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National Museum of Australia

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Digging tool known as a 'Pelican', used in the construction of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme

2007.0017.0001

On display

Digging tool known as a 'Pelican', used in the construction of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme

Object information

Physical description

A combined pick and shovel, timber-handled, implement known as a 'Pelican'. It has a rounded metal head, which is chipped at the front and dented at the rear. The handle is well worn.

Statement of significance

The Snowy Scheme - Bill Fegan Collection consists of several objects relating to Bill's work in 1967 on the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Scheme. They are a 'pelican' (combined pick and shovel), three photographs and a pair of weatherproof work over-trousers.

The Snowy Scheme is Australia's largest engineering work and one of the great engineering feats of the world. Designed to produce irrigation water and electricity, the Scheme took 25 years to construct, 1949-74. Including 7 power stations, 16 dams and 225 kilometres of aqueducts and tunnels, the Scheme was built by a workforce of 100,000 people, two-thirds of whom came from overseas. The scheme played a major part in making Australia multi-cultural, and also in developing Australia's manufacturing, technical and engineering capacities. This collection, consisting of a work tool unique to the Snowy, work trousers illustrating the wet and difficult conditions of tunnelling, and photographs mainly of Bill at work and at leisure, reflects a range of aspects of the experience of working men on the project.

Physical description

On display at the National Museum of Australia.

Object information

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