William Edward Toose was born in Taunton, England in 1849 and emigrated to Australia as a young man.
He set up his Optician, Watch and Jewellery business not long after his arrival at 418 George Street. He is thought to have been the first in Sydney to offer sight testing, using an optometer. William married Martha Anne Lucas in 1873 and they had six children. William was prominent in the various Church of England organisations in Syndey and had a seat on the Anglican Synod. He died in 1912.
He won several medals and diplomas for his work in silver, gold and diamond setting at different exhibitions. He also invented a plate polish called Toose's Imperial Plate Powder from native products that was highly regarded for its ability to remove all tarnish and give a brilliant polish with little labour.
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