Osborne F.G.

Osborne in a rickshaw, with boys besides him, Lagos c.1910-13
Osborne in a rickshaw, with boys besides him, Lagos c.1910-13. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Osborne F.G. was a merchant of the Anglo-Colonial Trading Corporation Limited, called Alagbon in Lagos of the nineteen-tens. Born in 1852, Osborne came to Lagos in the 1870s as a clerk of another firm, later embarking on a big trading venture with a colleague under the name of Hutton & Osborne. This business flourished for several years at Lagos. Their business premises on the Marina contained some Cocoanut Trees planted in the factory; tall and prominent that they became a notable landmark on the Marina, many years before the Sea-walls were constructed. Osborne was popular with African traders who soon styled his firm’s wharf Ile Alagbon. When this company failed through a heavy loss of their capitals invested in a large Plantation scheme and the death of Mr. Hutton, the senior partner in the company, Mr. Osborne went to England and brought out the firm Paterson, Zochonis & Co., Ltd., which thereafter became one of the leading firms in Nigeria for many decades. Through Osborne’s personality, the firm of P.Z. & Co. rose to fame.

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer