Historical information

This tool belonged to Ernest Brighton Phillips, a Warrnambool furniture maker. Ernest Phillips (1875-1924) was born in Warrnambool and learnt his carpentry trade at the Warrnambool Box Works. In the late 1890s Phillips established a furniture store at the corner of Liebig and Koroit streets and by the early 20th century he had the largest furniture warehouse and factory in Victoria outside of Melbourne. His products were sold all over Australia. Phillips and his family lived at ‘Heatherlie’ in Koroit Street. Today this property is the site of the residential complex for senior citizens known as ‘Heatherlie’.


This tool is of considerable interest as it belonged to Ernest Phillips, a prominent businessman in Warrnambool at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. It is also of interest as a good example of a tool that was in use 100 years ago.

Physical description

This is a small tool with a wooden handle. The top part of the handle that screws in is missing. The tool is attached to the handle by a brass ring and a screw and the tool itself is a thin nail-like piece of metal with a small metal piece at the end in the shape of a star with six points. This end piece gouges out a hole or a pattern in wood or other hard material. The tool belonged to Ernest Phillips and his name is stamped on the handle. Three oblong-shaped metal nails were also with this tool but were not necessarily used with it.

Inscriptions & markings

‘E. Phillips’