Geelong Gaol

Teddy Bear

The Geelong Gaol was proclaimed as a Training Prison from the 1950s and in this role was used to educate prisoners in various trades including printing, sign writing, painting, tailoring, brick laying and toy making. The Stuffed Koala toy was made by a prisoner and given as a gift to Calypso Rockers who performed for the inmates in 1957.

Registration:
GGC 55
Date:
1957
Dimensions:
320 h x 250 w x 200 d
National Wool Museum

Wagga Lily Rolled Flour Bag

This ten-kilogram flour bag came from the Murrumbidgee Milling Company Limited, Wagga Wagga, NSW. The name ‘wagga quilt’ takes its name from the flour mills that operated in and around the NSW town. As you will see throughout the exhibition, bags like this one were used as the interior layer of early wagga quilts.

Registration:
NWM - 5991
Date:
c1930
Dimensions:
333 x 446
National Wool Museum

Lizzie Morton’s Suit Fabric Wagga

This distinctive wagga was made by Mrs Lizzie Morton on her farm ‘Wanera’ at Benjeroop on the Murray River. It was stitched with a treadle machine. Her sister Flora MacDonald did the running stitch and provided the silk backing. The squares were sent as samples from a firm called ‘Fred Hesse’ who advertised in the Melbourne papers: “Be smart and dressy in a suit by Fred Hesse”. The buyer chose a sample and then sent it back with measurements and received a ‘mail order’ suit. In this case, the samples were used to make this unique quilt that has survived from the 1930s.

Registration:
NWM - 6598
Date:
1930
Dimensions:
1030x1030
National Wool Museum

Fulling Machine

There is an extensive list of finishing processes in wool production for both worsted and woollen fabrics. Fulling is the immersion and pounding of fabric to make the fibres interlock. Crabbing permanently sets this interlock. Decanting shrink-proofs the fabric. Dyeing changes the fabrics colour. This large Fulling Machine is a distinctive item related to this phase of cloth production. Made by J. Dyson and Sons in Geelong, this Fulling Machine completes all the above steps, except dyeing, with a combination of hot water, soap and friction. Before the invention of such a machine, all these processes had to be completed individually.

Registration:
NWM-1273
Date:
c1950
Dimensions:
2600 x 1300 x 2200
National Wool Museum

CSIRO Prototype Self-Twist Spinner

Spinning fibres was one of the first processes to be mechanised in the Industrial Revolution. It took many hours of hand spinning to supply the thread needed for the most basic treadle loom. The Hargreave’s cotton-spinning jenny, Crompton’s spinning mule and Arkwright’s water frame in the 1770s are early examples of man moving from hand to machine. Spinning machines have undergone considerable technical evolution. The CSIRO was a leader in this field in the twentieth century. In 1962 it improved on the traditional Spinning Jenny and, in conjunction with the Australian company Repco, produced the Repco Self-twist Spinner. This machine was 15 times faster at spinning fibres. Ten self-twist spinners were installed at Macquarie Worsteds in Albury in 1971. The machines, operated in a small air-conditioned room by one operator, had an output of 1,200 conventional spindles worked by three operators. The prototype of this machine is held within the National Wool Museum’s Collection.

Registration:
NWM-7352
Date:
1962
Dimensions:
1700 x 700 x 1800
Council Art & Artefact

Thomas Wright Clock

The Goldrush of the 1850’s attracted thousands of immigrants from Asia and Europe who came to “try their luck” and find personal fortunes. Amongst their numbers arrived several British and German silversmiths, clockmakers and watchmakers who brought with them a long tradition of metalcraft. Geelong attracted many of these craftsmen setting up trade in the centre of the township. Thomas Wright was one of leading watchmakers in Geelong who oversaw the Town Clock. Unfortunately, very few examples of his work have survived.

Registration:
CAC - 291
Date:
c1860
National Wool Museum

Harry Walter Wilton’s Quilt

This quilt was made by Harry Walter Hewitt Wilton (1872-1950). Harry joined the Essex Regiment and served in the British Military in India and also served in the Second Boer War. He married the seamstress Mary Elizabeth in India in 1895. Harry was injured during battle and made this quilt as part of his rehabilitation. The quilt was made using woollen army singlets. Harry and Mary moved to a farm near Orbost, Victoria, in 1914. The quilt remained in the family until 2019.

Registration:
NWM-7826
Date:
c1899
Dimensions:
2100x1720
Public Art, Monuments & Memorials

Belcher Fountain

The Belcher Fountain was created by the Britannia Ironworks in Derby, England and presented to the town of Geelong by Mayor GF Belcher at the end of his term in 1874. This drinking fountain is a testament to the Temperance Movement that advocated the restriction of alcoholic drinks. The fountain is one of the oldest heritage objects in Geelong’s Outdoor Collection.

Registration:
GOC 2
Date:
1978
National Wool Museum

Green Wheat Bag Wagga and Wheat Bag Wagga, 1945

These waggas were made and owned by Percy Perkins. He was a keen fisherman and hunter his first love was sitting on the banks of the Murray River with a fishing rod in his hand. Family camping trips were spent by the river where everyone slept on stretchers with several army blankets underneath and a wheat bag wagga on top. Perkins joined the police force in his early twenties and apart from an eighteen-month posting in Melbourne, spent the rest of his career serving communities in country Victoria. A good wagga accompanied Percy on all his fishing and hunting journeys. The green colour of the wagga is from ‘Dekkol’, a preservative which Perkins used to protect his cotton fishing nets from rotting. The second wagga is made from two standard sized jute wheat bags split and hand bound along the seams. It is typical of a basic wagga made by shearers, farmers and swagmen. The paint stains on this wagga display signs of later use as a painting drop sheet by descendants who inherited the quilt.

Registration:
NWM -1680 and NWM -1662
Date:
1945
Dimensions:
1130 x 1910 and 1870 x 1130
National Wool Museum

AWU Shearers Ticket

The 1891 Shearers’ Strike was one of the most significant events in the development of the Australian Labor Movement. Barcaldine in Central Queensland was the location for much of this conflict. Graziers were attempting to negotiate agreements on individual stations that went against union rules including a reduction in shearers’ wages. Queensland pastoralists engaged Victorian “free labourers” or “scabs” to keep their sheds running while local shearers were on strike. The conflict required armed police to guard Victorian shearers as riots toke place and woolsheds burnt down. With both sides bearing arms, there were thoughts of a possible “Australian Revolution”. The conflict ended in June 1891 with rebel shearers regaining work, however, several of the strike’s leaders were sentenced to prison

Registration:
NWM - 2820
Date:
1901
Dimensions:
128 x 78 x 1
Council Art & Artefact

Parking Signs

These parking street signs from the 1960s are very diffrent to their modern-day counterparts. They spell out their entire messages whereas modern equivalents use only a few letters and numbers to display the same message. Made from yellow and black painted steel, these signs are heavy but easy to read.

Date:
c1960
Dimensions:
1200 H x 450 W x 450 D mm
Geelong Maritime Museum

Navy Shield

Discovered in an antique shop in 1990, this was believed initially to be the 1943 shield of the Navy Patrol Vessel ML 817 but later found to be from the 817 Squadron of the Navy’s Air Arm. Originally a Royal Navy Squadron, the fixed armed aircraft team was transferred to the Royal Australian Navy. Their aircraft operated off HMAS Sydney and HMAS Melbourne, which were aircraft carriers in the late stages of World War Two. Their motto AUDE FACRE means “DARE TO ACT”.

Registration:
c1947
Dimensions:
200 H x 150 W mm
National Wool Museum

Red Cross Crazy Quilt

This is a classic crazy quilt. Although not technically a wagga, crazy quilts took many of the ‘make do’ techniques of wagga quilt making. This quilt was made in Highton, Geelong. It is a double bed sized quilt in the classic ‘crazy’ style with extensive use of herringbone and feather stitching. The pieced style of the quilt, made from squares of patchwork, is similar to the style of quilts made by members of the Country Women’s Association (CWA). The women sometimes made a quilt as a group activity and this one was possibly a 1930s group creation.

Registration:
NWM - 3157
Date:
1930
Dimensions:
1500 x 2500
National Wool Museum

Mr Stephens' Wagga

This wagga is made from men’s suits and coats, unpicked and sewn together. It was made by the great uncle of George Stephens. Mr Stephens was a mining engineer from 1885 to 1915 in Stawell, Main Lead (near Beaufort), Diamond Creek and Costerfield in Victoria. His last residence was at Bosterfield, where the Wagga was used as a bed quilt until the 1940s. Not just a maker of wagga quilts and an engineer, Mr Stephens was also a hero – in 1910 he saved the life of a blacksmith at Diamond Creek Gold Mine.

Registration:
NWM - 7350
Date:
C1890
Dimensions:
1500 x 1100
National Wool Museum

Noble Comb by Prince Smith & Sons

A nobel comb separates short fibres (known as noils) while also blending long fibres (known as tops) together. The long fibres are used for worsted materials while the short fibres are used for woollen fabrics. Woollen materials are soft, bulky and fuzzy, such as a picnic blanket; whereas worsted materials are fine, smooth and crisp, such as a suit jacket. The Valley Worsted Mills in Geelong, now the Little Creatures Brewery, ran twelve noble combs up until 1981.

Registration:
NWM-1226
Dimensions:
2400h
National Wool Museum

Ferrier Wool Press

Invented by Joseph Ferrier in 1866, the patent was purchased by Humble & Sons who manufactured and distributed them from their Geelong foundry. The Ferrier Wool Press was used throughout Australia, New Zealand and Africa. Sent out as a flatpack, the press was put together on the farm. This press was made by Humble & Nicholson in Geelong in 1890 and sold to Shanahan Brothers in Birregurra. A key feature of any woolshed, this wool press needed three people to tip over the wool filled top box before it was pressed into the lower box using the lever. It is an early example of Geelong’s long history of design, invention and manufacturing.

Registration:
NWM-2951
Council Art & Artefact

Cleaning Cart

This street sweeping cart was used on Pakington Street before the amalgamations of six local councils to form the City of Greater Geelong. The cart is from around 1960 when the City of Geelong West had approximately 17,500 people within its borough. The cart was wheeled up and down the popular street; cleaning litter and providing a clean and pleasant street for locals and shop owners alike.

Date:
c1960
National Wool Museum

WARM

WARM was a community project about why the earth is warming and what people can do about it. It was led by the artist collective called SEAM – Sustainable Environment Arts Movement. It comprises two large-scale artworks created by Lars Stenberg. First, a landscape scarred by coal mining. Second, the same landscape many decades later, regenerated and renewed after the closure of the coal mine. In 2016, 250 knitters from across Australia created more than 1,000 knitted pieces. During several days of installation, these knitted pieces were assembled to create the image of the renewed landscape. WARM was a sustainable project. All knitted elements were from left over, reused or organic wool. Any unavoidable emissions created as a result of delivering the project were offset by trees planted by Fifteen Trees. WARM has recently found a permanent home in the National Wool Museum’s Collection. Paintings by Lars Stenberg
Knitted pieces designed by Georgie Nicholson
Graphic design by Mel Stanger

Registration:
NWM - 8153
Date:
2016
National Wool Museum

Olympic Uniform Collection

Wool holds a predominant role in our Olympic uniform history. Finest quality Australian wool has frequently been used to outfit our Olympic team. The 1992 Summer Olympics were held in Barcelona. Australia sent 279 competitors kitted out in uniforms designed by Wendy Powitt, who won the AWC’s Olympic Uniform Design Competition in 1990. Her designs highlighted the classic Australian colours of the bush with soft olive greens and creams and a bold floral design that reflected the styles of artists from the Australian Arts and Crafts Movement (1890-1914).

Outdoor Collection

Concrete Trough for Animals

George and Annis Bills were philanthropists with a love of animals. They established a trust for the protection and alleviation of suffering to animals which furnished over 500 public horse troughs between 1924 and 1945 — three which remain within the Greater Geelong area.

Most troughs were installed in Australia; over 300 remain. Troughs were also installed in England, Ireland, North America, South Africa, Japan and Switzerland. Each trough cost £13 (just over $1000 today) to fabricate and install in the 1930s. From the 1880s to 1900s, George and his brother Henry ran successful businesses importing and selling birds, and manufacturing mattresses and sofas. George and Annis were keen supporters of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; George later becoming a Life Governor of the RSPCA. Annis and George built the first troughs in 1908.  Annis died soon after, and George set up a trust to: construct and erect and pay for horse troughs wherever they may be . . . desirable for the relief of horses and other dumb animals either in Australasia, in the British Islands or in any other part of the world’.

To honour his wife and country, each trough was to be labelled ‘Annis and George Bills Australia’.  Following George’s death in 1927, the trust was administered by his sister Daisy Cook. Initially the troughs were individually designed and constructed.  Then in the early 1930s Jack Phillips, a relative of the Bills, produced 250 precast concrete troughs to a standard design at his Hawthorn factory. Rocla pipes took over production in the late 1930s, which discontinued around 1945. The Bills’ Trust shifted its focus, helping to finance the RSPCA Tally Ho Animal Rest Home and the George Bills RSPCA Rescue Centre during the 1960s.

Registration:
GOC 15
Date:
Around 1925
Location:
Mcclelland Ave, Lara
National Wool Museum

Tailor’s Wagga

The maker of this wagga is unknown. However, since the creator has used larger than usual pieces of suiting material, they may have worked as or knew of a tailor for their fabrics. 

Registration:
NWM - 1646
Date:
c1950
Dimensions:
1800x1100
National Wool Museum

Domestic Wagga

Little is known about the provenance of this wagga, but the vibrant colours, odd shapes and extraordinary composition conjure stories of its maker and its use.

Registration:
NWM - 6595
Date:
c1950
Dimensions:
900 x 1540
National Wool Museum

Child’s Cot Cover Insert

This wagga was made by Jean Hepner’s grandmother from used woollen garments during the Great Depression. The garments were hand stitched on to an old woollen blanket. The quilt was used by at least five of the seven children in the family. It had assorted covers that were replaced when needed. In later years, it was also used by Hepner’s grandchildren.

Registration:
NWM - 101
Date:
1929
Dimensions:
790 x 1050
National Wool Museum

Jute Wheat Bag Wagga

The simplest form of wagga quilt is the jute wheat bag wagga. This wagga was made of several two-bushel bags hand bound together. Two rows of red jute and one of orange run the length of each side. Two holes have been mended with white string. Green, purple and black markings have been stamped into the bag. Although the maker is unknown, the size shows that this quilt was created for a child to sleep inside.

Registration:
NWM - 1672
Date:
c1900
Dimensions:
620 x 1020