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Photograph - Devil's Tower, From the Deck of SS Despatch, Bass Strait, 1890 Image Reg. No: MM 91482

Photograph taken by Archibald J. Campbell during a scientific expedition by the Field Naturalists Club of Victoria to Kent Group of islands in 1890. The 'Despatch' was carrying the party of field naturalists to the islands having departed Port Melbourne in December of that year.This is one of sixty-nine black & white and sepia photographs in a bound album [six of which are loose] all taken by A.J. Campbell during the expedition. The album also includes a map of Kent Group in the inside front cover and numerous contemporary newspaper clippings relating to the expedition.
Black and white photograph
Description Of Content:
View of a rocky outcrop or small uninhabited island known as Devil's Tower, in Bass Strait near Wilson's Promontory, photographed from the deck of the ship SS Despatch.
Acquisition Information:
Transfer from Museum Victoria Museum Archive, 2006
Discipline: Technology
Dimensions: 105 mm (Height), 148 mm (Width)

More information

Tagged with: coastal landscapes, coastlines, islands, landscapes, natural environment, natural history, rural landscapes, rural life
Themes this item is part of: Field Naturalist Trip to the Furneaux Group, Part Three, Cape Barren Island, 1890, The Field Naturalist's Club of Victoria Expedition to Kent Group, 1890, Field Naturalist Trip to the Furneaux Group, Part One, circa 1890, Field Naturalist Trip to the Furneaux Group, Part Two, Babel Islands, 1890, The Field Naturalist's Visit to Kent Group, 1890, Field Naturalist Trip to the Furneaux Group (Part Four) - Chappell Island, 1890, Field Naturalist Trip to the Furneaux Group (Part Five) - Conclusion, 1890, Archibald James Campbell, Naturalist (1853-1929), A.J. Campbell Collection, Images & Image Making Collection, Leisure Collection, Sustainable Futures Collection, Field Naturalists Club of Victoria
Primary Classification: ENVIRONMENTS
Secondary Classification: Coastal
Tertiary Classification: islands
Original Caption: Devil's tower, 350 ft. high (taken from s.s. 'Despatch')
Inscriptions: Printed in black ink in caption at foot of the page: " 2. Devil's tower, 350 ft. high (taken from s.s. 'Despatch.')".
Museum Victoria catalogue reference handwritten in pencil at foot of the page: "MM 091482".
Organisations Depicted: SS Despatch; Field Naturalists' Club of Victoria
Format: Photograph: Sepia; 6 in. x 4 in.
Place & Date Depicted: Green Island, Furneaux Island Group, Bass Strait, Tasmania, Australia, 1890
Photographer: Archibald Campbell, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1890

Information ascertained from newspaper reports of the day preserved with the photograph in the album.
Organiser of Expedition: Field Naturalists Club of Victoria, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1890


Tudor Winter Posted on 02 Feb 2010 12:18 AM
The following is an extract from a journal writtten by my great great grandfather on
16th September1841.
"Up to this date the wind blew ahead. However it changed this morning to the N.E. somewhat in our favour which enabled us to pass Wilson's Promontory and several islands standing in various positions off the mainland. The one farthest out stands probably about 8 leagues from the main land. There is one Rocky Island which stands S.E. of Wilson's Promontory about twelve miles from the latter called the Devil's Tower. There is not a vestige of vegetation on any part of it. Why it is called the Devil's Tower I have not heard. However the following occurrence which took place as we passed it about three o'clock in the afternoon might have ample reason for denominating it as above. As we neared it probably within half a mile of it we could perceive distinctly without the glass more than one living animal moving about on a small rock a little out from the Island. The Captain took the glass and said he thought they were like bears. There were two of them I distinctly saw as did all the gentlemen on the poop, two large animals playing about the side of the rock. They were like bears and sometimes sat up erect and appeared to be watching us, for as we were passing they went to the other side of the rock. While we were wondering what they might be a mist suddenly arose as from the deep and in a few minutes the island became invisible. We were surrounded, by a dense fog which however did not last more than fifteen minutes. I shall endeavour to take a sketch of the Devil's Tower from the east side of it." Are you able to tell me what the "bears" he describes may have been.
Jack **not an expert Posted on 07 Oct 2010 6:03 PM
In relation to wikipedia, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devils_Tower_(Tasmania)) I assume the "bears" were in fact seals.

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