Myrtle May McLean

F, #13683, b. abt Feb 1901
Birth*abt Feb 1901 
Related*1909 Duncan McLean Duncan & Elizabeth McLean are Myrtle May's uncle & aunt.1 


  • 11 Dec 1909: AN ENJOYABLE PICNIC. "Applecross," Beaconsfield U. — My Dear Aunt Connie, — I hope you will accept me as one of your many nieces. I go to the Beaconsfield North State school, and I am in the second class. There are about 36 children going to school. We have a nice teacher. I like going to school. I have four pets—two magpies, one calf and a cat. One magpie can talk very well, but the other is a young one, I live with my auntie and uncle. I have no brothers or sisters. We have a lot of fruit tree. My favorite fruits are pears, bananas and oranges. Our State school picnic was held on November 12, and we had a very enjoyable day. I won two prizes--second for skipping, and second for bouncing the ball. I have a post-card album and about one hundred cards. We have a lovely flower garden. My favorite flowers are violets and roses. With love to Cousin Connie and Florrie, Uncle Ben, not forgetting yourself, I remain, your would be niece, MYRTLE MAY M'LEAN. P.S.— Please may I write again? My age is eight years and ten months. (You have been added to our big family circle, Myrtle. I am pleased to know that you enjoyed the picnic and won two prizes. You were a fortunate little girl. Write again.— Aunt Connie).1
  • 22 Jul 1911: AN ENJOYABLE DAY. Applecross, Beaconsfield Upper.— Dear Aunt Connie,— This is the second time I have written to you. I like reading the letters in the Young Folks' page very much. We had a grand party given by a friend on Corona tion Day, which was held in the Assembly Hall. When the school children were all at the hall they had their photos taken. After our photos were taken we had a game outside, and then went into the hall. We had a gramaphone playing while the children were marching around to keep warm, because it was a cold day. Then we went to tea. There were a lot of crackers, cakes, sandwiches, jellies, angels' food, custards and lollies on the table. After tea we went into the hall and had some games, while the ladies and gentlemen had their tea. When they had finished all of the school children got ready for drill. They were taken into a little room, where our teachers got us ready to march on to the stage. When we had finished our rod-drill we went and got ready for flag-drill. When we had finished flag-drill there was a dance by one boy. It was the sailors' hornpipe. Then we went out to see the fireworks. There were a number of people watching them, and there were a number of different kinds of fireworks. After the fireworks were over there were lan tern slides. Then we all went home tired. May I write again? My age is 10 years 5 months. With love to all my "Weekly Times" cousins, not forgetting yourself. —Your affectionate niece, MYRTLE MAY M'LEAN.
    (Yes, Myrtle, and don't be such a long time thinking about it. I am glad to hear that you had such a good time.— Aunt Connie.)2
  • 7 Dec 1912: OUR LETTER BOX. THE SCHOOL PICNIC. Myrtle McLean, who lives at "Applecross," Beaconsfield Upper, writes—Dear Aunt Connie, It is a long time since I last wrote to you. I am going to take for my subject, "Our State School Picnic." On November 8, 1912, we had our school picnic, which was held at the Recreation Ground. There were a lot of races, such as the potato school handicap, flat, sack, and siamese. The first race began at 10.30 a.m., and the last one was not finished until about 7 p.m. At 1p.m. all the school children and adults had their dinner. There was one laughable race, which was called the Obstacle Race. It was a race for men on horseback. They all started at a certain place, and raced up to a fence. The men got off their horses, unsaddled them, and tied them up to a post. They then jumped over some hurdles, on foot, and ran and crawled through some sacks. After doing that they ran and climbed over a pole 8 feet high, twisted themselves around it, and then crawled through, some barrels. After crawling through the barrels the men ran up to where the horses were tied, saddled, and mounted on them. The men on horseback raced back to where they started from, and that ended the race. The first prize was a gold medal and second a silver one. The funniest part was when they crawled through the sacks, because they got stuck in the middle and couldn't get out of them quickly enough. An-other race which was for men on horses was threading the needle. Each man chose a lady to thread his needle for him. The horses all started off from where the ladies were, and raced up to a fence, the men unsaddled their horses and rode bareback back to where they started from. The man gave the lady his needle to thread, and when it was threaded he put it in a cork. Then he paced up to the fence, saddled his horse, and raced back to the starting place. The man, when he came back, had to have his needle threaded, and if he did not he lost the prize. The lady who threaded the needle of the winner got a prize as well as the man. There were other events for men and women too. I won two prizes. At 6 p.m. all the school children and adults had their tea. After tea the prizes were given out to the lucky winners. There were some very good prizes. After the prizes were given out all went home after spending a very enjoyable day. Wishing the "Young Folks' Page" every success. I am 11 years old, and I am in the 6th grade at school. Please may I write again? (Thank you, Myrtle, for your good wishes. Yes, I am always pleased to have a letter from you.— Aunt Connie.)3


