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National Wool Museum Geelong, Victoria

The National Wool Museum experience is more than just wool. It is a cultural hub in Victoria's second largest city. A vibrant gathering place between the historic waterfront and central Geelong. The Museum is a place to collect, share and create stories of our community and region. Here history, science, fashion, handcraft and art come together. Temporary exhibitions and programs combine lifelong learning, hands-on exploration and entertainment for people of all ages.

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Contact Information

location
PO Box 104 Geelong Victoria 3220 (map)
phone
+61 03 5272 4701, 03 5272 4163

Contact

Opening Hours

Monday-Friday 9:30am-5pm. Saturday and Sunday 10am-5pm.

Entry Fee

Adults $9; Children $5; Concession $7; Family $30 (two adults and up to four children); Group $7 per person (for 15+ people); Schools $4.50 per student.

Location

26 Moorabool Street Geelong Victoria

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The collection of the National Wool Museum contains a range of material relating to the people involved in all aspects of the wool industry since the 1830s. The collection is people-oriented, containing items and records documenting their lives within the industry, from the farm to the factory, as well as the range of products made from wool. The collection contains significant documents, images and objects relating to the history of Geelong and rural Victoria, punctuated by significant wool-related items from other states.. The oldest known item in the collection dates to 1810. The collection consists of approximately 7,500 objects, and includes textiles, paper-based items, objects, paintings, photographs and large pieces of machinery.

Significance

The National Wool Museum Collection is a nationally significant collection, unique in Australia and of high local significance. It demonstrates the development, and importance, of wool and the wool industry in Australia generally and in Geelong specifically. The collection is particularly significant because of the way in which it can demonstrate the importance of wool, and the effect wool had and has, on the economic and social development of Australia. Australia's growth as a nation has been significantly enhanced through the development and use of wool and the National Wool Museum's collection of wool, wool by-products and related equipment and machinery is a testament to this fact.

Frankie Ohia 3 March 2016 12:22 AM

I have some stencils and I would like to learn more about their origin and association with either the wool supplier or the governing body who would have used the stencil. I also would like to know what PI stands for please. Also, please feel free to call me on 04 04 650 111. Here are pics: https://goo.gl/photos/uCvaSx8SLrk6pfb59

G Corless 11 March 2019 11:40 AM

I actually have a wool travel blanket from The Geelong R .S & S Woolen Mills in very good condition and is fully labeled called the Huntington Steward

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5684 items

Knife

National Wool Museum, Geelong

Wood handle with metal protruding from both the top and bottom of handle. Bottom of handle may be a 'rooster’s tale' as is common in a Farrier's knife (It is possible this knife was originally a Farrier's knife before being repurposed). Top of the knife is approximately half the size of the handle with a sharped edge which has dulled over time.

Historical information

Knife used to puncture and retrieve wool samples from within bales. Knife was used by Maurice Dalton, who was foreman of the show floor at Dennys Lascelles (bow truss building) until his retirement after 34 years with the company (1941-1977).

Shirt

National Wool Museum, Geelong

Cream coloured shirt with black and red single thread verticle stripes.“Grandpa” collar (with 1 of its 2 supplied add-on collars included). French cuffs. Sold with 2 add-on collars, hence both ends of the collar have buttonholes to take a stud, and a partially-opened button-hole is at the centre of the neck on the outside of the collar for a second stud.

Historical information

Male wool shirt made in Bradford, U.K. The shirt is cut from first fabric woven from traceable 100% Australian wool. Bradford Mills are different to Australian mills in that the entire process of producing worsted material does not take place at the one firm/factory. Rather it is split, meaning that each step in the process of manufacture is handled by a separate firm. The wool goes from merchants to combers to produce tops, the tops to spinners to produce yarn and then the yarn is sold to manufactures who weave it into cloth. Before they do so they have to have sizers come in. After the weaving is done the cloth has to be sent to the dryers and finishers, who scour, dye and finish the cloth. Finally, the finished cloth is purchase by a fresh set of merchants, who will later sell the cloth in England or abroad. At each these steps a new firm is handling the wool/cloth making it hard to track lineage of wool through this process and hence hard to guarantee 100% Australian wool. The shirt was purchased and worn by the donor’s husband, George H. Gerber, an Australian Wool Buyer. The shirt was purchased on one of George’s trips to Bradford in the U.K. on company business. Gerber was second-generation of Wool Traders in his family. His father, also named George H. Gerber, worked for Kreglinger & Furneau. He worked for them in Boston, U.S.A. before he died from the Spanish Flu in 1918. The company then promised a job to his oldest son (donor’s husband) once he finished school. Thus George came to be trained as a Fine Wool Classer by Kreglinger & Furneaux (Aust.) Pty Ltd where he was employed as a Wool Buyer all his working life. He retired in 1969 as the head of their Australian office when the company was taken over Also of note, the shirt was sold with 2 add-on collars. Having two collars was advantageous as only changing the collar increased the number of days the shirt could be worn without washing.

