T. H. VARCOE purchased a blacksmith's shop from Mr William WILLIAMS in Mt Gambier, South Australia in September 1911. In 1913 the business, now known as the VARCOE FOUNDRY, moved around the corner from the original premises to Ferrers Street, Mount Gambier. In 1928 Thomas Hornsby VARCOE applied for a windmill patent. The foundry site was sold in 1979 to the Mt Gambier City Council. Also in 1979 the windmill business was sold to CHAPMAN & SAUNDERS PTY LTD. and they continued production of Varcoe windmills until December 1984 when DEAN & McCABE took over production. They are still in the business of making Varcoe windmills in 2013 in Mt Gambier, South Australia.
There were several different models of windmills produced. These included a direct action oil bath type manufactured in c1920 and claimed to be the first of its type in the world, though this claim has not been verified. There was also a pipe cylinder oil bath type, a turks cap oil bath type which was a single geared windmill with heavy cast cap. It had a walking beam drive and 5 single rod spokes with 3 blades to a section. There was also a witch's hat direct action type.
The Varcoe 6, 7 & 8ft windmills were double geared and the fan was assembled onto a fully welded, galvanised steel frame on a 4 post tower.
The Varcoe 10ft windmill was a geared windmill mounted on a 4 post tower. The fan was made up of 6 segments.
This example of a 'pipe cylinder' Varcoe windmill was donated to the Morawa Museum by Bruce HEWITSON of South Australia.