Search the collections
Working Life & Trades Collection
Image: Planes - Jack, Trying, Grooving, Tongueing and Moulding, Yarra Punt Builder
Source: Museum Victoria
This collection aims to document and preserve the history of Victorian workers, and to record their impact on and contribution to Australian society.
Focussing on the post-European settlement period to the present, it aims to reflect the experiences and actions of individuals and groups of workers in different historical, personal, social, economic and cultural settings. It also aims to document the personal and unique renderings of workers' experiences and actions.
Much of the collection documents 'case studies' of working life in Victoria and Australia. These offer insight into a particular type of workplace and work, with some emphasis on workers' voices, while the wider collection represents a variety of working-life skills, experiences and cultures.
The strengths of the collection lie in its coverage of early to mid-20th century factory work, small businesses and trades and the trade union movement. It focuses on work practices in more formal work environments such as factories, commercial workshops and the traditional apprentice-based trades, but is complemented by other collections of less formal workplace objects, such as the home work and handicrafts area in the Domestic and Community Life Collection.
Trades relating to metalworking and precision engineering, especially those requiring the extensive use of machine tools and power tools, are covered under the Engineering Collection rather than in Trades.
- Barfoot Bootmaking Collection: 211 items from a former surgical bootmaker's business.
- Bruhn Collection: 985 items from a father and son woodturning shop operated in Carlton and later South Melbourne, 1920s-1980s.
- Grenoble Gloves Collection: 454 items from a Melbourne glove factory started in 1944.
- McInnes Delicatessen and Butcher's Shop: 106 items from the East Malvern shop, which operated from 1933 to the 1970s.
- Newmarket Saleyards Collection: 27 items from former livestock saleyards.
- Pigment Manufacturers of Australia (PMA): 135 items from a major paint manufacturing plant at Laverton, 1960s-1990s.
- Sam Brown Bootmaker's Collection: 297 items from a former bootmaker's shop in Albert Park, c. 1930s-1980s.
- Simpson's Gloves Collection: 1491 items from the former Simpson's Glove Factory which operated in Victoria Street, Richmond, from 1924 until 1988.
- Victorian Institute for the Blind Collection: 107 items from former RVIB workshops.
- Artworks, including Ambrose Dyson, David Armfield and Aileen Brown, 1950s-1980s.
- 'Stick Together' radio program oral history collection, 1970s-1980s.
- Contemporary occupational health and safety material, 1990s.
- Stonemason's tools and early bootmaking machinery.
See The Working Life Collection, and an essay on this collection from A Museum for the People: A history of Museum Victoria and its predecessor institutions 1854-2000.
Items per page: 10 50 (showing 51 - 60) 2830 items
Leather hole punch manufactured by Maun Industries, England circa 1980s. It was used to punch holes in the back of the palms in order to lace them up.Images: 1
Binding Table manufactured by Melbourne Engineering Company in 1987. It was used at the Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind, circa 1987-1992. This table was used by workers with imp ...Images: 1
Placard made by State Library of Victoria employees and used by them in a demonstration of 1500 state public sector employees on 9 August 1990. The protest was against proposed cuts in ...Images: 1
Sticker titled 'State Enrolled Nurses, The Vital link In The Nursing Team', issued by the Hospital Employees Federation, circa 1980s.Images: 1
No Image Available
Wooden tongueing plane. Forms part of a pair of planes with ST 030272, designed for hand-cutting and finishing matching tongue & groove joints along the edge of wooden planks, such as f ...Images: 0
Reproduction made in 2006 of the Eight Hour Day banner first carried by unionists in a march on 12 May 1856 from Carlton Gardens to Cremorne Gardens in Richmond, where a fete was held t ...Images: 1
Metal can believed to contain biscuits, raisins, etc. Painted army green. Dated circa 1914-1918, the can is likely to relate to the provision of preserved food in World War I.Images: 1
Steel wedge 200mm x 61mm, fluted on both faces. Used for splitting timber.Images: 2
Felling axe of American wedge type. With 685mm long 'fawn foot' handle.Images: 2
One man champion tooth cross cut saw. Has turned handle fixed to toe to enable saw to be worked by two men. Made by Sanderson bros. & Newbould Ltd., Sheffield, England.Images: 2