Historical information

This glass lens was recovered from the wreck of the Falls of Halladale. Its purpose is unknown but could have been a lamp or torch lens or even the lens from underwater equipment.

The FALLS of HALLADALE 1886 - 1908-

The sailing ship Falls of Halladale was an iron-hulled, four-masted barque, used as a bulk carrier of general cargo. She left New York in August 1908 bound for Melbourne and Sydney. In her hold was general cargo consisting of roof tiles, barbed wire, stoves, oil, benzene, and many other manufactured items.

After three months at sea and close to her destination, a navigational error caused the Falls of Halladale to be wrecked on a reef off the Peterborough headland on the 15th of November, 1908. The captain and 29 crew members survived, but her cargo was largely lost, despite two salvage attempts in 1908-09 and 1910. The Court of Marine Inquiry in Melbourne ruled that the foundering of the ship was entirely due to Captain David Wood Thomson's navigational error, not too technical failure of the Clyde-built ship.

The Falls of Halladale was built in1886 by Russell & Co., at Greenock shipyards on the River Clyde, Scotland for Wright, Breakenridge & Co of Glasgow. The ship had a sturdy construction built to carry maximum cargo and was able to maintain full sail in heavy gales, one of the last of the 'windjammers' that sailed the Trade Route. She and her sister ship, the Falls of Garry, were the first ships in the world to include fore and aft lifting bridges. The new raised catwalk-type decking allowed the crew to move above the deck in stormy conditions.


This glass lens is significant for its association with the wreck of the sailing ship the Falls of Halladale.
The Falls of Halladale shipwreck is listed on the Victorian Heritage (No. S255). She was one of the last ships to sail the Trade Routes from Europe and the Americas. Also of significance is that the vessel was one of the first ships to have fore and aft lifting bridges as a significant safety feature still in use on modern vessels today. The subject model is an example of an International Cargo Ship used during the 19th and early 20th centuries to transport goods around the world and represents aspects of Victoria’s shipping industry.

Physical description

Glass lens; transparent glass dome with flat base. Glass has bubbles and several concentric lines on the surface. There are light coloured encrustations on the surface. It was recovered from the wreck of the Falls of Halladale.