Historical information

This crosscut saw was originally part of the equipment on the barque Marjorie Craig, which brought New Zealand timber into Warrnambool from about 1908 to 1912 for the local merchants P J McGennan & Co. The toolbox was donated by a member of a local family connected with the La Bella rescue in 1905. The toolbox has carvings and markings that make it unique and connect it to the Marjorie Craig.

The Craig Line of sailing ships was from Auckland, New Zealand, and traded in timber and some coal from New Zealand ports to Australia, including Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne and Warrnambool. They returned with produce from Australia as ballast. In 1912 the Craig fleet included the Ihumata, Inga, Jessie Craig, Marjorie Craig, Louisa Craig and Joseph Craig.

The steel barque Marjorie Craig, 500 ton, was built in 1891 as the 'Hirotha', in Ardrossan, Scotland for Norwegian owners. The ship was sold to Auckland’s Donald Ross and others in 1900, then in 1905 it was sold, registered by J.J. Craig in Auckland, New Zealand and renamed Marjorie Craig.

Marjorie Craig’s commanders included Master R A Campbell in 1907, J MacFarlane in 1909 and Master R.G. Holmes in 1913. From February 1908, the Marjorie Craig was regularly seen in the Port of Warrnambool with loads of timber for merchants P J McGennan & Co. In February 1912 Marjorie Craig delivered white pine for P J McGennan & Co. In April of the same year, she brought 500,000 feet of timber for McGennan & Co and again in May 1912. On May 12 1912 Marjorie left the Port of Warrnambool with 500 tons of flour for New Zealand; it seems that this was her last time at Warrnambool. Prior to 1908, the vessel Speculant brought in timber from New Zealand for the McGennan firm.

The Marjorie Craig had a strong reputation for being a ‘Fast Flyer’, breaking the sailing records for voyages between New Zealand and Australia. It was reported that she made passages with a speed equal to steamboats on several occasions. One of her records was from Warrnambool to Hokianga, NZ in eight-and-a-half days. The ship broke the record in October 1913 for the time from Adelaide to Auckland, sailing in 28 days, even with a damaged ship, and the owner presented Captain Holmes with a gold watch and chain.

By the end of December 1913, the Craig Line’s last two surviving sailing ships, Marjorie Craig and Jessie Craig, had been purchased by Huddart, Parker & Co. Ltd. to work as coal hulks, one in Melbourne and one in Hobart.


The saw is significant for being created for use in 1905 when the steel barque Marjorie Craig was purchased by J J Craig and given that name. The saw would be part of the sip's equipment and could have been used for the timber carried as cargo on the Marjorie Craig.
The saw is significant for its association with the well-known Marjorie Craig, a frequent visitor to the Port of Warrnambool 1908 to 1912, a supplier of New Zealand timber for the local firm P J McGennan & Co, and one of the fastest inter-colonial sailing ships that broke numerous records for its speed including the fastest sailing from Warrnambool to Hokianga.

Physical description

Crosscut saw; blade attached to wooden handles by wingnut each end. The saw has 63 teeth. Also has a tag attached with an inscription. The saw was ship's equipment on the barque, Marjorie Craig.

Inscriptions & markings

Handwritten on tab: "From sailing ship Marjorie Craig early 1900 Port of Warrnambool"