Inscriptions & Markings

Letering label on shirt: GENT’S OUTFITTER Herbert Winfield 23 CHEAPSIDE, BRADFORD

Fabric Sample Book - The New Fashion

National Wool Museum, Geelong

Unbound book comprised of 114 separate pages of fabric samples from John Claude Freres.

Historical information

For nearly a century, Paris was the most important centre for textile design. From all over the world textile entrepreneurs came to Paris for inspiration. From the 1930s, style services developed in Paris in which companies collected the latest textile samples and circulated them around the world. Subscriptions to this service was expensive, but it not as expensive as going to Paris and other places where new trends arose. Textile designers, in Geelong and Melbourne, subscribed to books such as John Claude Freres books to get the latest colour fashions.

Painting - Ceremonial Hunting Grounds in the You Yangs

National Wool Museum, Geelong

Framed acrylic painting on board, showcasing the You Yangs mountain range, Aboriginal people, and local flora and fauna in warm earth tones. The painting is signed 'S. Couzens 93' in the bottom right hand corner. The painting is framed in a dark wooden frame.

Historical information

Stanley Couzens, a Gunditjmara man and long-time Geelong resident, painted this story upon commission from the Geelong Wool Combing Company. It depicts hunting in the You Yangs, the distinctive granite peaks that overlook the region. In 1993, Couzens’ painting was translated into a pattern by textile designer Jenny McMahon. It was then turned into a jumper using wool sourced entirely from the region. It was fully processed, from fleece to fabric, in Geelong. The jumper was given to attendees at the opening of the Geelong Wool Combing company on 10 December 1993. Among the many guests, was the Prime Minister Paul Keating. The painting was acquired with the permission of the Couzens family.

Inscriptions & Markings

Bottom right corner - 'S. Couzens 93'

Quilt - Klimt Print #2

National Wool Museum, Geelong

Whole cloth painted quilt, hand wool embroidery, wool thread and metallic thread quilting.

Historical information

Called "Klimt Print #2". Winning quilt in the 2017 Expressions Wool Quilt Prize Statement: "Every finger print is unique just as the art of Gustav Klimt is unique leaving an imprint for us which only he could leave." Art Quilt Australia 2017, held at the Queen Victoria Art Gallery (Royal Park location) Launceston, Tasmania, includes the 2017 winners of the prestigious Expressions Wool Quilt Prize (sponsored by the National Wool Museum) and the OZQN Award of Excellence

Inscriptions & Markings

Klimt Print #2 Sue Reid

Photographic Collection - Women in Wool

National Wool Museum, Geelong

virtual images

Historical information

National Wool Museum exhibition in form of a series of portraits and a slideshow showcasing the women of Australia’s wool industry. Exhibition was launched on International Women’s Day 2019, featuring images by photographer ­Nicole Marie. Women In Wool The Australian wool industry would not be what it is today without the significant contribution of women. Often their role has been forgotten or underrepresented. Since colonial times, women have left their mark on the industry, such names as Eliza Forlonge, Elizabeth Macarthur and Anne Drysdale are examples of pioneering Australian women of wool. Traditionally woolsheds were claimed as the domain of men. In the past men would utter the phrase “ducks on the pond” as a cryptic warning to other male shearers that there were women in the sheds and they should watch their language and clean themselves up. But this segregation has changed. In recent years the role of women has increased dramatically across all aspects of the wool industry, but most significantly in woolsheds. Over the last decade the number of women in shearing sheds has almost doubled and it is set to increase further in the coming years. Today, in many sheds across Australia, sometimes women outnumber men when it comes around to shearing time. Women are active and important contributors to the prosperity of the industry. The portraits on show here are a celebration of the significant role of women in the industry. They are a diverse selection, including both young female shearers and experienced workers, ranging in age from 19 to 96. Many of the up-and-coming shearers started as rouseabouts and have stepped up to becoming shearers - one sitter for the project had just returned to the sheds after having a child only three-months before. Also on show are women who devoted decades of their lives to the industry and are only now becoming recognised for their vital role in Australian wool. Foreward by National Wool Museum Senior Curator - Dr. Luke Keough

Cocoon Sculpture

National Wool Museum, Geelong

The cocoon is constructed with armature wire and pure wool from the National Wool Museum. The wool was looped over the armature wire and hand sewn at each intersecting wire ring.

