The Commonwealth Key & Property Register: Protecting Items Since 1900


Commonwealth Key And Personal Property Registry is established in Sydney to help safeguard keys and personal property, such as fob watches, walking canes, etc.

The Register pays a reward of 5/- (5 Shillings – approx. 0.06 cents) to the finder of lost property returned, bearing the label. This results in a return rate of almost 100%.


One year after the Register is established,  Australia becomes an Independent Nation on 1st January 1901.

Elsewhere in 1908

On 20 August 1908 well over half a million Sydneysiders turned out to watch the arrival of the United States (US) Navy’s ‘Great White Fleet’. For a city population of around 600,000 this was no mean achievement.

The largest gathering yet seen in Australia, it far exceeded the numbers that had celebrated the foundation of the Commonwealth just seven years before. Image:

The Great White Fleet arrives at Sydney 20 August 1908. (US Naval Historical Center) (Reference https://www.navy.gov.au/history/feature-histories/great-white-fleet’s-1908-visit-australia)



Australasian Key & Valuables Register Co, offering the same service as “Commonwealth Key” is established in Brisbane.


The Key Register continues to provide its service, as it undergoes a Change of Ownership.

Also in the 20’s: Bitumen roads are first laid in Melbourne, Construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge begins, Vegemite is produced and sold in Australia, Compulsory voting is brought in for Federal elections.


Tubular keys were invented in 1934 by the Chicago Lock company in Chicago, IL under the ACE Branding. Reference https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Key_(lock)


The Register changes the reward to $1. Also in 1950’s: First Moomba parade, Queen Elizabeth 2 visits Melbourne, Degraves Street subway beneath Flinders Street constructed.


Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech. 10 Famous quotes by Martin Luther King Jr.

“If you can’t fly, then run, if you can’t run, then walk, if you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” – Martin Luther King Jr.


A Change of Ownership occurs, December 1965.


A Change of Ownership takes place. The new Business owner who still owns the Register today now becomes the longest established owner since the Register inception.


The Register’s office upgrades its record keeping system from ledger books to computers. All customer records are manually transferred over.

Also in 1986: Lindy Chamberlain is released from prison in Darwin. Mike Tyson becomes the youngest Heavyweight Champion in history.


The Commonwealth Key & Property Register Turns 100! and in the same year … Australia hosts the Olympics for the second time, The games are held in Sydney, Australia celebrates its Centenary of Federation, Year of the Y2K problem / Millennium Bug.


The key register upgrades it’s reward, paid to the finder of lost keys, to $50.


The Commonwealth Key & Property Register is 1 of 25 privately owned Business’ in Australia, permitted to have “Commonwealth” in their business name.

In our case, it is due to the fact that we have traded since before Federation.

Elsewhere in 1900

Queen Victoria signs document to create the Commonwealth of Australia.


The Register is established in Victoria offering a 5/- Reward.


Prior to and including this time, all customer records are handwritten into large register books.

Elsewhere in 1918

WWI ends. Australians reached the peak of their fighting performance in the battle of Hamel on 4 July.

From 8 August they then took part in a series of decisive advances until they were relieved in early October. Germany surrendered on 11 November.

A03281 Women and children rejoicing in the streets at the signing of the Armistice, Sydney, 11 November 1918.

Elsewhere in 1921

Mar 12 – Perth: Edith Cowan is the first woman elected to an Australian Parliament, when she is elected to the WA Legislative Assembly. Although harshly criticised for suggesting that housewives deserve to be paid their own ‘fair and reasonable wage’, her image is later reproduced on Australia’s $50 note.

Edith Cowan adorns the Australian $50 note. (References: © National Film and Sound Archive of Australia 2015 http://www.aushistorytimeline.com/ and http://nfsa.gov.au/about/about-site/legal-notices/)


Stock market collapse on Wall Street leads to British banks calling in its loans to Australia. The decade is swallowed in a great global depression.

Successive governments have to decide whether to assist Australians in economic hardship, or maintain the integrity of international contractual obligations by repaying foreign loans.

While America has its ‘New Deal’ under Roosevelt, as a kind of social and economic crusade to produce more work for more people, Australian Leaders – Labor’s James Scullin, Labor defector Joseph Lyons, then a newly emerged and conservative Robert Menzies, rely on cutting the minimum wage and slash government expenditure in order to meet the requirements laid down by the British banking sector.

By 1932 almost a third of Australians are out of work. http://www.aushistorytimeline.com/ © National Film and Sound Archive of Australia 2015


The Commonwealth Key & Property Register is established in South Australia, offering a 5/- reward.


The Commonwealth Key & Property Register is established in South Australia, offering a 5/- reward.


The Beatles arrive in Australia. Greeting their Australian fans … The Beatles wave to unprecedented crowds outside the Southern Cross Hotel in Melbourne.

Picture: Supplied Source: Supplied (Reference: http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/music/how-the-beatles-came-on-tour-to-australia-nearly-50-years-ago/story-e6frfn09-1226929182904)


The Woodstock Music & Art Fair took place on a dairy farm in Bethel, NY. Over half a million people came to a 600-acre farm to hear 32 acts (leading and emerging performers of the time) play over the course of four days.

(Reference http://www.woodstock.com/about/) Crowds at the original Woodstock Music Festival. (Reference http://www.viralnova.com/unexpected-views/)


The Register Upgrades The Reward, Paid To The Finder Of Lost Keys, to $10 Also in 1977, Prince Charles with Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum on the ABC music show Countdown launch the Silver Jubilee Australian Top 20 album.


The Reward paid to the Finder is upgraded to $20. In addition to this service, Clients are now able to receive reimbursements of up to $750 for lost, stolen keys and maliciously damaged locks and keys.


Our highest level of service provides a $100 reward. A New Property Sticker design is introduced. Stickers can be attached to Property Items such as mobile phones, iPods, iPads, wallets, laptops, keyless entry devices, etc.

Also, continuing to provide our Reimbursement service to Clients, the highest Service Limit is increased to $1000.