• Snelling's perspective for the Functional Products factory at St Peters.

241 Princes Highway, St Peters, NSW, 1947

In the late 1940s, the founder and principal of Functional Products, Terry Palmerston, purchased a block of land on the corner of Princes Highway and Edith Street at St Peters, south Sydney, to build a factory for making furniture. He had formed a partnership with Douglas Snelling and two accountants, Douglas Davidson and Robert Shaw, to produce and nationally market ‘the Snelling line’ of seating, tables, and later, storage cabinets.

Snelling “spruced up” Palmerston’s original sketch for a simple one-storey building with “big windows, nice elevation.” Only half the design was built; “that was all you could afford,” said Palmerston. Beside the factory building, the remainder of the site was an enclosed yard. Some years later, small second-storey structures were added around the edges of the site, and later again, adjacent properties were purchased along Edith Street.

The two-storey building now occupying all of this site is structurally similar to Snelling’s original perspective design but has different arrangements of windows and doors, and a gable roof.


—Collins, Sue. Personal communications, 17 December 2003.

—Decoration and Glass, 1948, ‘Functional products: designer Douglas B. Snelling Associates’, September–October, pp. 30–31.

—Palmerston, Terry (speaker). Ca. late 1990s. Audio recording, reminiscences to his family, supplied by Vicky Palmerston and Sue Collins (daughters) in 2003.

—Palmerston, Vicky. Personal communications, 1 October 2002.

—Sydney: SLNSW MLMSS 8801, undated perspective sketch.