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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

115681 items with images


115681 items with images

Photograph - Group with car outside Merlin Confections, Ringwood. Undated, possibly c1951.

Ringwood and District Historical Society, Ringwood

Inscriptions & Markings

Written on catalogue card, "Merlin Chocolates, Brewer, P.J. Clary, ?, ?".

Wooden rope stay (2)

Parks Victoria - Days Mill and Farm, Murchison South

Wooden keyhole shaped objects with three holes each.

Historical information

Used to secure rope to stay in a certain position. Found in the stive room. There are wear patterns around holes where rope has been pulled through.

Medals - A.E.Clarke

Running Rabbits Military Museum operated by the Upwey Belgrave RSL Sub Branch, Upwey

Mounted medals, 5. A.E.Clarke (#1922 and V19997) 8 Btn.(now with PIC498)

Photograph - Edith Dorey, her mother and baby Fred.

Mt Dandenong & District Historical Society Inc., Mt Dandenong

Studio portrait of Edith Emma Dorey (nee Spooner), wife of Fred Dorey, with her mother and baby Fred. c1919

Plaque Country Fire Authority

Learmonth and District Historical Society, Learmonth

Rectangular wooden base with brass plates for the inscriptions.In the middle is the Victorian Rural Fire Brigade Badge, above which is inscribed VICTORIAN RURAL FIRE BRIGADES ASSOCIATION on a long rectangular brass plate,and below on a wider rectangular plate which is inscribed REGION 16 HOST COMMITTEE thanks The Shire Of Ballarat For Your Generous Sponsorship Of V.R.F.B.A. State Championship 1994

Historical information

The Shire of Ballarat in 1994 sponsored the V.R.F.B.A.State Championships of the Victorian Rural Fire Brigades Association and in appreciation was presented with this plaque.


Given in appreciation of sponsorship.

Inscriptions & Markings

VICTORIAN RURAL FIRE BRAGADES ASSOCIATION.REGION16 HOST COMMITTEE THANKS The Shire Of Ballarat For Your Generous Sponsorship Of V.R.F.B.AState Championships 1994.

Photograph - Probably Kangaroo Ground, c.1979

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Roll of 35mm colour negative film, 6 strips

Historical information

Possibly the Bassett-Smith property

Inscriptions & Markings

Unidentified; half-frame numbering

Photograph - Presentation of Certificate

Old Castlemaine Schoolboys Association Inc., CASTLEMAINE

Pictured: Richard Desmond, Unknown Female, Roger Morrow, Mrs. Ralph

red satin sash - Marcela Bole - Mother of the Year 1989 sash

Slovenian Association Melbourne, Research

Red satin sash with gold tassle

Historical information

Every year the Slovenian Association Melbourne selected Mother of the Year. Sometimes the school children wrote essays and the author's mother of the best essay became Mother of the Year, receiving a sash and flowers

Inscriptions & Markings

1989 S.D.M. (Slovensko društvo Melbourne - Slovenian Association Melbourne) Mother of the Year

Phonograph record - Hungarian Rhapsody No.2

Coal Creek Community Park & Museum, Korumburra

30cm in diametre black vinyl record.

Inscriptions & Markings

Phonograph record with red "His Master's Voice" label. Side A: Hungarian Rhapsody, No 2, Part 1. Side B: Hungarian Rhapsody, No 2, Conclusion. Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Cat. No: D B 3086

Document - Citizens' Committee A Concept For Melbourne Legacy.

Melbourne Legacy, Melbourne

White foolscap paper, black type

Historical information

This document was sent from Sydney Legacy to assist Melbourne Legacy with fund raising. In 1974 Sydney Legacy raised $4070.00 using this technique, and $163,883.00 in 1984 . The Citizens Committee was made up of non Legatees who were prominent within the business community. A prominent leader of industry was selected to chair the committee. The committee only met three times a year. The document sets out in detail the formation of the Torch Appeal Committee, Format of the invitation, Programme for the luncheon, Table lay out for the Official Top Table, Publicity, and 5 general points to be noted.


Although being separate entities, Legacy clubs all over Australia were prepared to share their ideas with other Legacy Clubs and thoughts for the common good.

