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Parks Victoria - Gabo Island Lightstation Gabo Island , Victoria

Parks Victoria is a statutory authority, created by the Parks Victoria Act 1998 and reporting to the Minister.
Our estate covers more than 4 million hectares, or about 18 per cent, of Victoria. We manage the largest and most diverse collection of heritage places on public land in Victoria, with around 2,900 heritage assets and many places of National and State significance.
Our primary responsibility is to ensure parks are healthy and resilient for current and future generations. We manage parks in the context of their surrounding landscape and in partnership with Traditional Owners.

Gabo Island is rich in cultural history, contains significant flora and fauna and has stunning landscapes with magnificent views of Croajingolong National Park, including the Cape Howe Wilderness Zone. It covers an area of approximately 154 hectares and features the only operating island lighthouse in Victoria. The lighthouse was constructed from 1858 to 1862 using the distinctive pink granite found on the island. Tours of the magnificent 47m high structure are available, with spectacular views from the top of the lighthouse.

Contact Information

location
Level 10/535 Bourke St Melbourne Victoria 3000
phone
+61 131963

Contact

Opening Hours

Tours of the lighthouse are available by arrangement with the caretaker. If staying at the lightstation these tours are included in your accommodation price.

Entry Fee

N/A

Location

Gabo Island Lightstation Gabo Island Lighthouse Reserve Gabo Island Victoria

The Gabo Island Collection comprises around 175 inventoried items located within the lightstation precinct. Most are spread over the lightkeeper’s quarters, the assistant lightkeepers’ quarters, the lighthouse and the shed formerly used for blacksmithing, and there are three shipwreck items displayed outdoors. About half the objects and parts of objects relate to lightstation’s core function of ensuring safe routes for shipping and establishing and maintaining communications, visually and electronically.

Significance

The first and second level items identified in this report contribute to the State level heritage significance of the lightstation for their historic values, including some for their relative rarity, representativeness, aesthetic or technological merit and potential to yield further information that will contribute to an understanding of Victoria’s cultural history.

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Propeller

Parks Victoria - Gabo Island Lightstation, Gabo Island

Four armed propeller from a boat/yacht. It appears to be made of brass and has a stainless steel threaded bolt through the center.

Historical information

The 4 armed steel propeller is from an unknown yacht of unknown date. The object is fixed to a block of pink granite with bolts and is displayed in front of the lightkeepers’ quarters.

Significance

The remnants of shipwreck fabric have second level contributory significance for their interpretive and historic value as artefacts that highlight the distinctive history of the Gabo Island Lightstation.

Resuscitator kit & case

Parks Victoria - Gabo Island Lightstation, Gabo Island

Resuscitator box, green vinyl, hinged handle at top. Two metal fasteners on front, metal plated corners on lid. White thread stitching around edges. Case contains a resuscitator kit.

Historical information

For medical emergencies at Gabo Island. Unsure if ever used. The portable, manual resuscitator kit is contained in its original green vinyl, hinged case that has corner protectors and two metal front fasteners. Information on the case indicates that it is an ‘Air CIG Viva Resuscitator’. It was used for manual force feeding oxygen into a person’s lungs with the use of a breathing bag, and there are instructions for using the resuscitating bag. The kit was produced by the Commonwealth Industrial Gases Limited, Alexandria, NSW, a company active between 1935 and 1994. An identical kit, which has been accurately dated to 1951, remains at the Cape Otway Lightstation . Another identical kit is held by the Ambulance Historical Society Victoria.

Significance

Both kits have first level contributory significance for their historic values and provenance.

Inscriptions & Markings

On case "Air CIG Viva Resuscitator. "On sticker "C. of A. D.O.T. 141545"

Bottle

Parks Victoria - Gabo Island Lightstation, Gabo Island

Dark brown glass bottle, tall with gradual tapering to a narrow opening. Slightly misshapen. White coating on one side.

Historical information

This dark brown bottle with lip, collar, neck and gently sloping shoulder, was made by the Bottle Co. of Victoria P/L for Melbourne Bitter. The Parks Victoria inventory indicates that the bottle dates to 1925. Still brewed today, Melbourne Bitter has been made since 1904, when the Melbourne Cooperative Brewery in Abbotsford was formed by well known pub owners that included Henry Young of Young & Jacksons, and future Lord Mayor Sir Stephen Morrell. They made four beers – Abbotsford Stout (which became Abbotsford Invalid Stout in 1909), Abbots Lager, Melbourne Bitter and Abbotsford Sparkling Ale. Of those, Melbourne Bitter and the Invalid Stout remain largely unchanged and both are now brewed by the South African owned CUB. The bottle was found in the sea or on the island.

