Steamship Model - SS Edina, Howard Smith Line, Victoria, circa 1917-1938 Object Reg. No: ST 033494

The 'Edina' was one of the longest serving steam vessels anywhere in the world. Built on the Clyde by Barclay, Curle & Co. she was an iron-hull single-screw steamer of 322 tons with three masts. In 1855 Edina was requisitioned by the Admiralty from her owners the Leith, Hull & Hamburg Steam Packet Co. to carry stores and horses to the Black Sea during the Crimean War. After return to her owners 'Edina' traded around the UK and Mediterranean before being purchased and used as a blockade runner during the American Civil War carrying cotton from the Confederate states in 1861. 'Edina' arrived in Melbourne under sail in March 1863 and was purchased by Stephen Henty for use from ports in western Victoria and later carried gold prospectors across the Tasman to New Zealand. After a refit in 1870 she was used in the coastal trade along the Queensland coast for Howard Smith until returning to Victoria and the Melbourne-Geelong trade as a cargo-passenger vessel.

The 'Edina' had two narrow escapes from destruction in 1898 and 1899 when she collided with other steamers, both being sunk. A further refit in 1917 altered her appearance with a new mast, funnel, bridge and promenade deck. By 1924 Edina had made over 12,000 Melbourne-Geelong passages and carried over one million people on the service. A further collision on 9 July 1928 which sank the tug Hovell, forced 'Edina' onto a mudbank on Port Phillip Bay. She was taken out of service in 1938 but was later renamed Dinah and used as a lighter until 1958 when she was broken up and her remains used as land-fill.

This model of the 'Edina' shows the vessel after her 1917 refit. It was donated to the Museum in 1990 by the State Library of Victoria.
Acquisition Information:
Loan & Subsequent Transfer from Library Council of Victoria, 1973
Discipline: Technology
Dimensions: 360 mm (Height), 150 mm (Width), 1200 mm (Length)
Dimension Comment: ABOVE DIMENSIONS OF SHIP.CASE-L149 B35 H56;BASE-L151 B38 H35;LEGS-L139 B32 H76.

More information

Tagged with: port phillip bay steamers, steamships, victorian coastal shipping, crimean war 1853-1856, persian
Themes this item is part of: Transport Collection, Ship History - SS Edina
Primary Classification: WATER TRANSPORT
Secondary Classification: Steam Power
Tertiary Classification: model screw steamers - passenger
Ship Depicted: Wm. Howard Smith & Sons Ltd, Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, Australia, 1917-1937


Gary Manison Posted on 18 Nov 2009 11:48 PM
Was this ship used for work picnic up the bay by the Metro Cool Stores, Nth Melb in the 1920's and 30's? My mother spoke of going to picnic on a ship called the Dinah?
Discovery Centre Posted on 18 Dec 2009 11:54 AM
Museum Victoria Comment
Hi Gary. It is quite possible that the Edina was used for transport to a work picnic during this period. As discussed above, however, 'By 1924 Edina had made over 12,000 Melbourne-Geelong passages and carried over one million people on the service' so it's hard to determine specifically who it carried.
brian mckinlay Posted on 26 Dec 2009 2:07 AM
I recall my Grandmother in Geelong speaking of going with my Grandfather on The Edina to Melbourne in 1925 to see Geelong win it's first League Premiership
She also spoke warmly of the little vessal and of eating and listening to musicians whilst travelling to Melboujrne on occasions
Scott Sharp Posted on 12 Mar 2010 2:27 PM
According to the Argus newspaper, The Edina collided with the tug Hovell on July 9th, 1928, not 1931 as suggested in the article.
Anthony Warren Posted on 14 May 2010 2:52 PM
Was John Thompson her Captain when it was owned by Henty Brothers? He was my great grandfather and went on to command other steamers Wester, Otway, Nelson, that I know of. Finished his career as Captain of the Ozone travelling around the Bay.
Discovery Centre Posted on 16 May 2010 2:33 PM
Museum Victoria Comment
Hi Anthony - Unfortunately Museum Victoria does not hold maritime records, however, the Pollywoodside's Martime Research Service may be able to assist you with your enquiry:
David Merrett Posted on 17 Aug 2010 11:16 PM
I understand that the Edina was also used as hospital transport for Florence Nightingale at the end of the Crimean War - I'm incredulous that a ship with such a rich history could survive for so long, and then just be scrapped, without it seems, any effort at preservation....
Horace Spriggs Posted on 01 Apr 2011 3:06 PM
My grandmother used to say in reference to women with large bottoms, that they had "backsides on (them) like the Edina going down the bay". Just one of her many snippets about Melbourne before WW2.
Peter Breeze Posted on 02 Apr 2011 8:23 AM
I was given a wooden bowl with a small metal plaque "made from the wood of of the SS Edina", my mother found it in a op shop. Is this something the Museum would want as a gift?
Discovery Centre Posted on 04 Apr 2011 3:40 PM
Museum Victoria Comment
Hi Peter, thanks for your interest in donating this to the museum. You can make donation offers through our Donations Page with information and images provided as per the Donation Guidelines.

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