Historical information

This is a photograph of the ship, 'Speculant' at the Warrnambool Breakwater. There is another ship alongside the 'Speculant' and the dredge, 'Pioneer' is in the background. The 'Speculant' was a three masted barquentine of 412 tons built in Scotland in 1895. It was purchased by P. J. McGennan in 1902 and wrecked at Cape Patton, near Apollo Bay, in 1911. It was one of the few ships to be registered at the Warrnambool port. Peter John McGennan (1844-1920) was a cooper by trade, initially operating a shop in Warrnambool making cheese vats, churns, coolers and tanks. He then opened a factory in South Warrnambool making butter boxes, nails and barbed wire. He owned several ships, using them to import material for his businesses, especially white pine timber from New Zealand, and to export his own products. He was a Warrnambool Councillor from 1885 to 1891.


This photograph is of interest as a reminder of the importance in the late 19th century and early 20th century Warrnambool of Peter McGennan and his industries and community work.

Physical description

This is a black and white photograph of three ships. It is enclosed in glass with a varnished wooden frame with an ornate edging. The photograph shows one ship in the background and two at the Warrnambool breakwater with some railway cartage trucks in the foreground.