Significance

Whatever their provenance, they have an association with an event or activity on Gabo Island and for this reason have second level contributory significance for their potential to yield information relating to the cultural history of the lightstation.

Inscriptions & Markings

Within a club motif, "M.B.C.V" "The property of the manufacturers. / Bottle co of Victoria Pty Ltd" "6 1925"

Axle and wheel rims

Parks Victoria - Gabo Island Lightstation, Gabo Island

.1 & .2, Large rusted, circular, metal wheel rims. Made of flat iron. .3, Rusted metal axle. long shaft with built up sections at either end.

Historical information

Rusted wheel rims and axel were recovered from scrub near the ‘Eastern Landing’ in 2002. The two large wheel rims are made of flat iron. The axel is a long metal shaft with built up sections at either end. They are possibly from a WWI, horse drawn gun carriage used to carry stores from the jetty to the lightstation. Images show the carriage in use in 1943.

Significance

The items have second level contributory significance for their historic value and provenance to the lightstation.

Flag canisters

Parks Victoria - Gabo Island Lightstation, Gabo Island

Forty-one galvanised canisters with separate lids. The canisters are painted a grey/white colour and have either numbers, letters or words painted on the lid and on the cannister in black paint. There are variations in the style of canister and in the style of the inscriptions.

Historical information

The 41 alphabetic and numeric visual signalling flags (including substitute and answering pennants) have either square or pointed ends. They are made of bunting, a coarse fabric of worsted (open yarn wool) in various colour combinations. Some of the flags are marked with inscriptions, for example “B”. Attachments to the flags include hemp rope and metal clips. Each flag has its own galvanised canister and lid, each of which is painted grey and marked with a letter, number or word. The flags were used for communicating messages to passing ships. Knowledge of visual signalling was mandatory for all lightkeepers and all lightstations maintained a set of flags. Although used for centuries, visual flag signalling formally developed in the nineteenth century and was published internationally as a system in 1857. By the early twentieth century it had developed into an effective means of conveying all kinds of short range visual messages. The signal flags and canisters at Gabo Island form a complete set and are not historically linked to the lightstation and their provenance is unknown. It is known however that they originate from a lightstation in Victoria and for some years were on loan from AMSA to the Queenscliff Maritime Museum, where they were held in storage and not displayed. In three of the six lightstations that Parks Victoria manages have sets of signal flags in their collections.

Insulator

Parks Victoria - Gabo Island Lightstation, Gabo Island

Lifebouy

Parks Victoria - Gabo Island Lightstation, Gabo Island

Circular orange plastic ring with printed in black around ring. Ring has raised inscription. Remnants of white reflective tape in four places. White rope tied to ring through four holes in a distinctive taught crossed pattern at the back of the bouy.

Historical information

Possibly used as a tool to rescue people who may have been in distress in the ocean off Gabo Island. It was removed from Cape Otway and returned to Gabo Island museum. Information printed in black on the orange, plastic, ring shaped buoy confirms the item’s association with Gabo Island Lightstation and also indicates that it was made in Australia by the Rotadyne company for the Department of Transport, which oversaw lightstations between 1950 and 1982, and 1983 and 1987. The buoy was repatriated to Gabo Island from Cape Otway Lightstation in July 2015. It is unknown how it came to be there or how long it had been there.

Significance

It has second level contributory significance for its historic value and provenance.

Inscriptions & Markings

On front printed in black, "GABO ISLAND LIGHTSTATION", and embossed "MADE IN AUSTRALIA', 'DEPT. OF TRANSPORT / APPROVAL CERT. No 2315' On reverse, 'ROTADYNE'

Finials

Parks Victoria - Gabo Island Lightstation, Gabo Island

4 x Cylindrical shaped finials. Threaded inside. Cast iron. tapers to a point. 1. & 2. have residue paint.

Historical information

Ornamental drop finials x 4 from the lighthouse staircase.The four cast iron drop finials are decorative architectural features that were appended to the underside of the original lighthouse staircase, which was built between 1861 and 1862.The Conservation Management Plan prepared by Australian Construction Services in 1992 states that the original stair ‘was probably the first cast iron spiral stair to be built in an Australian lighthouse.’ From about 1978 to 1988 the tower’s original staircase was gradually removed and replaced by an iron replica and by 1992 the dismantled staircase had been shifted to the old jetty storage building and was ‘awaiting disposal’. Fortunately, it was not trashed but accessioned into the Eden Killer Whale Museum where it has since been incorporated into a recreated lighthouse.The staircase was removed from the tower prior to the lightstation’s inclusion in the Victorian Heritage Register in November 1999 (H1773). which may be the earliest cast iron spiral stair built in an Australian lighthouse.

