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Photograph - Hecla Electrics Pty Ltd, Machining and Assembly Workers, 1920s Image Reg. No: MM 107023

Black and white photograph of factory workers machining and assembling domestic electrical appliances, chiefly kettles. The photograph possibly shows Hecla's Little Bourke Street premises in Melbourne.

The assembly area has a makeshift appearance. Product packaging has been recycled to contain parts, particularly Capstan 'Medium' cigarettes cartons. From early in its history Hecla followed a no smoking policy on the factory floor. The mugs on workers' benches and cigarette cartons suggest a more lenient stance on staff breaks.

This photograph is from an album containing 255 black and white photographs depicting electrical appliances, showroom displays, factory interiors and advertising material relating to Hecla Electrics Pty Ltd. It is part of the Hecla collection of photographs, documents, products, manuals and promotional materials from the Hecla Electrics factories in Melbourne. This collection dates from the late 19th century to the late 20th century and was acquired in 2004 from the current owner of the Hecla Electrics brand.

Hecla Electrics manufactured and distributed a wide range of domestic and commercial electric appliances products to Australasia, such as heaters, kettles, toasters, stoves and water heaters. Its client base included households, commercial businesses such as cafés, hospitals and offices, as well as the military. The company promoted its goods through advertisements in home magazines and displays in shop windows, home shows and the 1935 All-Electricity Exhibition. Hecla Electrics became a household name in Melbourne during the 1920s and remained a popular Australian brand until the late 20th century.'
Black and white photograph with a white border. It is adhered with sticky tape to a hole punched buff paper backing.
Description Of Content:
Hecla Electrics workers in the maching and assembly divisions. To the left of the photograph workers are stationed at free standing grinding machines. At the right workers assemble kettles at cluttered heavy wooden benches.

The factory is lit by large windows along the external walls. A flight of stairs on the rear wall indicates the factory is multi-storey. No light fittings are visible on the exposed rafters or ceiling. Amid the kettle components on benches electrical cords are visible along with volt meters for testing the circuitry of each appliance before it left the factory.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Mr Phil Wollen, 2004
Discipline: Technology
Dimensions: 157 mm (Height), 207 mm (Width)

More information

Tagged with: manufacturing, workers, working conditions, factory workers, factories, manufacturing workers, electric appliances, domestic appliances, chest
Themes this item is part of: Hecla Electrics Pty Ltd, Electrical Appliance Manufacturers, Melbourne, Victoria, Working Life & Trades Collection
Primary Classification: MANUFACTURING & INDUSTRY
Secondary Classification: Domestic Appliances
Inscriptions: Handwritten, verso, top centre, graphite pencil: 'Section of the / machine shop & / assembly division'
Photographer's rubber stamp, verso, face RHS, purple ink: 'C F Frazer / Photo / 154 LIT. COLLINS STREET / Phone 4868 Cent. MELB'
Rubber stamp, verso, centre, black ink: '6365'
Format: Photograph: Black & White
Place & Date Depicted: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1920s
Organisation Depicted: Hecla Electrics Pty Ltd, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1920s

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