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Australian Federated Union of Locomotive Enginemen, Victorian Division


Australian Federated Union of Locomotive Enginemen, Victorian Division

Object information

Physical description

Unissued, colour lithograph, trade union certificate. "AUSTRALIAN FEDERATED / UNION OF / LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEMEN / VICTORIAN DIVISION / BRANCH" is in a wide yellow scroll at the top, and there are railway semaphore signals in the top corners. "PRESENTED TO /... / who has filled the position of /... / to the above branch" is in the centre within an oval wreath flanked by two enginemen in blue working clothes. They both have a steam locomotive departing behind them. The men are supported on an inverted triangular platform that has a circular medallion at the bottom, which contains the front view of a steam locomotive bearing the registration number "C.1" [in 1918 when it first entered service, C-1 was the most powerful heavy goods locomotive in Australia], framed by wattle blossom. To the proper right of C.1 is a tableau of an approaching steam train bearing the registration number "A 800" passing through rural countryside, and on the other is a similar scene with an electric train bearing the registration number "7". The drawing is signed "Will Cooper"[?] below the electric train in the bottom proper left corner. "c.1935?" is written in pencil on the back.

Statement of significance

The Andrew Reeves collection consists of twenty-three trade union certificates used in Australia from 1860-1970. They are generally in good condition considering their age, use and material (paper based). They cover a range of Australian worker's unions, including a number which either were amalgamated into larger unions or ceased to exist.

The period between the 1850s and the 1970s spans a key time in the development, working condition gains and various ebbs and flow of Australian trade unions. Certificates in this collection document achievements including the eight hour work day but also allow reflection on the dwindling support for unions during the 20th century. In addition, as the designs of Australian certificates follow the centuries old British tradition of union emblems they provide examples of links between worker's organisations in Australia and England.

Object information

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