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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

165576 items


165576 items

Photographs Loaned - Clapp Family

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

Historical information

Photos loaned for copying. Clapp family photos loaned for copying.|1.Mary Jones m. William Clapp, grandmother of Margaret Harrison.|2.William Clapp m. Mary Jones.|3.Eliza Clapp m. John Brewer.|4.John Brewer m. Eliza Clapp.|5.Walter Clapp, son of William & Mary.|6, 7 & 8.Marion Rennie m. Walter Clapp, grandmother of Marion Bunn. Dau. of William & Margaret (nee Lindsay) Rennie. Married at Eaglesham, Renfrewshire on 02.09.1825. Marion b. Eltham 17.10.1860|9. Mary Jones.

Text - Inaugural World Championship for Vision Impaired Tenpin Bowling certificate of appreciation

Vision Australia, Kooyong

1 certificate with colour printing

Historical information

Certificate reads "Awarded to Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind Ltd in recognition of their valuable contribution towards The Inaugural World Championships for Vision Impaired Tenpin Bowling, Helsinki Finland in June 2002." Signed by Hazel Hockling, dated 27th April 2002.

Inscriptions & Markings

Image of a black bowling ball striking two white pins is located in the bottom left hand corner.


Bendigo Historical Society, Bendigo

The Madge Simmons collection. A modern copy of a photograph of the Grade V class, Bendigo Central School 1976, 1929.This information is given on the blackboard in the front row. An accompanying sheet of paper gives the names of some of the pupils. It is handwritten and titled 'Bendigo Central (Camp Hill) School No. 1976 Grade V 1929'. Pupils named: Harold Chatfield / Alec Reed / Stuart McMillan / Jim Jordan /? Plumridge / Charlie Runnels / Wal Penman / Ken Roberts / Bob Howe or Doug Howe / Wilma ? / Phyllis Chatfield / Dorothy Wilby / Katie Doyle / Lavinia Wesphalen / Dorothy Rogers / Kevin Nelson / Myrna Brascher / Una Ebdon / Una Houston / Iris Gainby / Phyllis Date / ? Goughlan / Eva Rogers / Elvira Exell / Hazel Sheehan / Eunice Parker / Jean Elliott / Harry Elson / Cyril Sayers / Clyde Ruddy / Brian Balnaves / Vern Wright / George Braecher / Bob Buckell / Stuart Dowsey / Don Hargreaves / Reg Fawcett / Amerkan Bob Howe / Dough Richards / Jack Homer / Rupert Fawcett / Jim 'Dickie' Thom / Frank Hellier / Les Simmons / Stan Carlton / Ray Browning / Jack Pitt / Harry Cameron / Bill Casley. Signed M Simmons on behalf of Les Simmons (front row).


Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village, Warrnambool

American Clock is an 8-day marine clock made by the Chelsea clock Co for the “US Maritime Commission” . There is a second smaller dial for the seconds and 24-hour markings. Also a fast-slow adjuster to the top of the dial.

Historical information

Chelsea Clock Company History: The Chelsea Clock Company is an American clock manufacturing company that started before 1880 with Joseph Henry Eastman who founded the Harvard Clock Company and produced 800 clocks of marine, carriage, shelf and banjo types. He went on to change the company name to the Boston Clock Company in 1884. After several name changes in 1897, the Chelsea Clock Company was finally founded. Clocks produced by Chelsea Clock Company have been found in the White House, on US Naval Ships, and in homes and offices around the world. After the company first began life as the Harvard Clock Company, it was named the Boston Clock Company, the Eastman Clock Company before finally becoming the Chelsea Clock Company in July of 1897. The company had developed many patents and innervations over these years and between 1939 and 1946 during World War II they were awarded contracts by the U.S Maritime Commission and produced vast numbers of clocks for both merchant and naval ships. U.S Maritime Commission History: The United States Maritime Commission (MARCOM) was an independent executive agency of the U.S. federal government that was created by the Merchant Marine Act of 1936, and replaced the United States Shipping Board which had existed since World War I. It was intended to formulate a merchant shipbuilding program to design and build five hundred modern merchant cargo ships to replace the World War I vintage vessels that comprised the bulk of the United States Merchant Marine, and to administer a subsidy system authorized by the Act to offset the cost differential between building in the U.S. and operating ships under the American flag. It also formed the United States Maritime Service for the training of seagoing ship's officers to man the new fleet. The purpose of the Maritime Commission was to formulate a merchant shipbuilding program to design and then have built over a ten-year period 900 modern fast merchant cargo ships which would replace the World War I-vintage vessels Those ships were intended to be then leased to U.S. shipping companies for their use in the foreign seagoing trades the aim was to offer better and more economical freight services. The ships were also intended to serve as a reserve naval auxiliary force in the event of armed conflict which was a duty the U.S. merchant fleet had often filled throughout the years since the Revolutionary War. From 1939 through the end of World War II, the Maritime Commission funded and administered the largest and most successful merchant shipbuilding effort in world history, producing ships for both navy and merchant marine. By the end of the war, U.S. shipyards working under Maritime Commission contracts had built a total of 5,777 ocean-going merchant and naval ships. In early 1942 both the training and licensing was transferred to the U.S. Coast Guard for administration, then later to the Maritime Service final responsibility was conveyed to the newly created War Shipping Administration which was created to oversee the operation of merchant ships being built by the Emergency Program to meet the needs of the U.S. Armed Services. With the end of World War II, both the Emergency and Long Range shipbuilding programs were terminated as there were far too many merchant vessels now for the Nation's peacetime needs. In 1946, the Merchant Ship Sales Act was passed to sell off a large portion of the ships built during the war to commercial buyers, both domestic and foreign. The U.S Maritime Commission was officially disbanded on May 24th 1950.