Historical information

Handmade cocoon sculpture made from wool. The sculpture appeared in Kathy Holowko's exhibition "Spidergoat and the Insect Electro" on show at the National Wool Museum from 4th May to 29th July 2018. the sculpture is representative of the other pieces that appeared in the exhibition.

Cog Spanner

National Wool Museum, Geelong

Three prong spanner, two prong look like spanners while the third has two small metal prongs extending from flat metal arm edge. Hole is present in the middle where the three prongs meet

Historical information

Cog spanner used for maintance on a sheering handpiece. This particular spanner belong to Maurice Dawson who was the foreman of the show floor of the Dennys Lascekkes building until his retirement after 34 years at the company. Maurice used the cog spanner in his work as a wool classer in rural Victoria and New South Wales.

Inscriptions & Markings

Inscription. Lettering: LISTER

Dagging Shears

National Wool Museum, Geelong

A pair of metal blade shears. The blade is engraved with 'SUCCESS / BALL BROS & CO / SHEFFIELD ENGLAND'. The ends of the two symmetrical grips loop around on themselves where they are riveted together to form a spring action.

Historical information

Dagging shears belonged to donor's father Maurice Dalton who was foreman of the show floor of the Dennys Lascekkes building until his retirement after 34 years with the company. Maurice used the shears in his work as a wool classer in rural Victoria and New South Wales. The shears are SUCCESS 11" Ball Bros. & Co. Dagging Shear, made in Sheffield, England.

Inscriptions & Markings

Mirrored. Image: Sword Mirrored. Lettering: SUCCESS / BALL BROS & CO / SHEFFIELD ENGLAND

Shears

National Wool Museum, Geelong

A pair of metal blade shears. The blade is engraved with 'MADE IN ENGLAND / COMBINATION / U.T.S. / SHEFFIELD / N.1'. The ends of the two symmetrical grips loop around on themselves where they are riveted together to form a spring action.

Historical information

Shears belong to donor's father Maurice Dalton who was foreman of the show floor of the Dennys Lascekkes building until his retirement after 34 years at the building. Maurice used the shears in his work as a wool classer in rural Victoria and New South Wales. The shears are 14" N.1 Combination UTS hand shears made in Sheffield, England.

Inscriptions & Markings

Mirrored. Lettering: MADE IN ENGLAND / COMBINATION / UTS / SHEFFIELD / N. 1

Bale Hook

National Wool Museum, Geelong

Wood handle with curved rusted metal hock ending in a sharp point. One Hook is plain but longer. One hook is shorter and has inscription M.DALTON. on each side of handle. Third hook is much shorter, has dual hooks and a shaped handle.

Historical information

The bale hooks were used on the Dennys Lascelles building's show floor by the donor's father Maurice Dalton. Maurice was the foreman of the show floor of the Dennys Lacscelles building until his retirement after 34 years with the company and also worked as a wool classer in rural Victoria and New South Wales.

Inscriptions & Markings

Handle of bale hook. Mirrored. Wording: M.Dalton.

Spinning Wheel

National Wool Museum, Geelong

Large 12 spokes pinning wheel finished in dark tinted varnish on wood. Ornate upright posts.Additional two bobbins. One original and slightly damaged other is a reproduction and in excellent condition.

Historical information

The spinning wheel was owned by Amy Penfold (donor Jan Dawson's mother) who presumably purchased the spinning wheel in the 1930s at an antiques auction. Amy lent the spinning wheel to her friends who spun (as Amy could not spin herself) In Yass, New South Wales during the early years of the Second World War. Amy's friends would spin lightly scoured semi greasy wool worked into yarn and knitted into particularly warm and water-resistant socks for sailors on minesweepers serving during the Second World War. Jan received the wheel in the early 1960s after her mother past away at which time the wheel was no longer operable. When Jan came to live in Melbourne, she sought the assistance of Spinners and Handweavers who assisted her in creating a new bobbin and restored the broken pieces of the wheel back into working order which we find it in today. With the loom are three bobbins. One bobbin is attached to the loom while of the two loose bobbins; one is a reproduction and one is an original. From these two the differences in construction can be observed.

Quilt

National Wool Museum, Geelong

Patchwork style quilt with coloured pieces of dyed woolen singlets stitched together over a backing. Features feather stitching between pieces and around border edges. Size of a double bed.

