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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3501)

    Vertically-aligned rectangular brown medal presentation case with gold border around the edge of the lid
    Essay by Jim Maple-Brown titled Transport by the Camel in Australia
    Brass 360 degree protractor
    Hope Faithfull seated in the studio with her husband

    The Springfield Collection comprises about 1550 artefacts from Springfield station, south of Goulburn. It includes colonial era costume, a bushranger medal, surveying instruments, a late-19th century landau, firearms and edged weapons, wool samples and Joseph Foveaux's pocket watch and bible. The objects are complemented by over 400 photographs. This diverse collection reflects the growth and economic success of the property, responses to changes in the wool market and the daily lives of the people who have lived on Springfield.

    Springfield has grown from a 518-hectare land grant given to William Pitt Faithfull in 1828 to the current 3183 hectares with ownership remaining in the one family. William Pitt Faithfull established the Springfield Merino Stud in 1838 with ten rams selected from the Macarthur Camden Park stud. The stud evolved slowly over the years until the early 1950s when, under the management of Jim Maple-Brown, a scientific approach to wool-growing was adopted and the stud's name was changed to Fonthill to reflect this.

  • Donald Maclurcan collection no. 2(1)

    Pair of wooden skis made from hand-cut mountain ash, with leather bindings

    This collection comprises a pair of wooden "butter-pat" snow skis with leather bindings which were handmade in Kiandra, New South Wales circa 1860-1869. The skis were acquired from Old Adaminaby, New South Wales, circa 1956, and donated to the Museum by Sydney architect, member of the Kosciuszko Alpine Club and team manager for the 1960 Australian Winter Olympics skiing team, Donald Maclurcan OBE.

    Following the discovery of gold at Kiandra in the Australian Alps in 1859, many goldminers converged on the area. By the end of December 1860, most had left to seek their fortunes in other goldfields in New South Wales and Victoria. Among those who remained were three Norwegians and a young Chinese man, Chun Yen, whose lives are intertwined with the history of these skis. Originally called 'snow shoes', skis have been in use for thousands of years in arctic countries, primarily as a mode of personal transport and for hunting. In Kiandra in 1860-1861,former ship's carpenter, Elias Gottaas and fellow Norwegians, Soren Torp and Carl Bjerknes began manufacturing Norwegian-style 'snow shoes' from mountain ash timber growing on the lower mountain slopes. In 1861, the three Norweigans founded the Kiandra Snow Shoe Club, later the Kiandra Ski Club and now, the Kiandra Pioneer Ski Club. The Kiandra Snow Shoe Club has been officially recognized by the International Skiing Federation as the first identifiable, and longest surviving, ski club in the world. The term 'snow-shoes' continued in use until the beginning of the 1900s, when skis (from schees) became the popularly used colloquialism. Originally known as 'Kiandra Kick-ins', later versions were called 'Butter-pats', referring to the pattern of grooves on the underside which was similar to that made by a butter-pat tool. The Kiandra Butter-pat was the original ski made specifically for alpine downhill racing, and used during the world's first documented International Snow Shoe Carnival in Australia in 1908. While acting as advisor on architectural aesthetics to the Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Authority in 1956-57, Donald Maclurcan found this pair of skis in a shed belonging to Geoffrey Yen in Old Adaminaby, prior to its being flooded as part of the Snowy River Scheme. Mr Yen's grandfather, Chun (Charles)Yen had migrated to Australia from China around 1850 with his friend Boo Shang (John Boonshang). The two first settled in Tumut for some years before moving to Kiandra in the gold rush of 1859. It is not known whether the skis belonged to Chun Yen and were passed down through the Yen family to his grandson Geoffrey. However, according to historical records, the Kiandra Snow Shoe Club held its first special day's racing for Chinese members in the 1860s. Many Chinese participated in skiing, and, from the late 1880s and for the following twenty years, the ladiesÃ?Â? downhill events were principally dominated by Barbara, Margaret and Mary Yan, the daughters of another Chinese gold miner, Tom Ah Yan. The Cooma Express, 9 August 1895, described a "Miss M Yan" as "a perfect artist on the shoes". The same year saw Ah Foo win the Chinese race, with Ah Fun coming second, and Ah Wung and Ah Yen tying for third place.

  • Jack Gallaway collection(5)

    Glass lens and brass lens cover for a telescope used by Rear Admiral John Gore
    Brass telescope eyepiece used by Captain John Gore
    Achromatic, brass telescope eyepiece used by Captain John Gore
    Lookstick used by Rear Admiral John Gore

    The Jack Gallaway collection consists of two items; a Dollond Day or Night telescope and a Gilbert and Co look stick. The Dollond telescope belonged to Captain John Gore (1729/30 - 1790) the 3rd (later promoted to 2nd) Lieutenant of the HMB Endeavour under command of Captain James Cook. The Gilbert and Co look stick is associated with Captain Gore's son, Rear Admiral John Gore, who immigrated to Australia in the 1830s.

    Captain Gore was involved in many significant maritime explorations throughout the 18th Century. His extensive experience enriched the exploration work of Captain James Cook and the later exploratory work of Sir Joseph Banks. The Jack Gallaway collection's significance is further enhanced by providing an opportunity to research the lineage of an Endeavour crew member in Australia.

  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7551)

    Kogarah Public School
    School of Mines, Adelaide
    Botanical Gardens, Albury, NSW
    Cascades, Katoomba NSW
  • Guiseppe Picone collection(28)

    Handmade awl
    Carpenter's folding rule
    Handmade wood drill consisting of spindle and revolving wing held in position along the dowel handle by a length of cord
    Wooden mallet
  • School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine collection(121)

    Watson 514402 monocular microscope and box
    Oertling 62FM beam balance
    Leitz Wetzlar dissecting light monocular microscope
    Kata-thermometer made by Hicks, England, with muslin finger cover, in cardboard case
  • Australia Post Historical collection(120)

    Rectangular enamelled metal sign
    Poster titled 'Telephone services link together the people of all nations'
    Poster titled 'Post Office communication services are vital to the development of Australian industries'
    Poster titled 'The Australian Post Office still pioneers new and dependable methods of communication'

    This collection consists of 87 items from the New South Wales historical section of Australia Post. The items range from furnishings that were used for the opening of the Sydney GPO in 1874 to telephones, signs, posters, and postal boxes. The material covers a period of over one hundred years of postal service in Australia.

  • J Davidson collection no. 3(319)

    Painting depicts black turtles
    Painting depicts 11 human figures and 2 wallabies
    Painting depicting a crocodile, by David Milaybuma
    Bark painting 'Napililingu',  Narritjin,1968