Historical information

This nameplate is a reproduction of the Ross & Duncan nameplate and was displayed on the Rowitta vessel activation at Flagstaff Hill. Ross & Duncan of Glasgow manufactured marine engines and boilers from the time it was established in 1860 and growing to employ 450-500 workers by 1911.

The Rowitta was built in Hobart in 1909-1910 for the Tamar Trading Company and the steamer navigated the Tamar from Launceston to George Town for many years. It then had a succession of owners and at one time was renamed S S Sorento by Port Phillip Ferries Pty Ltd of Melbourne. The ferry was purchased by Flagstaff Hill in 1974, restored and eventually renamed to the original Rowitta, to be used as an exhibit.

The Ross & Duncan company was also commissioned to supply an engine for a new steamer RONDA launched in January 1909 for Alfred Harrap & Son, Launceston.


The nameplate was reproduced to represent the Glasow marine engineers and boilermakers, Ross & Duncan, that were the makers of the engine for the exhibition steam ferry Rowitta. The Tasmanian-built vessel had a long career in Tasmania and Victoria.

The nameplate is significant for its connection with the Rowitta, representing the importance of coastal traders to transport, trade and communication in Australia in conjunction with the new rail and motor vehicles. The nameplate is record of an exhibit at Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village from its early beginnings.

Physical description

Maker's brass nameplate; brass, with embossed text and a hole in each corner. The background is painted red. There are five rows of text; the top row is arranged in an arc. On the bottom row is a number. The nameplate is a replica once displayed on the Rowitta vessel at Flagstaff Hill. The reproduction nameplate is for the company Ross & Duncan of Glasgow.

Inscriptions & markings