Historical information

Their polished wood finish appears to be original to their date of manufacture during the 1960s‐70s. They were located in the head keeper’s and assistant keepers’ quarters, where their use for office purposes also may have crossed over to a domestic function. In the post‐war years the Commonwealth Lighthouse Service (CLS) introduced modern, low‐cost furnishings to lightstations. Most notably, it commissioned a number of light, compact and functional items in bulk from émigré designer, Steven Kalmar (1909‐ 1989), who played a significant role in popularising modernist design concepts in Australia and drew his ideas from Scandinavian and American design trends. Born in Hungary, he trained as an architect and his contemporary affordable furnishings were especially suitable for the open‐plan houses being built in Australia’s new post‐war suburbs. It is not known whether the bookcases bear the Kalmar label, but the design, particularly the legs and bar bracing, is a signature style that is associated with his Sydney‐based firm, Kalmar Interiors. The CLS supplied the same bookshelves to a number of other lightstations, including Point Hicks, Cape Otway and Gabo Island, as well as other types of furnishings such as tables and cabinets.


The bookcases have first level contributory significance as examples of the modernist furnishings that the Sydney‐based firm, Kalmar Interiors supplied to the Commonwealth Lighthouse Service in the post‐war years.

Physical description

The bookcases stand at about bench level and are almost square in dimension. They have two adjustable shelves as well as the base shelf and stand on legs supported by a single stretcher with a polished wood finish.