Seelenmeyer, H. & Forbes, Homœopathic Chemist

  • Date Established:
  • State:
  • Suburb/Town:
  • Variations on Business Name:
    H. Seelenmeyer
    Forbes & Co.

(Material researched & presented by Barbara Armstrong)


The first mention of H. Seelenmeyer's homœopathic pharmacy was in The Australasian of 21 March 1874.


In the post office directory of 1875 Henry Seelenmeyer was listed as a homœopathic chemist.  The alphabetical entry also stated that he ran the Bible and Tract Depot, which he had managed in the previous year when it was located in Little Bourke Street East. The pharmacy business was initially at 110 Swanston Street, on the east side between Little Bourke and Lonsdale Streets. This was three doors from Little Bourke Street.


At that time his permanent residence was 107 Albert Street, East Melbourne, then Morrah Street, Carlton in 1878.  In August of the same year he announced that he had opened a pharmacy at 21 Chapel Street South Yarra, which also became his residence.


                                          Henry Seelenmeyer's original two premises

                                           (currently 238 & 236 Swanston Street)

                   Building with the dark frontage & yellow signage - original premises.

                                  Building with the red frontage - second premises.

                                 (Former Globe Hotel on the far right of the photo)

                                                          Photo courtesy Peter Torokfalvy


Henry Seelenmeyer died on 10 February 1879.  According to Henry's Will, written in 1877, his younger brother Adolphe Frederick Seelenmeyer was a draftsman.  However, at the time of probate, Adolphe was described as being a chemist living in South Yarra.  Henry's pharmacy continued to be advertised under the name 'H. Seelenmeyer'.  It appears that Adolph took over the pharmacy, but did not change its name.


From 15 February 1879 to 3 January 1887 the firm of H. Seelenmeyer, Homœopathic Chemist and Medical Bookseller, advertised in New Zealand's Timaru Herald.


        Modern context of Seelenmeyer's

                         original premises


               Situated in the block of buildings on

               Eastern side of Swanston Street &

                  North of Little Bourke Street

     (Little Bourke Street on the far right of photo)

                 Photo courtesy Peter Torokfalvy


On the recommendation of the House Committee of the Homœopathic Hospital, the pharmacy’s tender for the supply of drugs and dispensing for the year 1880 was accepted. At that time the business was called a 'Homœopathic Dispensary'.


The pharmacy continued business under the name of H. Seelenmeyer until 1883.  From January 1884 the business name changed to H. Seelenmeyer & Forbes.  Adolphe Frederick Seelenmeyer obtained his medical qualifications and returned to Australia in 1886.  From October 1886 the homœopathic pharmacy operated under the name of Forbes & Co. until 1890.


In 1883 the shop moved next-door to 108 Swanston Street, next to what was then the Globe Hotel on the corner. (The modern street number is 236 Swanston Street).


The last advertisement for Forbes & Co. was in 1890.


©  Barbara Armstrong


  • Created:
    Wednesday, 17 June 2009
  • Last modified:
    Sunday, 05 October 2014