Significance

The four baluster drop finials are of first level contributory significance to the Gabo Island Lightstation for their historic value and clear provenance to the tower’s original staircase erected in 1862, which may be the earliest cast iron spiral stair built in an Australian lighthouse.

Log book

Parks Victoria - Gabo Island Lightstation, Gabo Island

Lined log book with hard cover. Hand-written dated inscriptions in ink inside the book. Entries are from 1 September 1948 - 6 Novemebr 1951.

Historical information

This is a lightstation log book used on Gabo Island from the 1 September 1948 - 6 Novemebr 1951 to note all happenings at the lightstation, such as supplies arriving, boat arrivals, duties carried out etc.

Significance

Has at least secondary contributory value to the significance of the lightstation.

Untitled

Parks Victoria - Gabo Island Lightstation, Gabo Island

Black bakelite telephone, wall mounted with reciever/ handset on spiral cord attached to the body of the phone. There is a crank handle attached to the front of the telephone.

Historical information

There are three, black Bakelite, wall mounted, crank handle telephones across the lightstation; one in the former assistant keeper’s quarters, and two in the former head keeper’s quarters. The phone has instructions for its use on the crank dial. Two have a coiled handset cord, which dates the phone to just after 1949 when these came into use. The third has a smooth cord and must pre date 1949. Another much older wall mounted phone remains in the lighthouse. The four telephones at Gabo Island formed an intercom system that facilitated communication between the lighthouse and lightstation buildings. They demonstrate the necessity for employing various methods of communication in a remotely located lighthouse as well as communication between the lightstation buildings. Telephones of the same wall mounted, crank dial type remain at Cape Otway, Point Hicks. As fixtures, the telephones belong to the building fabric and are included in the existing listing of the Gabo Island Lightstation in the Victorian Heritage Register (H1773).

Significance

These intact items of equipment have first level contributory significance for their historic value and provenance.

Inscriptions & Markings

On dial under crank handle. Outer perimeter of circular LABEL,"TO CALL:-TURN HANDLE & LIFT HANDSET / WHEN FINISHED PEPLACE HANDSET & TURN HANDLE"

Flagpole

Parks Victoria - Gabo Island Lightstation, Gabo Island

Top sction of a flagpole. At the top it is tapered and fashioned into a square section. Near the top of the pole is a hole with a metal pulley inside. There is black and white paint flaking off leaving bare wood.

Historical information

Found on a wood heap near the tractor shed. Only the top portion remains. The former fixture is the tapered top section of the wooden flagpole that formerly stood at the front of the head keepers quarters. There is a hole with attached metal pulley near the top which allowed for hoisting the flags to signal passing ships. Signal flags were hoisted on the flagpole and were used to communicate with passing shipping. Messages were then relayed by the overland telegraph line to Eden. Remains of black paint provide evidence of the blackout measures implemented during World War 11. The pole is currently fixed to a stand to allow for its display.

Significance

The pole remnant has second level significance for its historic value and provenance.

Hull wreckage

Parks Victoria - Gabo Island Lightstation, Gabo Island

Curved piece of wood with several copper nails protruding from base. Blackened (as if burnt but may be tar). Ends taper. Floor beam from boat.

Historical information

Part of ships’ hull, floor beam, found on the beach or in the sea.

Locker, flag

Parks Victoria - Gabo Island Lightstation, Gabo Island

Timber cabinet painted grey, partitioned with numerous open compartments of the same size .

Historical information

Probably used in the past to house the Signal Flag set at the lightstation. Appears to have been stored in the old stables for a number of years.The rectangular wooden cabinet has the distinctive features of a flag locker, comprising numerous open compartments of the same size each for storing a signal flag of a unique design. It has three internal shelves and a bench top, and is painted grey, a colour that is used for many of the wooden utilitarian furnishings in the six lightstations Parks Victoria manages. The cabinet, without its flag contents, was found in storage in the old stone stable building and is highly likely to be original to the lightstation. A wooden flag locker is held at Wilsons Promontory Lightstation. A wooden locker comprising two sections of 16 pigeon holes and four cupboard doors is held at Cape Otway The two flag lockers at Cape Nelson Lightstation are included in Victorian Heritage Register for contributing to the significance of the lightstation. The Nelson, Otway and Promontory lockers have associated sets of flags which are original to the lightstations.

