Historical information

This post drill press has been made by Melbourne business, Dawn Manufacturing Company. It can be operated manually or by a pulley driven flywheel, with the aid of an engine connected to a power supply. In the late 1800s early 1900s a drill press like this would have been driven by steam from a boiler, the main power source for manufacturer’s power at that time. Dawn’s Golden Anniversary 1917-1967 Catalogue describes this model 611 drill as … “Ruggedly constructed with accurately reamed bearings. The coupling between the main spindle and feed screw engages the full circumference of the spindle, and embraces a ball-bearing thrust race. The pillar, as in all “Dawn Drilling Machines” is a solid bright steel bar, in place of the usual light tubing. Adjustable automatic feed.” And “F. & l. Pulleys extra, if required”. DAWN MANUFACTURING CO. The Dawn Manufacturing Co. was founded in Coburg, Melbourne, in 1917 by the four Blake brothers, who were all engineers. After World War I Dawn was supplying drills Australia wide and the company was growing at a healthy rate. During the depression they remained busy, with employees working 60-80 hour weeks. Dawn was contracted to supply vices and clamps to the Australian Defence Department and munitions factory during the World War II. - 1959 the company was taken over by G.N. Raymond Group. - 1967 the Dawn Manufacturing Co. had distributors in Australia and overseas, including USA, Canada, New Zealand, Asia and the Middle East. - 1973 the Siddons Ramset Limited acquired Dawn. - December 1991, Dawn became a unit of the United States owned Stanley Works Pty. Ltd. - November 1998 Dawn became 100 per cent Australian owned.


The drill is a typical tool of a blacksmith, cart wright, wheelwright and garage business. It is an example of the tools of the blacksmiths’ trade in Victoria in the early to mid-20th century.

Physical description

Post type drill press machine with gear driven flywheel. Drill press is attached to a post and is fitted with a pulley belt and will run at a speed of maxim 200 r.p.m. The machine can also be manually operated. It has an aperture in the centre, a chuck, for the drill bit and has two metal handles at the centre, on the right hand side. Gear ratio 2:1 main drive, 6" diam, 3:1 reduction gear. Made by Dawn of Melbourne, Australia. Model No. 611, Code No. 9157

Inscriptions & markings