  1. [S14] Newspaper - Weekly Times (Melbourne, Vic.), 11 Dec 1909, p39.
  2. [S14] Newspaper - Weekly Times (Melbourne, Vic.), 22 Jul 1911, p39.
  3. [S14] Newspaper - Weekly Times (Melbourne, Vic.), 7 Dec 1912, p39.
Last Edited5 May 2016

Eliza Ann Downey

F, #13684, b. 1867, d. 25 Jul 1938
Married NameMcLean.1 
Marriage*1902 Spouse: Murdoch McLean. VIC, Australia, #M3919.1
Death*25 Jul 1938 Geelong, VIC, Australia, #D16027 (Age 71) [par William DOWNEY & Ann SINCLAIR].1 
Death-Notice*2 Aug 1938McLEAN.—On the 25th July, at Geelong, Eliza Anne, dearly loved wife of Murdoch McLean, of Hitchcock avenue, Barwon Heads (late of Batesford). (Interred privately 27th July.)
Father, In Thy gracious keeping
Leave we now our loved one sleeping.2 


  1. [S22] Victorian Government. BDM Index Victoria (online).
  2. [S11] Newspaper - The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.), 2 Aug 1938, p10.
Last Edited14 Mar 2019

Lennard Earl Max Luscombe

M, #13693, b. 19 Aug 1893, d. 8 Dec 1957
Probate (Will)* Lennard E M Luscombe. Manufacturer. East Kew. 08 Sep 1957 [sic]. 528/624.1 
Birth*19 Aug 1893 East Melbourne, VIC, Australia, #B22549/1894.2,3 
Marriage*4 Sep 1957 Spouse: Eugenie Victorine 'Gene' Thual. Unitarian Manse, East Melbourne, VIC, Australia, #M15142/1957.4,5
Death*8 Dec 1957 Richmond, VIC, Australia, #D15569 (Age 63) [par Maxwell LUSCOMBE & Elsie DRAKE].4,3 
Death-Notice*12 Dec 1957LUSCOMBE.—On December 8, at Epworth Hospital, Lennard Earle (Len), of 532 Munro Street, East Kew, dear husband of Gene, loved son of Maxwell (deceased) and Elsie. Privately cremated December 11.
LUSCOMBE.—On December 8, at Epworth Hospital, Len Luscombe, of the Anglo-American Player Roll Co. Our esteemed manager and friend—Inserted by the staff.6 