Significance

The Gabo Island cabinet has second level contributory significance for its provenance to the lightstation.

Telephone

Parks Victoria - Gabo Island Lightstation, Gabo Island

Telephone, wall-mounted in a wooden surround. Black crank handle on right-hand side. Separate black hand piece on left-hand side attached to main body by a fabric covered cord. The mouthpiece is fixed to the front of the telephone. There is a wooden rest attached to the lower front of phone on an angle. There are two half circular bells attached to the phone above the mouthpiece.

Historical information

It has been restored by lightstation staff in 2002. The phone has a fixed mouth piece and is attached to the lantern room wall on a timber box mount. Dating from the early twentieth century, it is the earliest of four telephones at the lightstation and the sole box-mounted model, and is also the only telephone in the lighthouse. It has a crank handle, a separate black hand piece and an inclined horizontal shelf for jotting down notes. The four telephones provided an intercom system that facilitated communication between the lightstation buildings. Four other wall-mounted phones remain at the Cape Nelson Lightstation but unlike the Gabo Island example they do not provide a rest for jotting down notes. As a fixture, the telephone is part of the building fabric and is included in the existing Victorian Heritage Register extent of registration for the Gabo Island Lightstation (H1773).

Significance

As a fixture, the telephone is part of the building fabric and is included in the existing Victorian Heritage Register extent of registration for the Gabo Island Lightstation (H1773). It is significant for its historic value and provenance, and relative uniqueness in a Victorian lighthouse.

Insulator

Parks Victoria - Gabo Island Lightstation, Gabo Island

Four armed cross shaped insulator with two holes through diagonally opposite sections. It is ceramic with a clear glaze.

Historical information

Modern communication technologyarrived on gabo Island with the construction of the telegraph line from Eden to Gabo Island in 1870. The insulator is associated with the telegraph station. Used at the H.F Radio Beacon. The items of telegraphic equipment comprise a number of ceramic and glass insulators of varying age and type. In addition to insulators, there is a telephone insulator bracket made of metal with wooden pins. It was once attached to the top of a steel pole and some of these remain in situ along the former telegraph line (0044). Telegraphic communication commenced at the Gabo Lightstation in 1870, just eight years after the lightstation opened. The line from Sydney reached Eden, NSW by 1868 and was then extended to Gabo with the costs shared equally by NSW and Victoria. It was initially carried on posts across the sea to the island but was changed to a line along the seabed after the posts were washed away. The first telegraph office was a timber building on east side of the assistants’ quarters. In 1887 a new concrete telegraph office was built which included quarters for the operator, with Victoria and NSW sharing the construction costs. The 1992 CMP identified remnants of the line from its various phases of operation,and these were seen in 2016. Other ceramic insulators in the collection are associated with lines supported on utility poles for the transmission of high voltage electricity.

Significance

The various insulators have second level significance for their historic value and provenance

Tables

Parks Victoria - Gabo Island Lightstation, Gabo Island

Nest of three Scandinavian style tables, solid wood. Curved U shaped legs, one bar at base of table.

Historical information

Commonwealth government issue. This nest of tables are currently in use by the lighthouse staff.The set of three tables of descending size are designed in the same distinctive style as the bookcases and share the same wood type and finish (GILS 0012.2). Information on the underside of the tables indicates they were purchased by the Commonwealth through the Department of Transport for the CLS. The design bears the stylistic marks of the easily recognisable furnishings produced by the Kalmar firm, Sydney. Steven Kalmar (1909-1989), who migrated to Australia in 1939 and opened his own interiors business in 1949, played a significant role in popularising modernist design concepts in Australia drawing his ideas from Scandinavian and American trends. Born in Hungary, he trained as an architect and his contemporary affordable furnishings were especially suitable for the open-plan houses built in Australia’s new post-war suburbs. He closed the retail side of this in 1957 and concentrated on commissions, some for large-scale orders. One of these bulk orders came from the Commonwealth Government sometime between 1957 and the early 1970s, with several examples of light, compact and functional domestic furnishings supplied to lightstations in Victoria. Because the order was placed by the CLS, it is possible that Kalmar furnishings were also provided to lightstations in other states. Additional examples at Gabo Island include three bedside tables (GILS 0042.2 & 0076.10), chest of drawers (GILS 0077) and two bookcases (GILS 0012.2), with the backs of at least two of the furnishings bearing the Kalmar label. Kalmar furnishings in the other Victorian lightstations investigated by this study include bookcases at Cape Otway, Cape Nelson (3 examples) and Point Hicks (2 examples); two bedside tables at Cape Otway, and a long coffee table at Wilsons Promontory.

