Ebenezer Backwell

Ebenezer Backwell, of Backwell Stoves and IXL fame, was born in Guernsey in the Channel Isles, and arrived here in December 1852 with his wife Mary Ann and son, also Ebenezer.

Initially Ebenezer senior took up employment in Melbourne, with a Mr Darby in Bourke Street, as a blacksmith, earning 2 guineas a week. That was exceptional money at the time – so we can assume that he was a hard, fast and strong worker. During this time the Backwell family lived in Collingwood.

They moved to Geelong in 1858, with Ebenezer setting up business as a blacksmith in a wooden shed at 22 Aberdeen St, Geelong West. This was opposite the present Baptist Church. Ebenezer made ironwork for builders and gravesites, seed drills for agriculture, and tools for general use. He also sharpened picks and other implements for the councils of the area.

By 1878, he was advertising as a blacksmith, whitesmith and ‘stove maker’. A whitesmith was a worker in tin. Ebenezer had begun mending stoves, which had been damaged on the trip from England, but then improved their designs before manufacturing stoves and ovens from scratch.

By 1890 he had coined the brand name ‘IXL’ for his own-design stove. By 1893 he had patented his direct draught principle and his two sons joined the business, not as blacksmiths, but as factory manager and stove salesman.

The company is still going strong to this day – as Backwell IXL, with products ranging from wood heaters to the IXL Tastic. And two Backwell descendants are still on the board.

To meet more residents on your self-guided tour, scan the next QR code. 


Discover more


Offering answers to the common questions families have with the passing of a loved one.


Stay up-to-date with all works, announcements and events happening across our 22 locations.


Reports, plans and policies relating to our organisation made available here for our communities.


Your place for guidance, information and insights for all things related to our organisation.

Let's Talk

Our friendly client services team is here to help and welcomes any questions you may have. Caring for our communities is what we do best.