Inscriptions & Markings

Top left hand corner, blue biro L/R Foskett, pencil, P.T/. 8901517 Top right hand side, blue biro, Ring P.D. Centre, title in black type enclosed in rectangle of asterisks. Lower right, Preparred by: Marilyn J. Roberts Appeals Director 10/12/85 Bottom, for A.T.H. meeting on Tues 21 Jan 1986 at 2- 16 also Patron(s0

Manufactured Glass, brown bottle 'Campholine'

City of Moorabbin Historical Society (Operating the Box Cottage Museum), Ormond

A triangular shaped, brown glass, bottle with a metal screw top containing ‘Campholine’

Historical information

Sigma was founded by two Melbourne pharmacists in 1912, it has grown to become one of the key players in Australia’s pharmacy industry .Edwin Thomas Church (1864 – 1947) and Ernest Holloway Leete a prominent chemist and a member of the College of Pharmacy who had established his own pharmacy in 1897. The entrepreneurial Leete had been part of a move in 1904 among a group of commercially-minded chemists to put up proprietary preparations. 1913 - 1927 Initially, the fortunes of the Sigma enterprise relied on E. H. Leete ‘working from home’, and even as late as 1915 company address was in Claremont Avenue Malvern. Following the establishment of the business in 1912, the Sigma Company Limited was located at Flinders Lane, Melbourne. Sigma – Tromax, 1928 E.H. Leete after sixteen years, said he would not stand again as a director of the company because interests were also turning elsewhere. He was assisting another company as its agent in the motor trade. 1938 to1953 was characterised by steady growth for Sigma, accelerated by manufacturing opportunities during World War Two. Between 1975 and 1996 the company was transformed as it entered a period of both consolidation and rapid growth. The appointment, in 1996, of new Managing Director, George Savvides, marked a break from the past. Today Sigma is a leading full line wholesale and distribution business to pharmacy. Sigma is also the owner of some of Australia’s best known pharmacy brands in Amcal, Guardian and Amcal Max

Inscriptions & Markings

Front label : Campholine / Camphorated / Mineral Oil / CAUTION ! / Use strictly in accordance / with the directions / Adults : Rub briskly on parts affected . Infants ; Use gentle massage . / 20z. / TROMAX / SIGMA CO. Ltd. / MELBOURNE / Label Sticker : ROBERTSON OF ELSTERNWICK 1/ 8

Photograph - Anderson Family

Phillip Island and District Historical Society Inc., COWES

Robert Anderson Snr. on Wedding Day with second Mrs Anderson, Bessie Fleming. Robert Anderson seated, dressed in suit with waistcoat. Bessie Anderson standing dressed in skirt and velvet jacket with vest and ribbon and cameo at throat. Seems to be some confusion on the Family Tree re Robert's 2nd wife's name. There is confusion as to whether Robert Snr's 2nd wife was Bessie Fleming or Annie Grant. Photo is titled Bessie but it may be Annie??

Historical information

1889 Wedding Day of Robert and Bessie Anderson.

Inscriptions & Markings

T.Teed. St. George's Studios, 238 Bourke Street, Melbourne.


Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village, Warrnambool

Silver plated copper alloy table forks - entrèe from the wreck of the Loch Ard. Length 7⅛ " Some verdigris and silver oxide. Encrustation on fork tines and handle.

