The origins of the company date back to 1850 when J C Young opened a small warehouse in Geelong. In 1852 after the gold discovery a branch in Ballarat was opened with John Paterson as the manager. The business was moved to Melbourne and J Paterson was admitted to partnership, the firm then being known as J C Young & Co. The firm went through a number of changes in the partnerships: in 1860 first being called Paterson Palmer & Co, then, after the amalgamation with Ray Glaister & Co, Paterson Ray Palmer & Co. Other changes of the name and partnerships: Paterson Laing & Co (1876); Paterson Laing & Bruce. Early 1898 Paterson Laing & Bruce Ltd was registered in London. It was taken over by a newly registered Paterson Laing & Bruce (1901) Ltd in July 1901 with the “1901” being taken out of the name again in 1903. In Feb 1966 the company was merged with Robert Reid & Co Ltd into Paterson Reid & Bruce Ltd.