Historical information

One of a small album of six photographs of the construction of the Cotham Road tramline in Kew, taken by Edgar James Dower in the second decade of the twentieth century. The reverse of each photo contains notes, written over time by the photographer, which are contained in the 'Inscriptions' field. Born and raised in Olinda, Dower's 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 tram and train lines 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 album as a whole can be viewed separately as the parent file.


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 in the album, as well as Dower's single photos mounted on card, individually and collectively richly detail the labour of workers and the tools and machinery used to create and extend Melbourne's tram and train networks in the years preceding and during World War 1.

Physical description

The fifth of six annotated photos in an album of photographs of the construction of the St Kilda to Kew electric tram line, taken in Cotham Road, Kew, by the amateur photographer, Edgar James Dower, in 1913. The album contains images detailing the preparation for the laying of the tracks plus work laying the line. The photographer notes on a number of the photos that the metal tracks were collected from the Hawthorn railway siding. The album, together with other phots by E.J. Dower has been made available by the owners for the Kew Historical Society to digitise and publish online and in print.

Inscriptions & markings

Annotation verso: "Preparing tram line Cotham Road Kew for electric trams, looking west / 1913"