These clocks were to be found on all ships made in American for the war effort between 1939 and 1946. They are a significant reminder of the sacrifice by those who served in the merchant marine and the navy’s during the Second World War. The item is a part of our social history that reminds us of these dark times. The loses of family members, along with the trauma that many sailors had endured and had to live with for the rest of their lives once they were released from service and allowed to go home.

Inscriptions & Markings

The clock is an 8 day marine clock with US Maritime Commission inscribed on face in black lettering.

Book - Questions & Answers on Diesel, Semi-Diesel and other Internal Combustion Engines, Air Compressors etc...

Bay Steamers Maritime Museum, Docklands

Black cloth hardcover book of 365 pages

Board Game

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Lotto. Box title "THE POPULAR GAME OF LOTTO". Inside the lid are a set of instructions for playing the game of "Lotto or House". The game was manufactured "solely at Chad Valley Works, Harborne, England.

Inscriptions & Markings

Beside the rules, in pencil is the name "P. Knight", presumably the owner of the game.

Page from Magazine

Tennis Australia, Melbourne

Page 548 of Harper's Weekly (28 Aug. 1880), featuring colour lithographic print of the Newport Casino, by C. Graham. Materials: Paper, Ink

Book, Knitting - Villawool Knitting Book no. 62

National Wool Museum, Geelong

Historical information

This knitting pattern book was published by the Villawood Textile Company, Sydney and contains knitting patterns for womens, mens and childrens garments.

Inscriptions & Markings

"SPEEDIKNIT" SPORTS WOOL / Villawool / KNITTING BOOK / No. 62 / 1'6 / "SPORTMAN" See p. 4 / "FASHION WISE" See p. 5


Hand Tool Preservation Association of Australia Inc,


Historical information

This item is part of the Thomas Caine Tool Collection, owned by The National Trust of Australia (Victoria) and curated by the Hand Tools Preservation Association of Australia.

Slide Images - Southwood Primary School (Ringwood) - images from slide show created 1986 - Students

Ringwood and District Historical Society, Ringwood

Digital scans of slides of Southwood Primary School prepared by former teacher, Faye Griggs Rogers Guthrie, in 1986 for a University project. See Record 11540 for description of full collection. This record contains digital images of the Students

Inscriptions & Markings

No identification or dates on individual slides


Stawell Historical Society Inc, Stawell

Historical information

Colour photos of 7 Gravestones Related to Mow Fung


Clunes Museum, Clunes


Historical information


Badges - brass

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum, Tatura

2 brass badges depicting the words "Australia" with a split pin on the back for attachment to garments

Historical information

Badges belong to Major W. C. Scurry MC DSM Commandant Internment Camp 4, Army uniform insignia

Inscriptions & Markings


Baseball Style Cap, Peaked

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

Peaked cap blue, with Military Police insignia

Family History - Margetts Jim & Ivy Yarrara

Millewa Community Pioneer Forest & Historical Society, Meringur

Book - Parliamentary Debates Representatives 15th February to 12 th April 1956

Bendigo Trades Hall Council & Literary Institute Inc., BENDIGO


Inscriptions & Markings

Commonwealth of Australia Parliamentary Debates Representatives 15th February to 12th April 1956 5 Eliz 11 Volume H. of R 9 Pages 1-1344 22nd Parliament 1st Session (First Period) Hon. P. J. Clarey M.P.

Badges - Wattle Day

Warrnambool and District Historical Society Inc., Warrnambool

.1 circular metal concave badge featuring a cream map of Australia with dark green outline. An image of wattle flowers and leaves is in the centre of the map. Surrounding the map is a pale green border with text. The edge is dark green. It has a pin clip on the reverse. .2 As above .3 As above

Historical information

These badges appear to have been issued as part of Wattle Day celebrations in the period 19910 to 1919. The use of wattle as an Australian symbol was strong during the pre- Federation and Federation days and was particularly promoted by the Australian Natives Association, a prominent campaigner for Federation. Wattle Day was established in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide in 1910 and the wattle symbol was a strong one for servicemen serving overseas in World War One and wattle badges and pins were used to raise funds for funds such organisations as the Red Cross.


