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Glass Negative - Stern of SS Edina in Duke & Orr's Dry Dock, South Melbourne, Victoria, May 1898 Image Reg. No: MM 030152

The steamer 'Edina' in Duke and Orr's dry dock for repairs, Melbourne, 3 May 1898. The 'Edina' was built in 1854 and was the oldest working steamship in the world when it was retired in 1938.

Photograph by Thomas Beckett. Part of a collection of glass plate negatives taken by Dr Thomas George Beckett, doctor, pioneering radiologist and amateur photographer between 1891 and 1910. The collection is primarily of Beckett's family, friends, homes, and towns and suburbs where Beckett and his family lived, including Charlton in central Victoria and Northcote & South Yarra, suburbs of Melbourne, Victoria.

At the time this photogeraph was taken, the 'Edina' was undergoing repairs to damage caused as a result of a collision with the Union Steamship Company's 'Manawatu' which occurred on the evening of 27th April 1898 near the Gellibrand Lightship, off Williamstown. As a result of the accident, the smaller wooden-hulled 122 ton 'Manawatu', outward bound for Devonport with a cargo of 1,000 bags of phosphates, sunk about 100 yards off Breakwater Pier, while the larger iron-hulled 'Edina', that was inward bound heading from Geelong to Melbourne, was deliberately run ashore near Point Gellibrand reef, where the vessel stuck vast for several days before being recovered. A subsequent Court of Marine Inquiry hearing in May acquitted the pilot Blanchard on a charge of misconduct, but found Captain Forbes of the 'Edina' guilty of gross misconduct and suspended his certificate for 12 months.

The extensive damage to the 'Edina' was described in the press as follows: 'On the starboard side, immediately forward of the bridge, the line of the bulwarks show a curve 'inwards," and 6ft. further, on the gradually increasing turn ends abruptly in a jagged edge of iron. For another 10ft, the whole side of the vessel above the water-line has been swept away, the cause being manifest by the presence of the complete half of a ship's bows bearing the word "Manawatu," in large white letters. Behind this piece of timber is one of the heavy iron anchors of the Tasmanian boat, and scattered among the debris is a quantity of its other tackle. The spot where the nose of the Manawatu now lies amid a heap of shattered timber and iron was the cabin of the chief engineer, Mr Nolan, and above, the debris there still swings floral almanac, with the words ?God Bless Our Home" shining out in gilt letters. But the worst damage of all was done the lower deck, for on gazing with difficulty over the starboard side a hole is to be seen "big enough," as the chief steward remarked "to drive a carriage pair through." This was the side of the saloon which smashed in, and the whole of the furnishings in that part are wrecked and torn.' (Williamstown Chronicle, 30 April 1898).
Description Of Content:
A view from the stern of the single-screw steamer 'Edina' in Duke & Orr's Dry Dock, South Melbourne, for repairs. The ship's propellor has been removed for repair or replacement.
The 'Robur' Tea Warehouse can be seen in the background. A number of men dressed in suits and hats are standing on the dock edge at the right inspecting the vessel. There is a dock worker crouched on a gang plank moving a spar (or long pole) across to the vessel.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Mrs Joan Hadden
Discipline: Technology

More information

Tagged with: dry docks, marine transport, paddle steamers, shipping, water transport
Themes this item is part of: Transport Collection, Dr Thomas George Beckett Collection, Dr Thomas George Beckett (1859-1937), Ship History - SS Edina
Primary Classification: WATER TRANSPORT
Secondary Classification: Steam Power
Tertiary Classification: screw steamers - passenger
Original Caption: EDINA IN DRY DOCK.
Format: Glass Negative: Black & White
Place & Date Depicted: South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 03 May 1898
Photographer: Dr Thomas Beckett, Northcote, Victoria, Australia, 03 May 1898
Ship Depicted: Wm. Howard Smith & Sons Ltd, Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, Australia
References: Williamstown Chronicle, 30 April 1898, p.3, 'Collision In The Bay Between Two Steamers, Edina And Manawatu. Inward And Outward Bound. No Lives Lost.', http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article69676243, viewed 06/01/2014; Chronicle (Adelaide), 30 April 1898, p.27, 'A Serious Collision. The Manawatu Sinks. Edina Runs Ashore. Passengers And Crews Safe.', http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article87773677, viewed 06/01/2014;
The West Australian, 18 May 1898, p.5, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3220437, viewed 06/01/2014.

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