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Victorian Collections -

Talking Shop: Ballarat in Business and City Life at Ballaarat Mechanics' Institute

27 Jun 2019

Curated By

Amy Tsilemanis, Curator, Ballaarat Mechanics' Institute

153502 items


153502 items


Bright & District Historical Society operating the Bright Museum, Bright

Stoneware lid, clear glaze on upper surface. Light brown. Rough upper surface.

Historical information

Brought to the Ovens Goldfields by Chinese men working in the area in the 19th century. Most likely made in China.


Aldo Gios recorded the location of where most pieces in his collection were found. Some maps drawn by Aldo Gios, also give more detail. This detail is rare as most pieces of broken crockery were discarded and complete items were usually collected with no thought to recording the location where they were found. This object is part of one of the largest collections of Chinese ware found in the Upper Ovens area and the only one recording the location where found.

Photograph - Colour - Bendigo Cemetery, 2018

Ballarat Heritage Services, Bakery Hill Post Office

Colour photograph of the Bendigo Cemetery.

Document, newspaper - Aussie. The Australian Soldiers' Magazine.

Melbourne Legacy, Melbourne

A copy of 'Aussie' a field newspaper published for the troops in World War I.

Historical information

An issue of 'Aussie. The Australian Soldiers' Magazine.' printed by the A.I.F. Printing Section for the soldiers and cost 10 centimes. This edition is Issue No. 6 August 1918. Comprised of stories, poems, drawings. Often of humorous nature. The whole of it's contents are written or drawn by members of the A.I.F. in the field. Was with other World War 1 memorabilia that has come from Private John Basil McLean, 2nd Reinforcements, 37th Battalion, A.I.F. J.B. McLean (Service No. 13824) was from near Maffra, Victoria and enlisted on 22 January 1916. He embarked on 16 December 1916 for Europe. His full war record is available from AWM. He spent time with the Australian Field Artillery (Pack Section). At the end of the war he worked for a year at the A.I.F. Headquarters in London before returning to Australia on the 'Ceramic', arriving Portsea in 1920.


A record of publications made for the troops in World War 1.

Inscriptions & Markings

In pencil inside cover 'With Love, Basil 30.8.18'

Photograph - View of Glenvale Road, Ringwood. Warnes Road in left background 1964

Ringwood and District Historical Society, Ringwood

See Also #25

Inscriptions & Markings

Written on back of photograph, "1964 - View of Glenvale Road. Supplied by Garrett Gundry. Warnes Road in left background. Deep Creek Road in centre background."

Ceremonial Military Sash

Mont De Lancey, Wandin North

Heavily decorated leather ceremonial Military sash, with pouch and brass whistle and chain. Pouch decorated with gold and burgundy braid, and metal leaf pattern on ends.

Historical information

Belonged to Colonel Otter.

Inscriptions & Markings

Pouch: Crown Crest Sash: Pro Deo Et Patria. Cross with star and crown edging.

Harness Buckle

Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village, Warrnambool

Horse harness brass buckle. Buckle has Slight verdigris and encrustation and most of the item is missing. Recovered from the wreck of the Schomberg.

Historical information

When the ship Schomberg was launched in 1855, she was considered the most perfect clipper ship ever to be built. James Blaine’s Black Ball Line had commissioned her to be built for their fleet of passenger liners. At a cost of £43,103, the Aberdeen builders designed her to sail faster than the quick clippers designed by North American Donald McKay. She was a three masted wooden clipper ship, built with diagonal planking of British oat with layers of Scottish larch. This luxury vessel was designed to transport emigrants to Melbourne in superior comfort. She had ventilation ducts to provide air to the lower decks and a dining saloon, smoking room, library and bathrooms for the first class passengers. At the launch of Schomberg’s maiden voyage, her master Captain ‘Bully’ Forbes, drunkenly predicted that he would make the journey between Liverpool and Melbourne in 60 days. Schomberg departed Liverpool on 6 October 1855 with 430 passengers and 3000 tons cargo including iron rails and equipment intended the build the Geelong Railway and a bridge over the Yarra from Melbourne to Hawthorn. The winds were poor as Schomberg sailed across the equator, slowing her journey considerably. She was 78 days out of Liverpool when she ran aground on a sand-spit near Peterborough, Victoria, on 27 December; the sand spit and the currents were not marked on Forbes’s map. Overnight, the crew launched a lifeboat to find a safe place to land the ship’s passengers. The scouting party returned to Schomberg and advised Forbes that it was best to wait until morning because the rough seas could easily overturn the small lifeboats. The ship’s Chief Officer spotted SS Queen at dawn and signalled the steamer. The master of the SS Queen approached the stranded vessel and all of Schomberg’s passengers were able to disembark safely. The Black Ball Line’s Melbourne agent sent a steamer to retrieve the passengers’ baggage from the Schomberg. Other steamers helped unload her cargo until the weather changed and prevented the salvage teams from accessing the ship. Local merchants Manifold & Bostock bought the wreck and cargo, but did not attempt to salvage the cargo still on board the ship. They eventually sold it on to a Melbourne businessman and two seafarers. After two of the men drowned when they tried to reach Schomberg, salvage efforts were abandoned.32 In 1975, divers from Flagstaff Hill, including Peter Ronald, found an ornate communion set at the wreck. The set comprised a jug, two chalices, a plate and a lid. The lid did not fit any of the other objects and in 1978 a piece of the lid broke off, revealing a glint of gold. As museum staff carefully examined the lid and removed marine growth, they found a diamond ring, which is currently on display in the Great Circle Gallery.33 Flagstaff Hill also holds ship fittings and equipment, personal effects, a lithograph, tickets and photograph from the Schomberg. Most of the artefacts were salvaged from the wreck by Peter Ronald, former director of Flagstaff Hill.