These badges are of interest as an example of the strong national sentiment engendered on Australia by World War One.

Inscriptions & Markings


Booklet - Churchill's 40th Anniversary

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

Historical information

The foreword states: "The 40th anniversary project was conceived, not as a detailed or comprehensive record of the town's forty-five year history, but as a series of 'snapshots' to commemorate Churchill's development. This booklet has been produced as an accompanying souvenir to the six portable display panels, which together provide a permanent record to our past". Assistance for the project was provided by the Glendonald Residents' Group Inc., Churchill District Community Association, Latrobe City, and Monash University. Federation University Australia was established on 1 January 2014. Formerly known as the University of Ballarat, its enabling legislation was the University of Ballarat Amendment (Federation University Australia) Act 2013. Although formally created as a University in 1994, the University of Ballarat had a lineage back to 1870 with the establishment of the School of Mines Ballarat, making it the third institution of higher learning to be established in Australia and the first to be established in regional Australia. On 1 January 1994, Ballarat University College became the University of Ballarat and in 1998 the University merged with three TAFE Institutes to become a dual sector institution with multiple campuses. On 1 January 2014, the University of Ballarat amalgamated with the Monash University Gippsland Campus to form Federation University Australia. The Gippsland Campus also had a long lineage dating back to 1928 with the establishment of the Yallourn Technical School which became a predecessor institution to the Gippsland College of Advanced Education formed in 1968. In 1990, it was renamed the Monash University College and in 1993 became the Gippsland Campus of Monash University. Federation University Australia, or FedUni, is Australia’s newest public University. Headquartered in Ballarat, Victoria, the University offers programs in Higher Education and Vocational Education and Training to regional Victoria and beyond. The University’s commitment to educational and social equity, teaching excellence, research distinction, environmental sustainability and regional capacity building has enabled it to develop in a way that draws on its proud heritage to inform its future. Its regional character sets a framework for the University’s priorities but does not constrain it from serving wider community interests, nationally and internationally. With campuses from Horsham in the west of the state, to Churchill in the east, the name Federation University Australia was chosen to convey the scope and capacity of an expanded regional university with a federated network of campuses contributing to a new and different Australian university.

Model Boat - Cutty Sark

Warrnambool and District Historical Society Inc., Warrnambool

This is the model of a three-masted ship with a hull painted in green and black with gold bands. The ship is mounted on a wooden stand and enclosed in a wooden box with a glass front. The box is varnished and has ornamental patterns in gold and blue on the top and sides. The inside of the box is painted blue and white to represent the sea and the sky.

Historical information

The Cutty Sark sailing ship was a popular model-making ship. It was a British clipper ship built originally for the China- England tea trade and was one of the last and fastest tea clippers. From 1883 to 1895 it was used to carry wool from Australia to England and held many records for speed during that time. Since 1954 the ship has been on display at Greenwich, England. The model has an etched inscription indicating that it was made by Herman Richter and so it is presumed that he was the maker of this model. A model of the Cutty Sark was made by his father, Edward Richter using wood from the Enterprise wrecked in Lady Bay and that model was in the old Warrnambool Museum. This information was in a newspaper article at the time of Edward Richter’s death. This Herman Richter model may be a copy of his father’s model. The Richters have been prominent in Warrnambool’s history, beginning with Henry Richter who came to Warrambool in the 1850s and worked in the Western Brewery and was licensee of the Royal Archer Hotel. His son Edward who died in 1937 was a prominent Warrnambool resident for 78 years. Herman, the son of Susan and Edward Richter was well-known as a model boat maker and maker of model boats in bottles.


This model boat is of great interest because the ‘Cutty Sark’ was a well-known sailing ship and was important in Australia’s maritime history as a carrier to London of Australian wool in the 1880s and 90s. It is also of interest as it was made by a member of the Richter family, a prominent one in Warrnambool’s history with both Edward and his son Herman Richter producing many artefacts connected to Warrnambool’s history – model ships, violin-making, maritime paintings etc.

