Historical information

This item was used by the State Electricity Commission of Victoria in their mess rooms for their workers during the construction of the Kiewa Hydro Electricity Scheme. The imprint of the year "1921" was to identify the year that the SECV was formed and relieved the private VHEC (Victorian Hydro-Electric Company). As the scheme was of such a huge, isolated and time consuming nature the feeding of its workers was quite demanding of cutlery and crockery. The use of sturdy English cups and saucers was essential. The period of construction and the isolation of the Kiewa Valley area placed heavy demand for "solid" crockery that could wear abusive handling. This period in time was one when crockery, whether for domestic or commercial use, was imported from "mother" England. This scenario was more so for governmental bodies such as rail, jails and electricity providers than domestic users. The influx of cheaper Asian crockery had not yet begun.


This type of crockery item was used by the thousands of SEC Victorian staff and construction workers involved in the building of the Kiewa Hydro Electricity Scheme, over the extensive period (1938 to 1961). This was a period when Government bodies and other semi- government organisations were still tied to the "establishments" of "mother" England. It was a period in Australia's development when the Asian influence was very weak and the established ties to England and Europe was still very strong. The majority of heavy equipment and machinery was either made in England or Europe. Local/European expertise in dam construction and water management in alpine terrain came from migrants or specially recruited English and Europe specialists. The quality of workmanship from big steel manufacturing plants in England and Europe could not be matched from anywhere else in the developed world.

Physical description

This item is a white ceramic State Electricity Commission Of Victoria saucer (tea /coffee). It is made in England and is of strong and durable ceramic. The bottom cup indent is for either tea or coffee cups of a similar ceramic structure. The 5mm thickness of the ceramic suggests this saucer belongs to a commercial kitchen environment and not domestic. The indent bottom of the saucer is 5mm deep with a side curvature ratio of 2:5. The ceramic is glazed to a commercial standard (worker's mess). See also KVHS 0128 (B to D)

Inscriptions & markings

The seal of the State Electricity Commission Of Victoria is imprinted on the top inside rim within a curved scroll. Snuggled within the borders of the scroll is a banner with the five stars of the southern cross and an arm with a closed fist projecting from the top with five lightning bolts projecting outwards. On the underside "Vitrified sold by Cafe & Hotel Supplies Pty Ltd Dunn Bennett & Co. Ltd. Burslem Made in England"