Historical information

The LOCH ARD belonged to the famous Loch Line which sailed many ships from England to Australia. Built in Glasgow by Barclay, Curdle and Co. in 1873, the LOCH ARD was a three-masted square rigged iron sailing ship. The ship measured 262ft 7" (79.87m) in length, 38ft (11.58m) in width, 23ft (7m) in depth and had a gross tonnage of 1693 tons. The LOCH ARD's main mast measured a massive 150ft (45.7m) in height. LOCH ARD made three trips to Australia and one trip to Calcutta before its final voyage. LOCH ARD left England on March 2, 1878, under the command of Captain Gibbs, a newly married, 29 year old. She was bound for Melbourne with a crew of 37, plus 17 passengers and a load of cargo. The general cargo reflected the affluence of Melbourne at the time. On board were straw hats, umbrella, perfumes, clay pipes, pianos, clocks, confectionary, linen and candles, as well as a heavier load of railway irons, cement, lead and copper. There were items included that intended for display in the Melbourne International Exhibition in 1880. The voyage to Port Phillip was long but uneventful. At 3am on June 1, 1878, Captain Gibbs was expecting to see land and the passengers were becoming excited as they prepared to view their new homeland in the early morning. But LOCH ARD was running into a fog which greatly reduced visibility. Captain Gibbs was becoming anxious as there was no sign of land or the Cape Otway lighthouse. At 4am the fog lifted. A man aloft announced that he could see breakers. The sheer cliffs of Victoria's west coast came into view, and Captain Gibbs realised that the ship was much closer to them than expected. He ordered as much sail to be set as time would permit and then attempted to steer the vessel out to sea. On coming head on into the wind, the ship lost momentum, the sails fell limp and LOCH ARD's bow swung back. Gibbs then ordered the anchors to be released in an attempt to hold its position. The anchors sank some 50 fathoms - but did not hold. By this time LOCH ARD was among the breakers and the tall cliffs of Mutton Bird Island rose behind the ship. Just half a mile from the coast, the ship's bow was suddenly pulled around by the anchor. The captain tried to tack out to sea, but the ship struck a reef at the base of Mutton Bird Island, near Port Campbell. Waves broke over the ship and the top deck was loosened from the hull. The masts and rigging came crashing down knocking passengers and crew overboard. When a lifeboat was finally launched, it crashed into the side of LOCH ARD and capsized. Tom Pearce, who had launched the boat, managed to cling to its overturned hull and shelter beneath it. He drifted out to sea and then on the flood tide came into what is now known as LOCH ARD Gorge. He swam to shore, bruised and dazed, and found a cave in which to shelter. Some of the crew stayed below deck to shelter from the falling rigging but drowned when the ship slipped off the reef into deeper water. Eva Carmichael had raced onto deck to find out what was happening only to be confronted by towering cliffs looming above the stricken ship. In all the chaos, Captain Gibbs grabbed Eva and said, "If you are saved Eva, let my dear wife know that I died like a sailor". That was the last Eva Carmichael saw of the captain. She was swept off the ship by a huge wave. Eva saw Tom Pearce on a small rocky beach and yelled to attract his attention. He dived in and swam to the exhausted woman and dragged her to shore. He took her to the cave and broke open case of brandy which had washed up on the beach. He opened a bottle to revive the unconscious woman. A few hours later Tom scaled a cliff in search of help. He followed hoof prints and came by chance upon two men from nearby Glenample Station three and a half miles away. In a state of exhaustion, he told the men of the tragedy. Tom returned to the gorge while the two men rode back to the station to get help. By the time they reached LOCH ARD Gorge, it was cold and dark. The two shipwreck survivors were taken to Glenample Station to recover. Eva stayed at the station for six weeks before returning to Ireland, this time by steamship. In Melbourne, Tom Pearce received a hero's welcome. He was presented with the first gold medal of the Royal Humane Society of Victoria and a £1000 cheque from the Victorian Government. Concerts were performed to honour the young man's bravery and to raise money for those who lost family in the LOCH ARD disaster. Of the 54 crew members and passengers on board, only two survived: the apprentice, Tom Pearce and the young woman passenger, Eva Carmichael, who lost all of her family in the tragedy. Ten days after the LOCH ARD tragedy, salvage rights to the wreck were sold at auction for £2,120. Cargo valued at £3,000 was salvaged and placed on the beach, but most washed back into the sea when another storm developed. The wreck of LOCH ARD still lies at the base of Mutton Bird Island. Much of the cargo has now been salvaged and some was washed up into what is now known as LOCH ARD Gorge. Cargo and artefacts have also been illegally salvaged over many years before protective legislation was introduced. One of the most unlikely pieces of cargo to have survived the shipwreck was a Minton porcelain peacock - one of only nine in the world. The peacock was destined for the Melbourne International Exhibition in 1880. It had been well packed, which gave it adequate protection during the violent storm. Today, the Minton peacock can be seen at the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum in Warrnambool. From Australia's most dramatic shipwreck it has now become Australia's most valuable shipwreck artefact and is one of very few 'objects' on the Victorian State Heritage Register. [References: Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village information sheets and documents]


Flagstaff Hill’s collection of artefacts from LOCH ARD is significant for being one of the largest collections of artefacts from this shipwreck in Victoria. It is significant for its association with the shipwreck, which is on the Victorian Heritage Register (VHR S417). The collection is significant because of the relationship between the objects, as together they have a high potential to interpret the story of the LOCH ARD. The LOCH ARD collection is archaeologically significant as the remains of a large international passenger and cargo ship. The LOCH ARD collection is historically significant for representing aspects of Victoria’s shipping history and its potential to interpret sub-theme 1.5 of Victoria’s Framework of Historical Themes (living with natural processes). The collection is also historically significant for its association with the LOCH ARD, which was one of the worst and best known shipwrecks in Victoria’s history.

Victorian Railways Broad Gauge model railway

Puffing Billy Railway, Menzies Creek

Models of Victorian Railways Broad Gauge rolling stock - Hand Made - plastic and cast metal

Historical information

Model of Victorian Railways Broad Gauge - Dalhouse Station The Models were hand made including electric motors and cast metal by Desmond Henry Ramsay over 40 years - from the age of 15 ( 1930 ) until his death in 1970. The locomotives and carriages are all replicas of Victorian Railways Broad Gauge. The Dalhouse Station and station yard were inspired by victorian railways design. This Model of Victorian Railways Broad Gauge was kindly donated to the Puffing Billy Railway Museum by the family of Desmond Henry Ramsay - Elwyn Stankiewicz - Vanessa Bourke - Roger Ward. (plaque afixed on case)


Historic - Hand made Model of Victorian Railways Broad Gauge by Desmond Henry Ramsay

Artwork - 'Sunflowers' by Thelma Mueller

Federation University Australia Art Collection ,

If you are able to assist with information on this artist or artwork please make contact via the comments link below. Federation University School of Business Collection

