Max

DISPLAYING POSTS BY: Max (9)

Max

Max is one of the Discovery Centre crew. In his job, Max explores the dizzying heights of scientific enquiry, crawls through the undergrowth of social history and dives into geneaology. Unfortunately, Max has no sense of direction.

Caroline Chisholm's scrapbook

Author
by Max
Publish date
25 March 2012
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Comments (1)

Your Question: What did Caroline Chisholm do behind the Shelter Shed?

A bit of scrapbooking apparently...

Having such a large online presence, as Museum Victoria has, we in the Discovery Centre are always asked if we can provide copies of the brochures, passenger lists, workshop manuals, etc, that feature in our massive Internet Empire. In order to satisfy this demand, we have to apply subtle pressure on a variety of curators, collection managers and photographers, in order to have these articles scanned.

Caroline Chisholm's scrapbook A page from Caroline Chisholm's scrapbook.
Image: Museum Victoria
Source: Museum Victoria
 

However, in the case of Caroline Chisholm’s scrapbook, we can casually point out to the inquisitive enquirer, that by scrolling down the webpage, they will see the heading ‘Downloads’ followed by ‘Caroline Chisholm’s Scrapbook PDF 129.3 Mb’. Eureka! This unique piece of Australia’s history can be all yours at the click of a button. Now, at your leisure, you can peruse the pages of Caroline’s life and works.

Caroline Chisholm scrapbook, circa 1844-1861 Caroline Chisholm scrapbook, circa 1844-1861
Image: Museum Victoria
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Who attended the ‘Soiree to Mrs. Chisholm’? Prince Albert did, that’s who. As did ‘The Ladies who have honoured us with their company’. Is one of your ancestors on ‘Mrs. Chisholm’s List of Missing Friends’? Margaret Lyons was looking for her brother Luck Lyons; Mrs. Tipple couldn’t find her husband Thomas Tipple and Mr. Wright could not be found which left his ‘Wife in great distress with six children’. And what did Charles Dickens say about Mrs. Chisholm? The answer can be found on ‘page 12’.

Caroline Chisholm scrapbook, circa 1844-1861 Caroline Chisholm scrapbook, circa 1844-1861
Image: Museum Victoria
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Caroline Chisholm’s scrapbook is not the only scanned item available for download on our website, but it is a particular favourite of mine. Thanks to the unsung heroes of the museum – the MV Studios folk who scan these wonderful items, all your questions can now be answered. We salute you!

UPDATE!  The Caroline Chisholm Scrapbook has been digitised and is now fully accessible online and can be seen here!

Got a question? Ask us!

Links 

Caroline Chisolm's scrapbook

Australian Dictionary of Biography Online

Steam 'dinosaur' at Scienceworks

Author
by Max
Publish date
5 February 2012
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Your Question: Does Museum Victoria have the only working Australian-made traction engine?

It is believed that in 1916, Cowley’s Eureka Ironworks of Ballarat built one of Australia’s last steam traction engines. The Cowley Traction Engine, acquired by the Museum in 1985, was restored with the help of about 30 staff and volunteers over 16 years with a total of 10,000 paid hours and 6,000 voluntary hours.

Cowley Steam Traction Engine (1916) at Lake Goldsmith. Cowley Steam Traction Engine (1916) at Lake Goldsmith.
Image: Matthew Churchwood
Source: Museum Victoria
 

It was dismantled and major mechanical repairs were carried out. New parts were manufactured when the old parts were found to not be restorable or could not be repaired in a way that could be reversed at a later time. Such parts included the steam boiler, the boiler fittings, tender, roof, crankshaft, feed pump, and many of the gears. All components that were replaced have been retained in storage for future reference and research.
 
Scienceworks 10th Birthday Celebration Scienceworks 10th Birthday Celebration - Cowley steam engine from 1916 in action on the arena.
Image: Rodney Start
Source: Museum Victoria
 

The Cowley was used to move houses and other timber-framed buildings, as well as hauling logs for the Sawmilling industry in Western Victoria and is unusual in that it has solid sided wheels, rather than spoked ones. This design serves the dual purpose of not only being cheaper to produce, but the wheels can then double as extra water tanks – a handy advantage in the dry Australian bush.

Detail of Cowley Steam Traction Engine at Machinery in Action show Detail of Cowley Steam Traction Engine at Machinery in Action show
Image: Paoli Smith Photography
Source: Museum Victoria
 

In 2001 the Cowley was fully restored and ready to go. It made its debut at the Lake Goldsmith steam Rally and can now be seen at Scienceworks on Machines in Action Days.
Men in the boiler shop at Cowley 's Eureka Ironworks, Ballarat, Victoria, circa 1910 Men in the boiler shop at Cowley 's Eureka Ironworks, Ballarat, Victoria, circa 1910
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Got a question? Ask us!

Links:

Podcast: Roll out the Steam Engines!

MV News: Roller returns

Piers Festival

Author
by Max
Publish date
3 February 2012
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Comments (1)

On the afternoon of Saturday 28 January, I made my way down to Port Melbourne for the Piers Festival, a celebration of migration at Station and Princes Piers. The Immigration Museum had a display at Station Pier about – you guessed it – Station Pier!

Immigration Museum’s ‘Station Pier’ exhibition Immigration Museum’s ‘Station Pier’ exhibition at Station Pier.
Image: Max Strating
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Even though the festival was to celebrate both piers, it was really about launching the newly opened Princes Pier after its recent $34 million renovation. The poor dear had ended up in a terrible state after years of neglect. The renovation included restoration of the gatehouse, plus installation of a rotunda with touch screens showing the history of the pier, large raised deck platforms, an area of artificial turf, a generous amount of seating, and public binoculars for viewing ships at sea. Last but not least, the first 196 metres of decking were replaced with a concrete slab, for which the entire gatehouse had to be lifted in order for it to be poured – no mean feat.

Princes Pier Children playing at Princes Pier
Image: Max Strating
Source: Museum Victoria
 

In the gatehouse was an exhibition of historical photographs from Princes Pier – soldiers off to war, local boys on bikes, and migrants arriving after the war.

Ottoman Mehter Marching Band. Ottoman Mehter Marching Band.
Image: Max Strating
Source: Museum Victoria
 

The festival was put on by Multicultural Arts Victoria and the program included a wide variety of performers and musicians, starting with the Victorian Police Pipe Band and finishing with the Melbourne Ska Orchestra. The most arresting costumes were of the Ottoman Mehter Marching Band. Poor guys, it was about 35 degrees in the shade, never mind under their hats!

Enterprize crew The crew of the Enterprize showing off their Jigging and Reeling skills.
Image: Max Strating
Source: Museum Victoria
 

Ska Orchestra Ska Orchestra
Image: Max Strating
Source: Melbourne Museum
 

Mexican heads One of the many stalls selling tasty treats and colourful crafts.
Image: Max Strating
Source: Museum Victoria
 
 
The evening ended with a generous fireworks display. Can’t wait for next year’s festival!

About this blog

Updates on what's happening at Melbourne Museum, the Immigration Museum, Scienceworks, the Royal Exhibition Building, and beyond.

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