Historical information

The quilt, alternatively known as a wagga due to its improvised nature of creation, was made by Harry Walter Hewitt Wilton (great grandfather of donor), b.1872, d.1950. Harry joined the Essex Regiment and served in the British Military in India, as well as seeing action in the Boer War. Married wife Mary Elizabeth in India in 1895, she was a seamstress. Harry was injured during a battle and made this quilt as part of his rehabilitation. Quilt was made using woolen army singlets. Harry and Mary moved to Victoria, near Orbost, in 1914.

Spanners

National Wool Museum, Geelong

3 Metal loom tuning spanners

Historical information

Loom tuning spanners which carry the embossed intials "CH for Cedric Hirst. Used by Donal Doherty for loom tuning at the Hirst Mill in his time as a Loom Turner until the mill was sold to McKendrick in 1973.

Inscriptions & Markings

2 spanners are Embossed "CH" for Cedric Hirst

Scales

National Wool Museum, Geelong

Scales used for weighing and calculating weight and thread count of textile samples. Originated from Godfrey Hirst Mills in Geelong. Writing describes how to utilise scales. Scales are made from brass, pole for holding scales once brass now replaced with metal pole. Scales held inside wooden box with black text in ink depicting use of scales on paper located inside and outside of box.

Historical information

At the time of sale, the last of the Hirst family to work in the mill located in Geelong gave Donald (donor Bruce's father) Doherty a set of scales that had been used by several generations of Hirsts and adapted by them over time for specific use in their mill. These Scales were saved from waste and being thrown away at the time of sale to remain in use in the industry in the hands of someone who knew how to use them. The scales were used in calculating the weight of cloth and simultaneously calculating the amount of yarn required to weave it following the instructions printed within the box. The box bears the signatures of two Hirst family members, one being Lewis Hirst dated at 1898. The original brass pole has been replaced with a replica metal somewhere throughout the years after the brass pole broke through use. Hirst was brought by McKendrick in the 1960s and these scales sat for 12 months as part of the 12 month "cooling off" period. The scales were then handed to Donald rather than being disposed of.

Inscriptions & Markings

Outside of box. Wording: APPARTUS for TESTING the WEIGHT per YARD of CLOTHS & COUNT of YARN from a small SAMPLE. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Indispensable to Manufactures, Merchants & handling Woollen, Worsted, Cotton, Linen, Jute, Hemp, Flannel, Felt, Army, Navy, Police, Railway, Sail & other Cloths -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- USED IN GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The apparatus consists of Scales, Weights, 1, 2 & 4 sq. inch Cutting Templates & Book of Tables --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------By weighing a small Sample the accurate Weight in Ounces of a yard of Cloth any width from 18 to 64 inches, the Weight per Square Metre in Grams, the Counts* of Warp and Weft, and the approximate length of full & short ends of pieces of fabrics, [without unrolling and measuring for stocktaking & other purposes] can be ascertained without any Calculation --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Price in United Kingdom, 25s., Carriage Paid. Price to Canada & U.S.A. $6.75 do. H. Lord. 10, And Place, Bradford, England. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------*When ordering, state on what system you base your YARN COUNTS. Inside of box. Wording: DIRECTIONS FOR USE --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------TESTING WEIGHT OF CLOTHS. Place sample to be tested on a piece of cardboard, put a Cutting Template on it, cut card and cloth round template with scissors and weigh it according to instructions given in Book of Tables. TESTING FOR YARN COUNTS. Cut out 1 square inch of cloth, draw out wrap or weft threads, according to which is being tested, and the number of inches so drawn, that balance respective weight is the approximate Count. The same rule holds good when number of inches are drawn from a bobbin. In testing from the cloth, allowance has to be made for loss or gain in the process of manufacture. Weight marked C is for Cotton Counts " " W " " Worsted " " " WS " " Woollen Skeins " " L " " Linen Counts. The weights for testing samples of cloth are 20, 10, 10, 5, 3, 2, 1, grains in brass & '5, '3, '2, '1 [tenths of a grain] in aluminium. Inside of box. Signtures, handwritten: Bottom right: Lewis Hirst !898 Top Left (Smudge ?) W Hirst !935

Spindle

National Wool Museum, Geelong

Wooden spindle with metal tip. Ridges along spout.

Historical information

Used for spinning, twisting fibers such as wool, flax, hemp, cotton into yarn.

Ear Label Plier

National Wool Museum, Geelong

Steel tool inside a cardboard box.

Historical information

Used to tag sheep.

Inscriptions & Markings

On Box - Veterinary Instruments Ear Label Plier Type Plastic

Elastrator Kit

National Wool Museum, Geelong

Elastrator Kit containing a metal box, elastrator tool and marking rings. Used for the castration and docking of livestock.

