Box Label - Smiley Productions, 'Spotswood', Balls Moccasins, 1992 Document Reg. No: HT 23679

Rectangular pink paper box label with black printing on one side, and glue residual on the reverse.

It was used during production of the Australian feature film `Spotswood', released in 1992. Set during the 1960s, it focused on the changing fortunes of the fictitious Balls Moccasins Factory in Spotswood, Melbourne. The location used to depict the exterior of the factory was the Spotswood Pumping Station, now part of Scienceworks Museum, a campus of Museum Victoria. The Pumping Station features on the Balls Moccasins logo, which is printed on the label.
A rectangular salmon pink paper label, with black printing on one side surrounded by a thick and a thin black printed border. The printing includes the the name of the fictional company, as well as two logos, including the factory complex and a rotund, ball-shaped, man in evening dress. On the back is glue residual, which indicates the label was used during production of the film, attached to a cardboard box.
Statement Of Significance:
This box label is significant due to its links to the Spotswood Pumping Station, now part of Museum Victoria's Scienceworks campus. Opening in 1897, the station was finally decommissioned in 1965 after the opening of the new station at nearby Brooklyn. For the next 25 years, the buildings were left largely vacant, but found a new use as a versatile film and television location for numerous productions. These included becoming the Main Force Patrol (MFP) `Halls of Justice' headquarters in the Mad Max films, Blackmoor Prison in the TV series `Prisoner' and the Balls Moccasin Factory in the film `Spotswood'. Soon after, the buildings were handed over to Museum Victoria, to become one of the main attractions of Scienceworks.

It is also significant in representing one of the numerous films produced in and showcasing Melbourne to the world over the last century. The oldest surviving Australian film footage was shot at the Melbourne Cup in 1896, while arguably the world's first feature length narrative film was `The Story of the Kelly Gang', filmed around Melbourne and premiering at the end of 1906. Released in 1992, `Spotswood' was a comedy which, unusually, told the story of the decline of manufacturing in Australia by focusing on the declining fortunes of a footwear factory in the western suburbs of Melbourne. It starred Anthony Hopkins, Russell Crowe, Ben Mendelsohn, Alwyn Kurts and Toni Collette, and was released in the US as `The Efficiency Expert'.

It also is interesting as it represents, although in a fictional sense, of the decline of local manufacturing, particularly in relation to the footwear industry. Although a relatively small, specialised industry now, it was at one stage was a major industry in Melbourne, which was the leading manufacturing hub of footwear in Australia.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Mr Michael Reason, 2009
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 150 mm (Height), 282 mm (Width)

More information

Tagged with: footwear industry, film television production
Themes this item is part of: Spotswood Sewerage Pumping Station, Melbourne, Victoria, Leisure Collection, Working Life & Trades Collection
Primary Classification: MOTION PICTURE
Secondary Classification: Film Production
Tertiary Classification: props
Inscriptions: Printed on front of label in black script: Balls/ MOCCASINS/ NO 1 FOR Quality/ BALLS MOCCASINS SPOTSWOOD, AUST.
Place & Date Depicted: Spotswood Pumping Station, Spotswood, Victoria, Australia, 1990-1992
Manufactured For: Smiley Productions, Spotswood, Victoria, Australia, 1990-1992

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