This Timing Relay is quite a large (industrial type) apparatus. The Timer is started by having a voltage of 250 volts direct current (as supplied by batteries). A DC motor then rotates driving into a clockwork mechanism, the output of which is an arm rotating at the same speed as a minute hand on a clock. Attached to this arm is a mercury switch which tips and makes an electrical circuit operate in a sequence control system. The sequences that use these timers are when starting and stopping Hydro Generators. They check that the machine has connected to the power system grid before 20 minutes duration. Brakes must go on for a set time when shutting down a generator slowing at the right speed as measured by this apparatus. These generators are powered by the hydro force of "stored" water at a higher altitude. The establishment of both the NSW and Victorian Hydro schemes was achieved from the mid 1900's to the 1960's. At this point in time the need for additional power sources to quench both an industrial and domestic demand for electricity was purely an economic and not and environmental (carbon reduction) factor.
This Timing Relay apparatus is very significant to the Kiewa Valley as its use was introduced during the Kiewa Hydro Scheme. Although only a relay apparatus, it was however part of the explosion of human resources into the valley. This influx of population transformed the region from that of a basically quiet rural region to one which evolved into both an industrial and a larger residential community. This evolution in the valley created a change, not only in the "physical" landscape but also the socio-economic expansion which permitted other "tourist" based industries into the valley. This Hydro Scheme was instigated by "the Government of the day" as a bold move and was the major force behind the acceptance of World War II refugee and "technical" workforce. Inclusion of skilled and unskilled migration into the Australian environment was of a higher priority than a selective quota system of later years.. Although this mass "invasion" of workers with families was thought of in some circles as intrusive, the expansion of population post war years and its integration into the Australian rural sector, produced the multi- lingual, multi-cultural diversity of later years.