Significance

The set of tables has first level contributory significance for their clear provenance, completeness and association with Steven Kalmar whose functional designs introduced modern, low cost furnishings to a number of Australia’s lightstations.

Inscriptions & Markings

Underside of GILS007.3:"C of A / D.O.T 1444248" (Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Transport.) •All tables have "16" on underside.

Jar

Parks Victoria - Gabo Island Lightstation, Gabo Island

Ceramic jar. Squat shape, body of jar is cream coloured. Spots of mildew on side. The jar has a pronounced lip, short neck, sloping shoulders and rounded body. Just below the shoulder, the glaze colour changes from brown to stone.

Historical information

The glazed stoneware pot is an oyster jar made by Powell potteries, Bristol, probably between 1860 and 1880. Pickled oysters were a regular food of the poor in England in the 19thc. Sam Weller, Charles Dickens’ character in Pickwick Papers (1836-37) commented that ‘Poverty and oysters always seen to go together’. In England, pickling oysters for transport to inland towns and long voyages became an industry. The jar was found in sand near the jetty in 1999.

Significance

Whatever their provenance, they have an association with an event or activity on Gabo Island and for this reason have second level contributory significance for their potential to yield information relating to the cultural history of the lightstation.

Inscriptions & Markings

"POWEL &DB Stol"

Insulators

Parks Victoria - Gabo Island Lightstation, Gabo Island

1. Clear glass insulator. Cyndrical bottle shape with smaller dome -like knob on top. Hollow with inscription on lower edge. Has remains of wooden dowell inside. 2.Clear glass insulator. Cyndrical bottle shape with smaller dome -like knob on top. Hollow with inscription on lower edge.

Historical information

Modern communication tecnology arrived on Gabo Island with the construction of the telegraph line from Eden to Gabo Island in 1870. These and other cylindricial insulators were associated with the original 1870 copper wire telegraph line and later the P.M.G. line. The items of telegraphic equipment comprise a number of ceramic and glass insulators of varying age and type. Two bell-shaped insulators are made of clear glass, one with remains of wooden dowel inside. In addition to insulators, there is a telephone insulator bracket made of metal with wooden pins. It was once attached to the top of a steel pole and some of theseremain in situ along the former telegraph line. Telegraphic communication commenced at the Gabo Lightstation in 1870, just eight years after the lightstation opened.The line from Sydney reached Eden, NSW by 1868 and was then extended to Gabo with the costs shared equally by NSW and Victoria. It was initially carried on posts across the sea to the island but was changed to a line along the seabed after the posts were washed away. The first telegraph office was a timber building on east side of the assistants’ quarters. In 1887 a new concrete telegraph office was built which included quarters for the operator, with Victoria and NSW sharing the construction costs. The 1992 CMP identified remnants of the line from its various phases of operation,231 and these can still be seen in 2016. Other ceramic insulators in the collection are associated with lines supported on utility poles for the transmission of high voltage electricity.

Significance

The various insulators have second level significance for their historic value and provenance

Inscriptions & Markings

Around lower edge on opposite sides,"C.C / 42"

Anchor

Parks Victoria - Gabo Island Lightstation, Gabo Island

Large rusted metal anchor.

Historical information

The iron anchor is from the iron steamship, Easby built in England in 1873. It struck Skerries Reef at Gabo Island and sank in the harbour in April 1907 while carrying a cargo of potatoes. The iron anchor was recovered from the wreck at an unknown date and put on display between the two sets of keepers’ quarters. Parts of the ship, including the collapsed hull plating, engine and boilers as well as another anchor lie at a shallow depth at the wreck site 15m west of the jetty. This wreck became a shipping hazard and was eventually blown up. (1928) Another anchor of identical design lies underwater on the shoreline 15 metres west of the jetty.The wreck site and relics, including the anchor on display, are protected by the Victorian Heritage Register (VHDS S204).

Insulators

Parks Victoria - Gabo Island Lightstation, Gabo Island

Five white glazed ceramic insulators. Knuckle bone sized, oval shaped with one opening at either end. All five are the same.

