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John Samuel (Jack) Blackmore (1853–1931)

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John Samuel (Jack) Blackmore (1853-1931) printer, trade union leader 

Birth: 28 June 1853, Fremantle, Western Australia, son of Samuel Blackmore, gardener, and Margaret, née Davies. Marriage: 14 October 1882 in Newtown, Sydney, to Mary Bird. They had one son and two daughters. Death: 30 July 1931 at the state hospital, Lidcombe, Sydney. Religion: Congregational

  • Moved from Perth to Melbourne with his mother, then to Adelaide, where ‘Jackie’ found employment in a printing office.
  • Back in Melbourne he worked with Messrs Troedel and Co., printers.
  • In 1882 he moved to Sydney. He was employed by John Sands Ltd for the next 45 years. He became a highly skilled printer, known as ‘Old Blackie’.
  • In 1882 he was active in the formation of the Lithographic Society of New South Wales; was vice-president and president of Printing Trades Council; delegate to Labor Council and Eight Hour Committee, ongoing commitments for most of his life.
  • Founding member and secretary, Balmain/Rozelle Labor League. Conducted many interviews with Premier George Dibbs on behalf of the unemployed.
  • Enthusiastic participant in printers’ picnic days especially in ‘his struggle to come in victor in the Old Buffer’s Race’.
  • Remembered for renderings of ‘Piccadilly’ and for his ubiquitous cigar at union meetings. George Mackaness described him as ‘a notably generous man’ with a ‘benevolent smile and twinkling eyes’, of ‘staunch Unionist spirit and commonsense outlook’.

Official Souvenir of the 8-Hour Demonstration
, 1908; Amalgamated Printing Trades Union Review, September 1931.

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Citation details

'Blackmore, John Samuel (Jack) (1853–1931)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 26 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


28 June, 1853
Fremantle, Western Australia, Australia


30 July, 1931 (aged 78)
Lidcombe, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Key Organisations
Political Activism