Inscriptions & Markings

On Tool - Elastrator Reg. Trade Mark Aus. Pat. No. 122217 Des. App. No. 24946 On Glass Bottle - Part No

Stockmans's Whip

National Wool Museum, Geelong

Cane handle, plaited leather grip with plaited knob. Braided leather whip attached to the handle by twine.

Knitting needle set

National Wool Museum, Geelong

Navy blue cloth roll with stitched pockets to hold knitting needles. Roll contains approx 110 different knitting needles or various sizes, make and colour. Some are bamboo/timber, some are plastic or metal. Cloth roll was made by mother-in-law of donor and is designed to fold up to cover the needles prior to rolling. Once rolled, cloth can be secured with two small push buttons.

Historical information

Made by and used by mother-in-law of the donor during her time in Asia and Australia, c1930s.

Knitting needle set

National Wool Museum, Geelong

Cardboard folded case that unfolds to reveal 62 bamboo knitting needles stored via elastic ties. There is one labelled fold with knitting needle sizes and several instances of printed text containing English numbers and Japanese characters. When folded up, the item is secured with a push button. The front cover has a blue sticker which depicts two hands with knitting needles, there is also yellow and white text.

Historical information

Used by the mother-in-law of the donor who spent a lot of their adult life living in Asia prior to WWII.

Knitting Pattern Book - Be Knitwise

National Wool Museum, Geelong

Paper booklet bound with two rusted metal staples on spine. Cover is in colour and depicts a woman knitting. Prominent colours are black, green, blue and cream. Inside covers contains pages which are smaller than the covers. Pages contain printed black text detailing various knitting patterns and knitting information. Back cover has a ruler graphic for measuring.

Historical information

The book was published in the UK. This book was purchased with the help of Mrs E. C. Baker, c/o John Pook and Co, 68 Fenchurch St, London EC3 - from The Needlewoman Shop, Specialists in Needlework, 146 Regent Street London W.1. Then posted to Mrs G R (Joan) Horridge at ICI in Hong Kong. Book was owned and used by Joan Francis Horridge.

Needle Gauge

National Wool Museum, Geelong

Silver-coloured metal bell-shaped pin gauge with holes of various sizes, each one with a different number. Reverse is blank.

Ribbon

National Wool Museum, Geelong

White wool ribbon with yellow stitched text.

Historical information

Ribbon awarded to Mr Charles Wilson Peel of 'Callenondah' at Gnawarre. Mr Peel ran a superfine merino stud. This ribbon is from the Royal Melbourne Show 1969.

Ribbon

National Wool Museum, Geelong

Yellow/gold wool ribbon with red stamped text.

Historical information

Ribbon awarded to Mr Charles Wilson Peel of 'Callenondah' at Gnawarre. Mr Peel ran a superfine merino stud. This ribbon is from the Geelong Legacy Fleece Show 1973.

Ribbon

National Wool Museum, Geelong

Navy blue wool ribbon with stamped yellow text.

Historical information

Ribbon awarded to Mr Charles Wilson Peel of 'Callenondah' at Gnawarre. Mr Peel ran a superfine merino stud. This ribbon is from the Geelong Legacy Fleece Show 1969.

Ribbon

National Wool Museum, Geelong

Dark red wool ribbon with yellow stamped text.

Historical information

Ribbon awarded to Mr Charles Wilson Peel of 'Callenondah' at Gnawarre. Mr Peel ran a superfine merino stud. This ribbon is from the Geelong Agricultural & Pastoral Society 1973 Show.

Ribbon

National Wool Museum, Geelong

Yellow wool ribbon with red stamped text.

Historical information

Ribbon awarded to Mr Charles Wilson Peel of 'Callenondah' at Gnawarre. Mr Peel ran a superfine merino stud. This ribbon is from the Geelong Legacy Fleece Show 1969.

Ribbon

National Wool Museum, Geelong

Red rosette-type ribbon with yellow text and yellow and gold metal badge inside rosette. Badge had an embossed rams head with text encircling at the edge. Two short red ribbons with yellow text attached at the badge.

Historical information

Ribbon awarded to Mr Charles Wilson Peel of 'Callenondah' at Gnawarre. Mr Peel ran a superfine merino stud. This ribbon is from the National Fleece Competition 1960 and was awarded for Second Prize.

Ribbon

National Wool Museum, Geelong

Navy blue wool ribbon with stamped yellow text. Yellow tassels at each short end.

Historical information

Ribbon awarded to Mr Charles Wilson Peel of 'Callenondah' at Gnawarre. Mr Peel ran a superfine merino stud. This ribbon is from the Geelong Legacy Fleece Show 1962 and was awarded as a Trophy Winner.