Historical information

Modern communications technology arrived on Gabo Island with the construction of the telegraph line from Eden to Gabo Island in 1870. This type of insulator was usually used with radio antennae wires, telegraph and radio antennae equipment. The items of telegraphic equipment comprise a number of ceramic and glass insulators of varying age and type. Five, knuckle-shaped white glazed ceramic examples are associated with radio antennae wires. In addition to insulators, there is a telephone insulator bracket made of metal with wooden pins. It was once attached to the top of a steel pole and some of these remain in situ along the former telegraph line. Telegraphic communication commenced at the Gabo Lightstation in 1870, just eight years after the lightstation opened. The line from Sydney reached Eden, NSW by 1868 and was then extended to Gabo with the costs shared equally by NSW and Victoria. It was initially carried on posts across the sea to the island but was changed to a line along the seabed after the posts were washed away. The first telegraph office was a timber building on east side of the assistants’ quarters. In 1887 a new concrete telegraph office was built which included quarters for the operator, with Victoria and NSW sharing the construction costs. The 1992 CMP identified remnants of the line from its various phases of operation, and these can still be seen in 2016. Other ceramic insulators in the collection are associated with lines supported on utility poles for the transmission of high voltage electricity. .

Significance

The various insulators have second level significance for their historic value and provenance

Cork fragments

Parks Victoria - Gabo Island Lightstation, Gabo Island

1. Triangular shaped piece of cork, has holes and cracks. 2. Rectangular shaped piece of cork, has large holes through piece. Remains of white textile covering on two sides (long sides). Piece is slightly convex. 3. Rectangular pieceof cork. Corners are rounded . Rough pitted surface. 4. Tube shaped section of cork. Has hole through middle with split in one side extending to hole. Around outside there are even lines extending horizontally.

Historical information

From accompanying interpretive sign,"Early life jackets and life- rings were made using cork for bouyancy. A poignant reminder of the risks facing seafarers". Triangular and rectangular pieces of cork are from old life jackets. Curved piece with canvas remnant and white paint is a section of an old life ring. The piece with hole and split is a float off a fishing net. As cork is also used to provide buoyancy to fishing nets, further information on these fragments, such as their degree of rarity, and the historic use of cork for buoyancy in relation to lightstations and rescue equipment would be helpful.

Significance

They will have second level contributory significance if it can be established that they are historically associated with the functions of the lightstation.

Flags

Parks Victoria - Gabo Island Lightstation, Gabo Island

Two identical white fabric flags stapled to a wooden dowel and secured to a wooden base on an angle.They have blue writing, on tags, on the flags.

Historical information

Used to signal ships from lightstation. White flags are semaphore flags used for signalling alphabet letters. Salvaged from junk pile and mounted on wooden block. The identical, white hand held flags, which were used as a pair, are each stapled to a dowel. Information on both items indicates they were made by a well known flag, pennant and banner makers, Evan and Evans who were then located at 680 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne and are now in Spencer Street West Melbourne. Founded in 1877, the firm was a co designer of the Australian Flag in 1901. The flags are likely to date from c.1960 - 70 and are currently displayed in the former Keepers' quarters/ weather room mounted on a wooden block. Similar pairs of semaphore flags are held in Wilsons Promontory and Cape Nelson collections.

Significance

The flags have second level contributory significance for their provenance to the lightstation and flag makers Evan & Evans. Thet have historic value for increasing our understanding of the semaphore signalling system formally used at the lightstation.

Inscriptions & Markings

On tags on both flags, "EVAN & EVANS FLAGS P/L / FLAGMAKERS / 680 ELIZABETH ST / MELB. 3000 3475755"

Typewriter

Parks Victoria - Gabo Island Lightstation, Gabo Island

1. Black and white plastic and metal typewriter. 2. Grey vinyl typewriter cover.

Historical information

The black and white manual typewriter is made of plastic and metal by the Swiss company,Hermes. The model name ‘Ambassador’ and the series number M82, indicate that the typewriter was made sometime between 1953 and 1965. It demonstrates the working operations of the lightstation under the Commonwealth Lighthouse Service when it was managed by the Department of Transport, which introduced a number of modernising initiatives during this period.

Significance

It has second level contributory significance for its historic value as an original item of office equipment. It demonstrates the working operations of the lightstation under the Commonwealth Lighthouse Service when it was managed by the Department of Transport, which introduced a number of modernising initiatives during this period.

Inscriptions & Markings

2. On cover,"HERMES / Ambassador / FABRICATION SUISSE / MADE IN SWITZERLAND / D" : 1. On typewriter," M82". On label, " C.of A / D.O.T. 143851".

Wind Speed Recorder - "Maximum Gust Register"

Parks Victoria - Gabo Island Lightstation, Gabo Island

Black metal box with grey metal front. Two chrome plated handles at front. Red plastic square, greenish coloured knob at front with inscriptions under them.