Inscriptions & Markings

‘Cutty Sark 963Tons by H Richter 1964’

Dress - Day dress

Brighton Historical Society, Brighton

This c1872 grey and white silk pin stripe dress features a high round neckline with eleven decorative blue silk buttons and secured by a concealed line of fifteen hook and eyelet closure. The bodice has decorative blue and green braid over the shoulder and bust and across the base of the bodice. The dress features three darts shaping the dress to the body. The sleeve is cut high but relatively full and tapers to the elbow then flares again in Pagoda like style but ends at the wrist or hand. The skirt opens over the left hip and features a pocket over the right hip. The skirt at the front finishes at the ankle or just above the ground. At the back the bodice features panels shaping the dress into the body and pleated and flared from the waist. At the small of the back is a decorative bow with pinked edges and decorative braid. The skirt at the back is uncommon in shape most likely as the result of modification. It appears to have had panels removed reducing its original fullness. It has a tape inside the back of the skirt that would draw the skirt in creating a bustle like shape . It would appear that the dress had been modified in order to create a more fashionable silhouette most probably in circa 1872. There are three separate pieces of fabric. One is made up into a semi-circular over-skirt trimmed with blue braid and fringing. Two pieces are unpicked skirt gores, one still has its cotton lining attached.

Historical information

This dress was donated as having belonged to Annie Elizabeth McLean, who worked as a maid to the daughters of Samuel Renwick of Caulfield. Annie was born in Argyllshire, Scotland in 1853. This dress appears to have been originally made circa 1855 and then modified circa 1872. As Annie would only have been two years old in 1855, this indicates that the dress would most probably have been originally made for someone else and later acquired by Annie. Annie Elizabeth McLean arrived in the Colony of Victoria from Argyllshire, Scotland with her aunts and cousins in 1867, aged thirteen and a half. She had been educated in Scotland and eventually became a personal maid and then companion to the Renwick girl, daughters of Samuel Renwick of Caulfield, Victoria. The Renwicks' home, 'The Garrell' on Glen Eira Road, was one of Caulfield's earliest residences, having been built around 1854. Samuel was a business partner of William Kerr Thomson, a well-known Brighton resident and the original occupant of the North Road mansion 'Kamesburgh'. During her time with the Renwick family, Annie travelled with them to England, then to Scotland, then back to Victoria. She left the family upon the marriage of the youngest Renwick daughter, then went to the household of Sir William and Lady McCullough until she left to be married to Alfred John Ashfold in 1878.

Telegram: Bagge to Inspector General of Public Works

Tarnagulla History Archive, Tarnagulla

A telegram sent from a C.H.O. Bagge in Tarnagulla to the Inspector General of Public Works in Melbourne on October 14th, 1863. Concerns checking of water levels in Inglewood and Tarnagulla Reservoirs, cost to build water races and planned travels to Dunolly and St. Arnaud.

Historical information

Murray Comrie Collection.

Advertisement - Digital image - T.A.Vickers & Staff, Chemist, 1964

Greensborough Historical Society, Lower Plenty

Digital copy of newspaper advertisement.

Historical information

Advertisement for T.A.Vickers & Staff, Chemist, 74 Main Street Greensborough, 1964

Photograph - Colour - New Australasian Mine Disaster Memorial in Creswick Old Cemetery, 2018

Ballarat Heritage Services, Bakery Hill Post Office

A number of photographs of the memorial to those who died in the New Australasian Mine Disaster, including names of those who died.

Article - John James (Jack) Andrews

Greensborough Historical Society, Lower Plenty

1 Page, text and colour images.

Historical information

A short article about John James (Jack) Andrews and his service in World War 1. Jack Andrews was a founder of the Greensborough RSL.

Book - The Victoria Government Gazette 1891 3 Vol 85

Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village, Warrnambool

The Victoria Government Gazette 1891 3 Vol 85

Photograph - Colour - Chatham-Holmes Collection: Andrew Chatham

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

School Records - Individuals - Hankinson, Marie

Rutherglen Historical Society, Rutherglen

Individual school records of the pupils of the Higher Elementary School, Rutherglen.

Historical information

From School records, some more complete than others. Reports should contain information on the pupil's school work and give details of what they did when they left school. They should also show the name of a parent and the occupation. All sheets are indexed on a spreadsheet at the Common School Museum.

Wallpaper fragment

Friends of Westgarthtown, Thomastown

Wallpaper fragment with grey background and linear floral design in white, pink and grey. One edge has a border with scalloped floral design in black, pink, green and yellow. The wallpaper is layer and has a cloth layer in the middle which is white with think blue stripes.

Inscriptions & Markings

No visible markings


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

#148425 Fl.Lieut Clifford James Johnson - killed in France in Lancaster.

Plan - Proposed New Buildings for the Ballarat School of Mines, 1966

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

Plans for proposed building for Diploma students at the Ballarat School of Mines. The building was not built.

Historical information

The Diploma Subjects Building was designed to be erected on the M.B. John Factory site (Lydiard Street towards Armstrong St), to provide facilities for the tertiary sector of the Ballarat School of Mines. This proposal was aborted when the Mount Helen Campus site was acquired and a new campus started there in 1967. Many of the laboratories shown in these plans were incorporated, in modified form, in single-storey buildings on Mt Helen campus.