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gold panning dish

From the Collection of Orbost & District Historical Society Ruskin Street Orbost Victoria

Description
A circular dull metal panning dish which has a wide rolled top lip which tapers down to a smaller diameter for the base which is flat. The pan has been made from ironmetal which has a coating of another metal with a matte grey finish. It has a small hanging hole and a reinforcing ring all around the top.
Size
0-448mm H-107mm
Object Registration
2412
Keywords
russell-doug gold-panning mining
Historical information
Panning dishes were used for washing fine gold from river sediments or from the residue trapped in cradles and puddling tubs. They were often used on the edge of streams/rivers to sift gold from alluvial soil or crushed quartz. This simple pan would have been filled with sand and gravel which might have contained gold. The pan was submerged in the water and shaken to sort the gold from the gravel and other material, with the lighter material gradually being washed over the lip until only the heavy deposits, such as gold, remained at the bottom. (ref. Museum Victoria)
This pan was used by George Henry Douglas Russell Snr. As a young man prior to his enlistment in WW1 he panned for gold using this dish. During the war he became a vet sergeant in charge of horse lines.
When Made
mid - late 19th century
Significance
Gold panning is the oldest and simplest method of extracting gold. Gold pans had widespread use in alluvial gold fields where water is available. This item is an example of the type of pan commonly used on Victorian gold fields.
Last updated
21 Mar 2019 at 8:24AM