Historical information

Professor Ernest Edgar Kurth of the University of Tasmania, invented a faster, simpler and cleaner way to produce charcoal on a continuous basis during the second world war. The charcoal was used to produce a combustible gas in motor cars, as a substitute for petrol, which was heavily rationed. The first batch of charcoal was produced in February 1942 and continued until the end of the war. Wood from stringybark trees was cut into lengths and fed into a kiln which converted it into charcoal.


The Kiln is located on Beenak Road, 7km north of Gembrook. It has great historical significance, particularly as an alternative supplier of fuel during the second world war. It is a State Registered facility, managed by the Friends of Kirth Kiln and the park is managed by Parks Victoria

Physical description

Green soft covered book of 150 pages, with a photo of 2 men and a boy out in the bush with 3 fires burning.

Inscriptions & markings

Contains a Prelude about Ernest Edgar Kurth written by Alfred Klink (2013) and a Foreward by John Sullivan (Heritage Officer of Parks Victoria). There is an Acknowledgement page, with recognition given to the grant provided by the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities.