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National Museum of Australia

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Collection Explorer


Packaging box for the 'Premier' brand miner's acetylene lamp.


Packaging box for the 'Premier' brand miner's acetylene lamp.

Object information

Physical description

Brown cardboard box packaging for the 'Premier' brand miner's acetylene lamp. There are instructions on the back of the box about how to use the lamp. "JOHN W. WANLESS / LAUNCESTON / TASMANIA / AUSTRALIA" is written on the side of the box. Made in England. The flaps forming the lid of the box are torn and the box is a little misshapen.

Statement of significance

The John Wanless collection consists of a caving helmet, an acetylene lamp with box, carbide pellets with storage tin, and two Rover Scout badges. The caving equipment was used during the 1955-62 period.

Cave exploration has been an important scientific and recreational pursuit for over a century and a half. All states and territories have cave systems, many of which are highly significant for their natural and cultural heritage values, and for tourism value as well. John Wanless participated in the growth of recreational speleology in the 1950s and in 1957, at Tasmania's Growling Swallet Cave, he was a member of an expedition which set a new Australian depth record. The record remained for almost a decade. The collection was largely used in Tasmania which is the location of Australia's twenty or so deepest caves. The collection illustrates important types of caving equipment of the period and underlines the exploratory nature of this pursuit and the otherworldliness of speleology. The Rover Scout badges reflect the extent of Mr Wanless's caving activities and aspects of the Scouting movement.

Object information

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