Historical information

Used on Gabo Island to measure maximun gust over previous 3 hours or between weather observations. Information on the back of the device implies that it was battery powered and indicates that it was used in conjunction with a Synchrotac brand anemometer. Its particular function was to measure maximum wind speed over three hours between weather observations. Like the other weather recording instruments in the collection, it became redundant to the Bureau of Meteorology’s needs.

Significance

It is a good example of its kind and has first level contributory significance for its historic value and provenance to the lightstation.

Inscriptions & Markings

On front,"MAXIMUM GUST REGISTER / KNOTS / READ" On back, "for use with a synchrotac anemometer / ANEMOMETER / RESET" On 2 black plastic discs at back, "BATTERY x 4 "

Cabinet

Parks Victoria - Gabo Island Lightstation, Gabo Island

Two door wooden (cedar) cabinet. One internal shelf, panelled, curved back. Doors are attached. Frame has been stripped, doors are unpainted.

Historical information

Cupboard is original to Lighthouse. This nineteenth century cedar furnishing has two doors and one internal shelf. It remains in the lighthouse although its original location was probably the lantern room, where similar surviving cabinets are more typically found. It was purpose built for the lighthouse with a curved back to fit the proportions of the tower interior with the wood reputed to have originated from a partition in the assistant lightkeepers’ houses, and the cupboard doors possibly crafted at a different time. Curved cabinets similar to this example can be found at three other early lighthouses investigated by this study. It is possible that these specially designed cabinets were included in the standard complement of furnishings provided to the colony’s lightstations by the Victorian Public Works Department. Other similar cabinets with curved backs remain in the Point Hicks Lighthouse and at Cape Nelson (two examples )and Cape Schanck, which has a curved front as well as back .

Significance

The Gabo Island cabinet has first level contributory significance for its historic value, uniqueness, provenance to the lightstation and clear association with the functions of the lighthouse lantern room.

Telephone

Parks Victoria - Gabo Island Lightstation, Gabo Island

Black bakelite telephone, wall mounted with reciever/ handset on spiral cord attached to the body of the phone. There is a crank handle attached to the front of the telephone.

Historical information

Telephones x 3 (GILS 0001, 0038, 0070; attached fixtures) There are three, black Bakelite, wall mounted, crank handle telephones across the lightstation; one in the former assistant keeper’s quarters, and two in the former head keeper’s quarters. The phone has instructions for its use on the crank dial. Two have acoiled handset cord, which dates the phone to just after 1949 when these came into use. The third has a smooth cord and must pre date 1949 (GILS 0070). Another much older wallmounted phone remains in the lighthouse (GILS 0041; attached fixture; see above 6.1). The four telephones at Gabo Island formed an intercom system that facilitated communication between the lighthouse and lightstation buildings. They demonstrate the necessity for employing various methods of communication in a remotely located lighthouse as well as communication between the lightstation buildings. Telephones of the same wall mounted, crank dial type remain at Cape Otway and Point Hicks As fixtures, the telephones belong to the building fabric and are included in the existing listing of the Gabo Island Lightstation in the Victorian Heritage Register (H1773).

Significance

These intact items of equipment have first level contributory significance for their historic value and provenance.

Inscriptions & Markings

On dial under crank handle. Outer perimeter of circular LABEL,"TO CALL:-TURN HANDLE & LIFT HANDSET / WHEN FINISHED PEPLACE HANDSET & TURN HANDLE"

Tanks, kerosene vaporiser

Parks Victoria - Gabo Island Lightstation, Gabo Island

Two large green cylinders standing in a metal frame. There is also a pumping mechanism attached to the stand with a wooden handle.

Historical information

The heavy twin tanks formerly contained vaporised kerosene which was used as a fuel to light the lantern. Kerosene became available in the 1860s as the oil industry in the United States developed, and vaporised kerosene soon became the most common system of illumination. The kerosene vapour lamp was perfected by Chance Bros. for burning the light in their renowned lenses. The system involved vaporising kerosene under pressure and mixing it with air and then burning the vapour to heat an incandescent mantle. The lamp had to be watched throughout the night in case a mantle broke, and the tanks needed to be maintained by hand-pumping each hour or so. Kerosene tanks like these were developed in the early twentieth century, and kerosene as a fuel was phased out by electricity, with the last kerosene system in Australia eventually replaced in 1985. The wick lamp in Gabo Island’s light was altered to a vaporised incandescent kerosene mantle burner in 1909. They would have been in use until 1935, when the light was electrified and the original first-order lens was replaced by a fourth-order lens. The Gabo Island tanks, which are presumed to be those used in the lighthouse between 1909 and 1935, are not attached to the optical apparatus and are no longer in the lighthouse. They are also missing the pressure gauges that were formerly attached to the top of each cylinder. Cape Schanck has a pair of unattached tanks, which are not historically associated with the lighthouse. Point Hicks has an iron stand that formerly supported its lighthouse oil tanks.