Australian Dictionary of Biography

Lennard Earl Max (Len) Luscombe (1893-1957), pianist and piano-roll manufacturer, was born on 19 August 1893 in East Melbourne, son of Max Luscombe (d.1914), a watchmaker from Berlin, and his Victorian-born wife Elsie, née Drake. Living at Fitzroy, Max played the trumpet in theatre orchestras and Elsie taught music. Their son's piano lessons began when he was aged 3. Extremely shy and reserved, Len was dominated by his mother, with whom he lived for most of his life. She was determined that he become a child prodigy. He, however, preferred popular dance music and by 1911 was conductor-violinist and arranger for a Melbourne theatre orchestra.
Fascinated by the new medium of piano-roll recording, about 1916 Luscombe made some of the earliest to be produced in Australia, using brown wrapping-paper carefully cut by hand with a pen-knife. In 1917 he left for the United States of America where he performed, held the post of music director at the Century Theatre, New York, took lessons from the composer T. M. Tobani and visited piano-roll companies, especially that of the Connor family at Chicago.
Back in Melbourne and with the financial support of his mother, Luscombe founded the Anglo-American Player Roll Co. in 1921. It produced piano-rolls under the 'Broadway' label. He imported machines for roll-production (including an electric cutter) from the Acme Machine Co., Newark, New Jersey. In addition to running the company, Luscombe was its sole artist, recording in the quiet of the night. He used names such as 'Dan Rawlins', 'Art Kaplan' and 'Earl Lester' to create the impression of a larger staff of pianists. The Acme company later supplied him with quantities of American masters. Initially these were rather plain and uninteresting, but soon works by the great arrangers of the Q.R.S. Music Co. were sent from America and issued on the Broadway label.
Like those of his rival George Henry Horton, manufacturer of the Mastertouch label in Sydney, Luscombe's rolls provided home-made, mechanically-generated entertainment for thousands of Australian households. From the player-piano's heyday in the late 1920s until the coming of television in the 1950s, countless unskilled but enthusiastic 'players' pumped pianola pedals, while onlookers sang the words printed on the paper roll. A dark, good-looking man, Luscombe was a committed artist, whose work never lost its freshness. Of all the Australian pianola musicians—among them Edith and Laurel Pardey and Lettie Keyes—he made the best transition to recording the new rhythms of popular music after World War II.
At the Unitarian Manse, East Melbourne, on 4 September 1957 Luscombe married Eugenie Victorine, née Dineley; she was a postmistress and a divorcee. He died of cancer on 8 December 1957 and was cremated; his wife and his mother survived him. The Broadway label, plant and library of masters were purchased by Horton's firm. Luscombe's rolls have survived and reveal a remarkable musicianship: his cleverness was that he used few notes. Pianola-roll enthusiasts still search diligently for his arrangements.7


  1. [S35] Probate Records, PROV (Public Records Office Victoria), VPRS 28/P4, unit 1607; VPRS 7591/P3, unit 214.
  2. [S55] Adb online, online, gives year as 1893.
  3. [S22] Victorian Government. BDM Index Victoria (online).
  4. [S55] Adb online, online
  5. [S27] Victorian Government. BDM Index Victoria (Marriages) (online).
  6. [S16] Newspaper - The Age (Melbourne, Vic.) 12 Dec 1957, p14.
  7. [S55] Adb online, online, Barclay Wright, 'Luscombe, Lennard Earl Max (Len) (1893–1957)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,…, published first in hardcopy 2000, accessed online 5 May 2016.
    Select Bibliography
    Mastertouch Piano Roll Co, Mastertouch, golden jubilee catalogue (Syd, 1969)
    W. M. Denham, publisher's note (typescript, copy on ADB file)
    private information.
Last Edited13 Aug 2020

David Penman

M, #13694, b. 1896, d. 1961
Father*William Penman
Mother*Emma James d. 1925
Birth*1896 Hepburn, VIC, Australia, #B4079 [par William PENHAM & Emma JAMES].1 
Marriage*15 Jun 1921 Spouse: Eugenie Victorine 'Gene' Dineley. East Melbourne, VIC, Australia, #M4844.1
Divorce*Jul 1929David Penman and Eugenie Victorine 'Gene' Penman were divorced in Jul 1929 #184/1929.2 
Death*1961 Heidelberg, VIC, Australia, #D22524 (Age 66.)1 


  • 20 Jul 1929: Eugenie Victorien Penman, 27 years, of Beaconsfield, petitioned for divorce from David Penman, 33 years, of Warrigal-road, Oakleigh, photographer, on the ground of desertion. The marriage took place on 15th June, 1921, at East Melboune. A decree nisi was granted, with costs. Eugenie Victorine 'Gene' Penman3


  1. [S22] Victorian Government. BDM Index Victoria (online).
  2. [S34] PROV (Public Records Office Victoria), Divorce Records.
  3. [S16] Newspaper - The Age (Melbourne, Vic.), 20 Jul 1929, p27.
Last Edited5 May 2016


Some family sections show only the children who were associated with Upper Beaconsfield.

Some individuals may be featured because members of their family were associated with the Upper Beaconsfield area, even though they themselves never lived here.