The Schomberg, which is on the Victorian Heritage Register (VHR S612), has great historical significance as a rare example of a large, fast clipper ship on the England to Australia run, carrying emigrants at the time of the Victorian gold rush. She represents the technical advances made to break sailing records between Europe and Australia. Flagstaff Hill’s collection of artefacts from the Schomberg is significant for its association with the shipwreck. The collection is primarily significant because of the relationship between the objects, as together they have a high potential to interpret the story of the Schomberg. It is archaeologically significant as the remains of an international passenger Ship. It is historically significant for representing aspects of Victoria’s shipping history and for its association with the shipwreck and the ship, which was designed to be fastest and most luxurious of its day


Chiltern Athenaeum Trust, Chiltern

Historical information

Photo of Thomas Tanner. Research material from WWI project.

Printmaking - Lithograph - 'Eglise Saint Pierre de Montmartre et le Sacre Coeur' by Maurice Utrillo

Federation University Australia Art Collection ,

Framed lithograph of Maurice Utrillo's 1932 work 'Eglise Saint Pierre de Montmartre et le Sacre Coeur'. In comparison to the original the grey sky in the print was originally blue in the painting.

Historical information

This item is part of the Federation University Art Collection. The Art Collection features over 1000 works and was listed as a 'Ballarat Treasure' in 2007.

Book - GREAT RIVALS IN HISTORY (When Politics Gets Personal)

Tramways/East Melbourne RSL Sub Branch - RSL Victoria Listing id: 27511, Fitzroy

Report: Making research work for vocational education, Papers & Proceedings of the Victorian Training Research Conference 28-29 April 1994 Holmsglen College of TAFE

NMIT (Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE),

One volume of various pagings published by the Office of Training and Further Education, Victoria, June 1994 and edited by Damon Anderson. ISBN 073064619X.

Article - John Huxley Carse

Greensborough Historical Society, Lower Plenty

2 Pages, text and colour images.

Historical information

A short article about John Huxley Carse and his service in World War 1. John Huxley Carse is buried in Greensborough Cemetery. John Carse’s father Hubert was Headmaster at Greensborough State School.

Tape lace

Australian Lace Guild - Victorian Branch, Gardenvale

Tape lace collar. Machine made tapes with needle made filling stitches.

Historical information

Fashion accessory

Photographs - Colour - Chatham-Holmes Collection: Philip and Elizabeth Chatham on Holiday - America and Canada

Federation University Australia Historical Collection (Geoffrey Blainey Research Centre), Mount Helen

Historical information

Photographs show Philip and Elizabeth Chatham on holiday in America and Canada. Places - Vancouver, Lake Louise, San Francisco

Book - In the wake of Bass and Flinders : 200 years on : the story of the re-enactment voyages 200 years on in the whaleboat Elizabeth and the replica sloop Norfolk to celebrate the bicentenary of the voyages of George Bass and Matthew Flinders

Phillip Island and District Historical Society Inc., COWES

Inscriptions & Markings

Stamped 'Phillip Island & District Historical Society'. Signed by the author.

Magazine - Mainly About Girls CEGGS Magazine 1907

Ballarat & Queen's Anglican Grammar School , Wendouree

8 cream pages with purple writing, possibly made on a spirit duplicator. Laminated

Historical information

Many schools produced magazines. PLC published Patchwork, MLC The Bluebell, and Queens College MAG (Mainly About Girls). Although Queens claimed to be the first school in Ballarat to produce a magazine, Grenville College published The Gnarr Gnat around 1885, and Loreto wrote, edited and printed Eucalyptus Blossoms around 1883.

Inscriptions & Markings

Top right hand front page "1907" in blue biro

Letter c. 1931 - Adult Deaf and Dumb Society Letter in Response to Hostility Towards the Superintendent

Expression Australia, East Melbourne

26cmHx21cmW, not dated

Historical information

This letter was in response to a letter written by J. P. Bourke.


The Letter is significant to the Deaf community in Victoria as a reminder of the conflict that existed within the Adult Deaf of the State and the Adult Deaf and Dumb Society of Victoria.

Booklet - Banyule Volunteer Awards 2015

Greensborough Historical Society, Lower Plenty

40 pages, colour illus.

