In an era predating the computerisation of equipment on public transport, where trams in Melbourne were driven by drivers and conductors sold fares, destinations were shown at the front and rear of the tram within a glazed box. A driver adjusted the roll to select each new trip destination. Given the length of rolls, in this case approximately nine metres, this could be a time consuming process. In addition to the named destination roll, each tram included a separate roll listing the route numbers.
The roll was purchased at a Leski Auction in Armadale as part of a large group of tramways memorabilia including tram 'rolls' from New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. The auction house described the collection as "The collection of destination blinds or rolls that forms the core of the Railways Trams & Buses Section (Lots 655 – 732) is the best we have ever offered and represents a life-time of collecting by an Adelaide enthusiast, now deceased."
Melbourne & Metropolitan Tramways Board Tramways Destination Roll. Black and white paint on linen roll. Forty-eight named destinations including four depots - Camberwell, Hanna Street, Hawthorn, Kew. Multiple destinations in what is now the City of Boroondara (Kew, Hawthorn and Camberwell); including East Kew, Kew, Kew Post Office, Kew Depot, and Cotham Road.
Inscriptions & markings
Named destinations beginning to end: “Olympic Park / Special / Football / Racecourse / Richmond / Burnley / Riversdale / Wattle Park - Warragul Rd / Wattle Park - Elgar Rd / City / Burwood / Hartwell / Bowen St / Camberwell Depot / Camberwell Jucn / Leura Grove / Gardener / Glenferrie Rd / Chapel St / St Kilda Rd / Camberwell / City / Lonsdale St / University / City via William St / Domain Rd / Hanna St Depot / South Melb & St Kilda Beach / Prahran / North Richmond / Windsor / Hawthorn Depot / Hawthorn / Spencer St / Toorak Rd / Swan & Church St Cnr / North Balwyn / City Flinders & Spencer Sts Corner / City - Market St / Swanston St / Simpson St / East Kew / Kew / Kew Post Office / Kew Depot / Cotham Rd / Malv Tn Hall"