Paddle Steamer Gem, Pioneer Settlement, Swan Hill

From the information panel just before going aboard,  the Gem was built in 1876 as a barge, but a year later "was fitted with’4 40 horsepower steam engine, wood fired boilers and upper works enabling her to be employed carrying freight and passengers on the River Murray as a steamer.

In 1882, she was "cut in half using simple hand tools and the two pieces dragged apart by bullocks. A new 12 metre section was inserted in the space and an extra deck was added to allow more room for both passengers and cargo."

"In service, her lower deck was used for cargo storage; engine room, dining room and galley. Passenger accommodation was located on the middle deck, while the top deck was used for the wheelhouse and to accommodate the crew. The Gem also had a Smoking Room at the rear of the upper deck for gentlemen and a Music Room for the ladies at the front of the middle deck."

Exterior photos.

Go aboard!

Lower deck

Middle deck: cabin, music saloon

Upper deck

Horse-drawn Omnibus

Larger photo

Part of the horse-drawn vehicle collection at Swan Hill's Pioneer Settlement.

The horse-drawn Omnibus was a French invention which came to Australia via England in the mid nineteenth century, it was the equivalent of the modern suburban bus. Similar to the Family Wagonette in that it has parallel side seats, panelled sides and a rear entrance. Unlike the Wagonette though, it also has a fixed top, and windows.

The Omnibus displayed here is a basic model suited to a provincial Mallee town. It lacks the glass widows and the rooftop seating that were found on omnibuses in major cities. The history of this vehicle before arriving at the Settlement is, unfortunately, unknown.

Horse-drawn Hearse

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Part of the horse-drawn vehicle collection at Swan Hill's Pioneer Settlement.

This Hearse was manufactured in Scotland, probably towards the end of the nineteenth century, and was imported for use in the suburbs of Melbourne. Once horse-drawn hearses started to fall out of favour with the more modern citizens of the City, it was transferred from Ravens Undertakers in Kew to their branch in Nagambie and then later again to Castlemaine.

Earlier hearses were much plainer, simply black, glass sided boxes, which looked very depressing. Towards the end of the nineteenth century though, there was a move towards a more flamboyant, if still understated, look and the cost of a funeral would be affected by the type and amount of decoration required on the Hearse and horses.

Central Deborah Mine, Bendigo – above ground

At its peak, Central Deborah Gold Mine reached a depth of 412 metres. It has 17 separate levels and 15 kilometres of drives and cross cuts (tunnels). The Central Deborah was very much a hands-on mine and the conditions that the miners worked in would be considered shocking by today's standards – being lowered underground in a cage with only two sides, often working ankle to knee deep in water, filling up to 32 ore trucks a shift by hand which were then pushed a mile or more along rails in the drives, working by carbide lamp, breathing in the fumes and rock dust and communication by bells. Geez, they were ironmen. However, at the time working conditions were considered to be among the best on the goldfields at Central Deborah, after all it was one of the only mines that had hot showers. From website

Underground.

 


"Robert's Double Drum Haulage Winch"



Partly crushed quartz containing gold was fed into the back of these battery boxes along with a steady flow of water. In operation, the large stampers, which life and drop about 90 times a minutes, crushed the quartz into a fine sad. Mercury, or quicksilver as it was called, was placed in the bottom of the battery box to take up most of the gold.

As the finely crushed material washed through the sieves, or screens, in the front of the battery box, gold that escaped was caught on a mercury-coated copper plate. Any fine gold that happened to get past the plate was caught in the blanket material on the lower end of the plate table.  All the finally crushed material was then washed onto the Wilfey[?] shaking table. The shaking action of the table separated minerals such as iron pyrites, and others, away form the quartz.


CARBIDE LIGHT ROOM
Carbide lights were used extensively underground by miners. Refillings lights with carbide was done in this room, which was equipped with special light fittings and switches to prevent sparks. By combining carbide and water acetylene, a flammable gas was produced to create a flame. The carbide was stored in air tight drums to ensure that no dangerous explosives were generated.


FIRST AID ROOM


Safe


Jennings of 278 Post Office Place advertised safes for sale from 1891 to 1917. (Just prior to that, their address is 272 Post Office Place/Little Bourke Street.


Advocate (Melbourne), 24 November 1917

Western Electric Film Projector

Located in Neil Pitt's Menswear in Launceston, which was formerly the Majestic Theatre, Launceston.

 


WESTERN ELECTRIC
FILM PROJECTOR
1929
This carbon arc projector was one of two main projectors used in the Majestic Theatre between 1929 and the early 60's. It was most recently kept as part of the collection of Geoff Scholes who regularly screened 35 mm films to friends and family. It's partner projector can be seen the George Town museum.

Cellar, Woolmers

At Woolmers Estate, near Longford. The steps down to the cellar are at the end there, on the other side of the railing.


At the top is an information panel that says:

CELLARS
Part of the original construction of the weatherboard homestead. The Cellar rooms are paved in sandstone flags and have a ceiling height of 2700mm (9 feet). Drainage pits in the floors of each room appear to maintain a steady level. Pin in room 4 remains constantly empty. Vaulted storage bins added in 1840s. Possibly to house the cider barrels.

Original entrance to the cellar was through a trap door from inside the house. Present entrance down timber topped brick steps install in the 1840s.


Look up


Through first doorway.


Through second doorway.


Now heading back


Back through here


And there's another room to the side

And out!

Tram

Larger version.

Restored tram, belonging to Hobart City Council.


First paragraph:
TRAM NO. 39
Built in 1917 as a two-man tram.
No. 39 was originally operated by both a driver and a conductor. In 1926 it was converted to a one-man tram on which the driver was also required to collect the fares. After about 1946, when No. 39 was taken out of service, it served for a number of years as the meal room at the Moonah tram depot. It 1949 a former tramways inspector purchased No. 39 for £10 and kept it in his backyard in New Town for almost 40 years.

Lower deck, P.S. Gem

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Lower deck on P.S. Gem, at the Swan River Pioneer Settlement.

From information panel on post:

ENGINE ROOM
Following her conversion from barge to paddle steamer in 1877, this space would have been filled with the large, wood fired boiler which provided the steam for the engine. That was linked directly to the paddles through shafts either side. As can be seen in the photograph, the wood used as fuel took up a great deal of space here too. In 1891/92 that original engines was supplemented with a second set of pistons, increasing both power and efficiency.

To Middle Deck.

To Middle Deck