Charles Davis, a former convict established this business in 1847. It grew into one of Tasmania's major business enterprises specialising in hardware materials. It stayed in the control of the Davis family until it was taken over in 1971 by Sir Donald Trescowthick. Under his management, the company embarked on significant expansion and diversification. At various times, the company had investments in wholesaling, retailing, car distribution, property, hotels and motels and mining. At its peak the company was Australia's fourth largest retailer. The original shop closed in 1984 under the name Charles Davis Ltd. The company was renamed as Harris Scarfe Holdings Limited in 1995. Harris Scarfe collapsed in 2001.