Historical information

This volume lists the nominees for the 2015 Banyule Volunteer Awards. Includes information on the volunteers' work in the community. Other award nominees covered include Young Volunteer, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Volunteer, Multicultural Community Volunteer, Community Volunteer, Good Neighbour and Citizen of the Year.

Painting - Greensborough 1889

Greensborough Historical Society, Lower Plenty

Framed and glazed coloured print of painting of Greensborough 1889

Historical information

Greensborough in 1889, painted by Arthur Elliott. This is a copy of the original painting, one of two depicting Greensborough township.


Uniting Church Archives - Synod of Victoria, Malvern East

B & W photograph of Professor Kathleen Fitzpatrick seated at a desk.

Historical information

Kathleen Elizabeth Fitzpatrick, nee Pitt (1905-1990) was an historian, born Omeo Victoria. A Catholic, she studied in Melbourne and Oxford, and was Professor of History at Sydney University. (See Australian Dictionary of Biography for full details.)

Print: 'Formula for Excitement' Grant Van Cuylenburg 1998

NMIT (Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE),

Unframed coloured print entitled 'Formula for Excitement' Qantas Australian 1998 Grand Prix 5-8 March by Grant Van Guylenburg 10/100. Also has a deep aqua mounting and a backing board.

Inscriptions & Markings

Produced and Distributed by Lomard the Paper People.


Stawell Historical Society Inc, Stawell

Historical information

Portrait. Unknown Fireman Stawell Fire Brigade 1893

black and white photograph

Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

A black / white photograph of a bullock team pulling a large, loaded cart. It is being driven by a man standing on the side of the road, holding a whip. In the background are houses and a telegraph pole.

Historical information

This photo shows Jas Lynn of Orbost driving a team of bullocks pulling a large cart of maize. They are taking it to the fisherman's Wharf in Lakes Entrance. Maize has been grown on the Orbost flats since the late 19th century. Transport was always an obstacle to economic sucess. For a few years prior to the First World War and the construction of the railway line from Bairnsdale to Orbost, a lot of maize was carted by horse and bullock teams to Lakes Entrance for transhipment to the Melbourne market. At that .time yields of 90 to 100 bushels of maize were quite a common occurrence. James Lynn, a member of the East Gippsland Maize Board, farmed at Jarrahmond.


This photograph is associated with the large maize growing industry in the Orbost region.

Inscriptions & Markings

on back - " Carting maize to Lakes Entrance in 1911."

Booklet - The Life Story of Yasukichi Murakami

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

A4 size booklet with blue cover featuring photographs which the author sent to his Mother. Text in Japanese. Two pages of translation.

Historical information

The life story of Yasukichi Murakami (1880 - 1944), a Japanese migrant from Wakayama to Australia, as seen through the photographs he sent to his Mother. includes referencesto Tatura Camp 4.

Magazine - WWII

Lara RSL Sub Branch, Lara

The Magazine is made from paper and came in various colours and front pages.

Historical information

Magazines depicting WWII Part 1 The Bomb Part 2 Battle of Britain Part 3 Pearl Harbour Part 4 Stalingrad Part 5 D-Day Part 6 Fall of Berlin Part 7 Australia's War Part 8 Home Front Part 9 Singapore and the POW's Part 10 El Alamein Part 11 Battle of Coral Sea Part 12 Kokoda and New Guinea Part 13 Peace

Inscriptions & Markings


Book, Knitting - Lincoln Knitting Book no. 720

National Wool Museum, Geelong

Historical information

This knitting pattern book was published by the Lincoln Mills, Victoria and contains knitting patterns for womens garments.

Inscriptions & Markings

LINCOLN Knitting Book / NUMBER 720 / SEVEN PATTERNS / 1'-

Women's Clothing - Bodice, Silk, 1900-1901

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Late Victorian black cotton bodice with narrow sleeves. The creator of the bodice has made extensive use of beading at the front and on the sleeves. The bodice is unusual in that it includes an overlay at the front of black sequined tulle over a cream silk insert. The bodice has a black velvet waistband. The edging of the bodice includes pin tucking. Two long 'swallow tails' of lace (sic) hang from the neck of the bodice at the front. The bodice was owned by one of the donor's maternal ancestors.

Auction Sale Brochure - Rosehill Homestead, 56 Bonds Road, Lower Plenty

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham


Historical information

Auction sale brochure, Miles Real Estate Professionals, Rosanna

Working bee Darebin Parklands c. 1976

Darebin Parklands Association, Alphington

B&W photograph.

Inscriptions & Markings

Annotated on back with [L. Stephen Galama, trevore Howes, Phil Course (6 yrs?) facing them. Up foot of Pine Ridge]


Clunes Museum, Clunes


Photograph - City of Ringwood celebrations, 1960

Ringwood and District Historical Society, Ringwood

Inscriptions & Markings

Catalogue card reads, 'City celebrations - 1960. Floats in procession'.