Historical information

One of a series of photographs, taken by Edgar James Dower in the second decade of the twentieth century. Born and raised in Olinda, his family later moved to Surrey Hills. He worked as an adult as a clerk in the city office of the Metropolitan Gas Company, and in his role as a 'collector', he was able to photograph scenes including the construction of tramlines and associated buildings in Kew, Hawthorn, Camberwell and Surrey Hills. Later he established a real estate agency with his brother - the E.J. Dower Real Estate Agency, Dandenong Office.


The image is an historically significant record of the development of transport infrastructure which was used to connect Victorians in the first two decades of the twentieth century. This development resulted from increases in population and the consequent extension of Melbourne's suburbs. The photographs, both individually and collectively, richly detail the labour of workers and the tools and machinery used to create and extend Melbourne's public transport network in the years preceding and during World War 1.

Physical description

Digital copy of an original mounted photograph showing a worker standing on a ladder in Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn, working on the overhead electric cables that would be used to power trams on the New Kew tramline.Other railway workers are working on platforms or viewing the man on the ladder. The ladder appears to be only supported by one other worker. "The Don Store" at left is immediately behind the old railway level crossing which can be seen in the distance to the south.

Inscriptions & markings

Annotated verso: "Preparing for electric trams in Glenferrie Road, near Glenferrie Station, showing railway gates / Taken by E.J. Dower 1914"