Alfred George Healing was born in 1868 in the suburb of Richmond, Melbourne (VIC).
Starting in the cycle industry as a cycle builder and repairer in 1898, he obtained the Victorian agency for the English “Haddon” bicycle located on Bridge Road, Richmond.
With many years behind him in the bicycle industry in 1907 he opened a small shop from borrowing £50 from his sister and began operating as A.G Healing.
Importing bicycle parts Healing was quickly gaining a reputation for his quality and service among the cycling community, with steady business growth, Healing stumbled across an error that had been made in a recent order which resulted in twice the number of bicycle parts received.
With no finances to pay for them, Healing decided to cycle around Victoria selling these parts to make the money he needed to fix up the order.
As Healing travelled across Victoria he found that there was such a large market place for cycling gear that the order was soon fixed. It became apparent that Healing needed to open cycle shops in various locations.
By 1912 Healing decided to open up his own proprietary company in Niagara Lane, Melbourne (VIC), the company was surging with enthusiastic cyclists and commuters and other branches began to spread all over state of Victoria.
In 1921 Healing’s son Keith joined the firm and became an apprentice bicycle maker and Healing cycles grew more popular and at peak production 25,000 bicycles were made per year. Shops under the name of Healing were now operating across Australia.
The business was now transferred to another location of Melbourne House, Post-office place (MELB).
In 1926 Duncan and Co. wholesale and retail distributors of automotive parts was absorbed and was occupied in a larger building in Franklin Street (MELB) to maintain the warehouse operations. A.G Healing was now a public company.
By 1933 the firm also began to specialize in importing radios and later began to make their own.
One of the many Champions who rode on a Healing cycle was W.K “Bill” Moritz.
His achievements included winning all major events in Australia and New Zealand during the years of 1936-37 path racing season.
In 1936 Healing released a lightweight cycle that would rule in their supreme line-up, built from the lightest possible materials, the frame and forks were chrome plated, stripped for racing weighed exactly 16 1/2 lbs. It was fitted with special “Osgear” three-speed gear and built specially built for D. Byrant.
By 1937, Healing cycles were being ridden by many, at the exhibition board track Jack Molloy won the Victorian ten-mile amateur championship, Bill Moritz captured the five mile professional, and Tassle Johnson the five-mile amateur scratch race. These wins brought up the total championships won in one week by Healing cycles to six.
By 1938, Healing cycles were used by many of the racing champions and had appeared in Olympic (Chris wheeler and Tas Johnson favouring healing cycles) and Empire Games contests.
The Melbourne works factory employed 550 operatives; the firm also maintained big assembly plants in Sydney and Adelaide. Net profit for Healing Ltd. had risen to £34,701 for 1938 and was still looking at other future prospects to take advantage of or other opportunities.
In 1938 a Healing chaterered plane flew from Nhill and Melbourne so that the flying “Aces” of cycling could compete in two meetings 240 miles apart.
Comprising of (Left to Right) Mr. A.J. O’Meara (Manager), Tommy Norris, Nino Borsari, Keith Thurgood, Bill Moritz and Deane Toseland. A flight that made history.
Soon after the war the plant also turned to the manufacture of machine tools and high precision articles for car and motorcycle service parts.
Healing was known for its sponsoring of many cycling events, the Healing Cup offered as the first prize for many of the top events and also published the Healing annual which featured news and events in the past year.
An Adelaide based plant was also opened and manufactured all cycle models ranging from its common roadster to the high end racing models.
A.G Healing died in 18 February 1945, aged 77 but business continued in full strength with sales up and in 1951 a Net profit of £88,092 was achieved, in 1954 Healing released a special lightweight racer of bright copper finish, the cycle was displayed at a trade show and was reviewed as really outstanding. Olympic champion Russell Mockridge also rode a Healing and given its name a lift.
In 1956 they formed an alliance with “Dumont” for the manufacture of televisions and moved into making washing machines under the brand name of “Thor” and refrigerators under the name of “Crosley”. There were now five manufacturing plants in production.
A larger premises consisting of four acres had recently been brought in Preston (MELB) expanding its engineering department.
As cycles had slowed down, the sales of appliances were more dominant and on the 14th of August 1959 The Healing bicycle Division of the company in all Australian states was sold off to the English company of “General Accessories Pty Ltd.” with the sales of domestic appliances continuing, these included vacuum cleaners etc.
Healing cycles are distinguished by a brazed H, a metal H badge or plain head-tubes with a decal.
The brazed H are regarded as a more superior build with rarer fancy cut lug models noted as the supreme model lightweights being top of range custom built for professionals, various lug sets were used in these builds.
The badged H Healings were built in quantities though better quality ones do exist, they varied from roadster to club sport models, commonly bought as an entry in cycling.
Healing Serials numbers are generally found at the seat-stay.