H.E.C. Robinson

Herbert Edward Cooper Robinson (1857 – 1933) was a prolific Australian publisher and cartographer who in 1885 founded the Royal Geographical Society of Australasia. Ten years later, in 1895, Robinson set up his own mapmaking firm at Wentworth Court in Sydney. Later, in the 1920s, he would also become a member of the Geographical Society of New South Wales and a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society of London.

As a mapmaker, Robinson made many valuable contributions to the field of Geography. Among the foremost examples was a long-standing collaboration with Professor Edgeworth David, whose monumental Geological Map of the Commonwealth of Australia (1932) he and his company helped compile and produce. It was also Robinson’s company and draughtsmen that created the maps for Donald Mackay’s important aerial surveys of Australia in the early 1930s.

Robinson set up his business in 1895, but it was only at the dawn of the 20th century that the firm experienced real growth. By 1906, they had relocated to Phillip Street, and by 1913, Robinson has settled into his final and permanent locale at 221-223 George Street. By 1917, H.E.C. Robinson Ltd was officially incorporated.

In addition to contributing to some of the cartographic milestones in Australia’s history and publishing a plethora of his own material, Robinson was also a delegate to the Sydney Regional Plan Convention in 1923.

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