Wednesday, 6 April 2016

T150 - Townsville Past & Present 2: Townsville at Work

Staff of the Bluebird Cafe, Townsville c.1925-27, Townsville Albums, North Queensland Photographic Collection, NQID 4956
Continuing our series on the changing T150 displays in the Eddie Koiki Mabo Library, currently we are showcasing rare and fragile materials drawn from across the many special collections which relate the our second theme "Townsville at Work".
Visit level 1 of the Eddie Koiki Mabo Library on the Townsville Campus to see what is on display from the Special Collections to celebrate 150 years of Townsville.
Townsville has always been a “working town” and as such it has historically played a central role in opening up Australia’s northern frontier.  The City was founded in 1864 as a port for the fledgling pastoral industry.  The discovery of gold in the hinterland at Cape River in 1867, Ravenswood in 1868 and Charters Towers in 1871, provided a catalyst for economic development and the settlement of Townsville as permanent town.
Staff of the Dave Edwards Engineering Works on Ogden St, c.1939, Townsville Albums, North Queensland Photographic Collection, NQID 4946
Today Townsville continues to be a transport hub for the products of the mining, sugar and cattle industries.  Contemporary Townsville is home to a number of major employers including JCU, State & Federal Government and the Australian Defence Force.

Our displays feature a 120 year old photo album containing photographs of buildings and workers at the Ross River Meatworks when it was expanded in 1895.  It is part of the North Queensland Photographic Collection and is a companion to the Queensland Meat Export Company Archive held in the Library Archives collection.
The Q.M.E. & A. Co Ltd "Townsville Works" Photo Album from the Special Collections of  JCU Library.
This historic album was compiled by Sydney-based company J. Wildridge & Sinclair Ltd, who
undertook extensions at the meatworks which involved new freezer rooms, engine & boiler houses
and a freshwater reservoir and pumping station. Bound in Townsville by Wilmetts Printers, the album
remained in the possession of the company until 1960, when they sent it to W. Angliss & Co. in
Sydney, who in turn sent it to the Townsville office.  Subsequently it was donated to JCU.
Special Collections Officer, Jacqui Stockdale holds the Album open at the photograph of the Linde Machine employed at the Ross River Meatworks in 1895.
Fascinating fact:  Did you know that the first shipment of 600 tons of frozen beef left Townsville Harbour bound for London in 1892.

Learn more about the history of the Ross River Meatworks by reading Dawn May's book titled "Arctic regions in a torrid zone" published by  James Cook University in 1990 and preserved in the North Queensland Collection.  Plan a visit to the Eddie Koiki Mabo Library by checking the opening hours and  come see this round of displays before they finish on Monday the 18th of April.


Ken Brown said...

This is so good. Love to see more. Very Professionally done. Congratulations.

john said...

Thank you