Significance

Despite their lack of intactness, the Gabo Island tanks have first level contributory significance for their provenance to the lightstation and historic association with the lantern’s original Chance Brothers first order lens, which was removed in 1935

Light & object

Parks Victoria - Gabo Island Lightstation, Gabo Island

Beacon and unidentified object (GILS 0095) The portable beacon is a small rotating light containing a lens and prism. The other item can be described as a white painted conical object.

Historical information

Further information on the unidentified object has not been available during preparation of this report, but it may be a buoy light, or perhaps even a solar powered rotating light made by Pharos Marine, New Zealand. Portable beacon lights were made with a plastic lens and an aluminium base and it is known that one of these was installed in the Gabo Island Lighthouse in February 1992. It was replaced in May 2006 and the lights are now no longer used within the AMSA network. The unidentified item, which can be described as a white painted conical object, appears to be associated with signalling, but more information is needed to confirm this. These items of equipment are presumed to relate to core lightstation functions and look to be in good condition.

Significance

They have at least second level significance for their probable provenance and association with the theme of visual signalling and the use of navigation equipment for maintaining safe routes for shipping.

Nails

Parks Victoria - Gabo Island Lightstation, Gabo Island

.1 Steel nail - flat. Stamped. This type of nail was used for secret nailing of flooring. Source of this nail is unknown. .2 Copper nails. This type of nail was used for boat building. Found at various locations around island. .3 Steel nails. Extracted from lantern room door during restoration 2002. .4 Galvanised steel nails. Used to pin railway track to timber sleepers and decking on jetty. Rail track carried a small trolley used during the unloading of stores from supply ships. .5. Copper nail square. This nail was found on the rocky shore line on Tullaberga Island close to the location of the wreck of the "Monumental City" wrecked May 1853. Nail found in June 2000.

Historical information

The five types of nails include a stamped steel nail made for wooden flooring; four copper nails used for boat building found at various locations on the island; two steel nails removed from the lantern room door during restoration in 2002 which possibly came with the Chance Bros. lantern room kit delivered in 1862; three galvanised steel nails used to pin the railway track to sleepers and decking on the jetty (the rail track carried a small trolley for unloading stores from supply ships); and a square copper nail found on the rocky shore on Tullaberga Island close to the location of the Monumental City wreck of 1853. The huge American steamer, Monumental City, was wrecked on 15 May 1853. Built in 1850, the ship was the first screw-propulsion steamer to cross the Pacific and was heading back to Sydney after dropping off Californians heading for the Victorian goldfields. Thirty-seven lives were lost, including the owner of the ship, Peter Strobel. A medal was awarded by Sydney residents to Charles Plummer who swam ashore with a line from the wreck. The tragedy renewed the urgency for a lighthouse on Gabo Island, and in 1862 when this was achieved an obelisk was erected as a memorial to those who perished. That year, Victorian PWD architect and designer of the lightstation buildings, Charles Maplestone, gave the following instructions: ‘You may remove the remains of the poor unfortunate shipwrecked of the Monumental City to the site on Gabo you propose but take scrupulous care to collect all the remains and inter them decently under the monument. Pray save any relics’.246 Heritage Victoria has 39 artefacts listed under the Historic Shipwrecks Act (S473) with a clear provenance to the Monumental City.

Significance

While the copper nail has no documented provenance, it still has contributory significance as part of a diverse assemblage of relics that help to interpret the history of the Gabo Island Lightstation and the numerous shipwrecks that have occurred in its vicinity since the mid nineteenth century.

Desk

Parks Victoria - Gabo Island Lightstation, Gabo Island

Wooden desk with metal frame. Dark grey vinyl top, three drawers on left-hand sde with metal handles. Second drawer has filing inserts.

Historical information

Government issue desk. Manufactured (perhaps 1970s)

Significance

It has second level contributory significance as a furnishing that has remained at the lightstation to demonstrate its more recent working operations.

Inscriptions & Markings

Right-hand front leg on black sticker. "C. of A. / D.O.T. 147110"