Atlantic Star

Ballarat RSL Sub-Branch Inc., Invermay Park

Blue Velvet Display Tray "WW2 Service Medals"

Historical information

This object relates to Roy Edmund MARTIN. He was born on 28/04/1919 in Ballarat, VIC. Roy Edmund served in the Army (VX15647) enlisting on, 17/05/1940 in Ballarat, VIC before being discharged from duties with the 2/9 FLD COY ENGNRS as a Army Non-Commissioned Lance Corporal / Lance Bombardier (LCPL/LBDR) on 05/09/1945. Roy Edmund MARTIN was not a prisoner of war. His next of kin is E MARTIN. Roy Martin was awarded the Africa Star, Atlantic Star, Australia Service Medal 1939-1946, War Medal 1939-1945.

Handbook - Advanced Cooking

Frankston RSL Sub Branch, Frankston

A printed handbook, with illustrations, produced by the Australian Army Catering Corps as a training manual and for cooks to use as a reference. The handbook contains details and instructions relating to food preparation. The handbook is covered with a buff coloured cardboard cover.


Rutherglen Historical Society, Rutherglen

Black and white postcard photograph of a view of Rutherglen with paddocks in the foreground.

Inscriptions & Markings

Card addressed to "Mr J Ryan, The Hospital, Wangaratta" Message: "Dear Jim, Just a few lines to let you know I am sending some oysters by first train tomorrow so you can send to the Stn. for them. I hope you will like them and trust you are getting better, you must look after yourself, and not get bad again, you owe me a letter, do you get the papers. Best love to you from all, Marie" Postmarked February 24, 1908.

knitting needle gauge

Hume City Civic Collection, Sunbury

A silver metal knitting needle gauge in the shape of a bell with different sized holes in the middle numbered from 1-5 and slots around both sides numbered from 6-22. These holes were used as a guide to gauge the size of knitting needles. The numbers and lettering have been engraved into the metal.

Historical information

The knitting needle gauge was used as a guide to the needle sizes used in Britain and Australia before metric measurements were adopted for weights and measures in the mid 1970's.

Inscriptions & Markings


Spinning Wheel

National Wool Museum, Geelong

Part of the Zakrzewski Spinning Wheel collection.

Historical information

Part of the Zakrzewski Collection of spinning wheels donated to the National Wool Museum by Mr Wlodzimierz Zakrzewski. For many years, Mr Zakrzewski collected, researched and repaired spinning wheels from all over the world. This wheel is from the Black Forest region of Germany and dates from the late 19th century. It would have been used mostly for spinning flax. It was purchased from MacDonald Antiques at the Hawthorn Market.


Clunes Museum, Clunes


Historical information


Pair of brass vases (1 and 2)

Mission to Seafarers Victoria, Docklands

Pair of small fluted heavy brass vases with quatrefoil opening and small footprint. Highly polished outer surface and unpolished inner; each of the undersides seem to be of lead or coarse alloy lined finish.

Historical information

The quatrefoil design similar to other chapel decorative arts, suggests these vases may belong originally in one of the MIssion Chapels. Possibly either the demolished 1937 Building at Port Melbourne or the original Chapel from the early 20th C at the previous Mission Building in Port Melbourne. Further research to be done.

Photograph - Digital image - Greensborough Station

Greensborough Historical Society, Lower Plenty

Digital copy of black and white photograph.

Historical information

An early view of Greensborough Station showing the rural nature of the area in the early part of the 20th century.


Clunes Museum, Clunes


Photograph - Opening of Lionswood Retirement Village, Kirk Street, Ringwood - May, 1963. Premier of Victoria, Sir Henry Bolte.

Ringwood and District Historical Society, Ringwood

Inscriptions & Markings

Catalogue card reads, 'Lionswood opening. Sir Henry Bolte (speaking)'.


Orbost & District Historical Society , Orbost

A piece of rectangular tin curled on each end. Painted green background with white roses, yellow stamens and green and brown leaves.

Historical information

Painted by Miss Nell cameron, daughter James and Jean (nee Moffat) Cameron.


This painting has aesthetic significance and shows the skill and craftmanship of the women of the early settler families.

Inscriptions & Markings


Photograph - South wing from Library entry to lower floors, former Shire Office demolition, Aug 1996

Eltham District Historical Society Inc, Eltham

Colour photograph

Historical information

Demolition of the former Shire of Eltham Offices, 895 Main Road, Eltham, August 1996.


National Wool Museum, Geelong

Historical information

Shed hand's agreement dated 21 February 1912.

Pair of Skates

Dutch Australian Heritage Centre Victoria, Carnegie

Photograph - Reverend William Moss

Deaf Children Australia, Melbourne

B&W oval photograph pasted on cardboard and cut out from original board and a negative copy. The picture is of William Moss. He was a Congregational minister and philanthropist.