Harrington's Ltd, for whom the building was constructed in the 1920s, was prominent in the importation and manufacture of photographic materials across Australia in the early 20th century. The multi-storey building was built by Concrete Constructions Ltd., who were significant in the pioneering use of concrete and was one of Australia's largest building firms during the early 20th century. Photographer Frank Hurley had worked for Harrington's as a young man, and continued that association through their supply of equipment for capturing his iconic images (both still and cinematic) taken on the Antarctic exploration expeditions from 1911-16 and 1929-31. Another photographer associated with Harringtons, was former Henri Mallard who worked there from 1900-1952, where he was later Manager. Mallard, during this time, produced some of the best known images of the building of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.