factories Commission around the Hunter's Enterprise Boot Factory.

Part of the largest boot manufacturing operation in the Southern Hemisphere with 1,000 staff nationally, the Adelaide factory alone employed nearly 300 staff and produced 1,000 pairs of footwear a day.

At the time it was claimed that no-one under the age of 14 was employed, and staff were paid weekly for a 48 hours of work (including Saturday mornings 8.00am to 12.45pm) with a 30 minute lunch break each day.

Howard Florey spent his early years near Mitcham, the family moving in 1906 to historic Coreega House on Carrick Hill Rd (formerly Fullarton Road). Following the death of his father Joseph in 1919, Howard's mother continued to live there until about 1920.

A plaque above the front door bell reminds the caller that "Lord Howard Florey lived here".

Coreega house was built around 1882 for Colonel Frank Makin. The new owner from 1888, the Hon George Riddoch, named the property Coreega, probably after his daughter. Situated well back from the street frontage on 9.5 acres, the property was noted for its beautiful fruit and flower gardens, as well as a plantation of pines and many other fine old trees.

Coreega House

Mrs Rosa Stump, the widow of a former photographer and artist, and Mrs A. B. Wells were the next owners until 1925, when the house passed to the Cornell family who held it as their family home until 1974.

As a child Howard Florey did not enjoy robust health.

Mitcham identity, Mrs Molly Bowen, now over 100 years old, remembers walking with Howard from Coreega to what was then the Tram Terminus opposite Ms Cunningham's shop in Mitcham Village, before he travelled along Princes Street and down Victoria Terrace to Miss Thornber's school in Thornber Street, Unley Park.

Howard later attended Kyre College, also in Thornber Street, and noted both for its high calibre teaching staff and, despite its low enrolments (only around 500 in 17 years), the relatively high proportion of ex- students who achieved distinction in their subsequent lives.

The college was integrated with Scotch College from 1920.

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