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Tours of Sunshine Harvester Works

FARMERS VISIT TO SUNSHINE WORKS: 1907

Image: FARMERS VISIT TO SUNSHINE WORKS: 1907

Source: Museum Victoria

The Sunshine Harvester Works invited guests to inspect the factory and machinery manufactured on site. One of the first inspections organised of the site was a farmers' tour in 1907. While attending the Royal Melbourne Show, over 600 farmers visited the Sunshine Harvester Works. A special train transported farmers from Spencer Street Station to the factory. Staff acted as guides for the farmers who were shown around the site, viewed agricultural equipment and given explanations about the different stages of manufacturing. The session ended with refreshments and speeches. The company held similar tours over the coming decades which attracted hundreds of farmers.

The company also welcomed government officials to view the factory and its operations. It was an opportunity for the firm to display its significant contributions to Australian agriculture. For instance, in July 1914 Australia's Governor-General Sir Ronald Munro-Ferguson and his wife were shown around the factory by company founder H.V McKay and his brothers. Other government dignitaries visited the site for special occasions. In 1954 Prime Minister Robert Menzies came to Sunshine to launch an exhibition celebrating the 70th anniversary of McKay's Sunshine Harvester. Similarly, Victorian Premier Henry Bolte attended the opening of the new factory foundry in 1967.

In addition, agents and dealers were encouraged to visit the firm's Sunshine headquarters to familiarise themselves with the company's equipment and manufacturing process. Similarly, excursions to the factory were organised for students.

References
'Farmers Inspect the Sunshine Harvester Works', 1907, The Farmer and Settler, 20 September, p.9.
'School of Mines Excursion', 1916, Bendigo Advertiser, 10 August, p.5.
'Tasmanian Students on Tour', 1924, The Mercury, 21 August, p.12.
'Bark Hut to Huge Works', 1937, The Argus, 30 September, p.12.
Ford, O 2001, Harvester Town: The Making of Sunshine, 1890-1925. Sunshine & District Historical Society Inc., Sunshine.
Ford, O 2012, Harvester City: The Making of Multicultural Sunshine, 1939-1975. Sunshine & District Historical Society Inc., Sunshine.
Related Narratives
Factory Site of Sunshine Harvester Works

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