This wagga was made during World War Two from disused patterned rayon patches. The wagga is filled with jute bags. The maker of the quilt is unknown. The quilt shows the persistence of wagga quilt making right through to the 1940s.
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.
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.
The SS Edina was one of the longest running steam vessels anywhere in the world. Built in 1853, it was used in the Mediterranean during the Crimean War, carried cotton for the Confederate states during the American Civil War and ended its days on Port Phillip Bay, over a century later, making the trip between Geelong and Melbourne. It was only recently relocated during the work for the Our Heritage, Our Collection project.
Stanley Couzens, a Gunditjmara man and long-time Geelong resident, painted this story upon commission from the Geelong Wool Combing Company. It depicts hunting in the You Yangs, the distinctive granite peaks that overlook the region. In 1993, Couzens’ painting was translated into a pattern by textile designer Jenny McMahon. It was then turned into a jumper using wool sourced entirely from the region. It was fully processed, from fleece to fabric, in Geelong. The jumper was given to attendees at the opening of the Geelong Wool Combing company on 10 December 1993. Among the many guests, was the Prime Minister Paul Keating.
The statue of Prince Albert Edward was commissioned by Sir William John Clark and carved by Charles Summers, founding member of the Victorian Society of Fine Arts to commemorate the death of King Edward VII in 1910. The statue was originally housed in the Melbourne Public Library before being presented to the people of Geelong by the National Gallery of Victoria in 1939. In 2013 the statue was restored, a new head, arm and toe were carved from matching white Carrara Italian marble.
This tattoo gun made from a plastic tooth brush, pen, tape and small battery motor. The gun was used to make tattoos on inmates within the Geelong Gaol. It was seized from an inmate in the late 1980s. At the time it was the oldest inhabited prison in Victoria. The Gaol was designed by Henry Ginn, the first colonial architect of Victoria. It was constructed between 1849 and 1864 using convict labour. The Gaol closed in July 1991.
The Axminster Carpet Loom was originally built by Brintons in England in 1910 and was later used in their Geelong factory. The loom was in operation until the 1960s and then became a central feature of the National Wool Museum. The loom is known as an Axminster gripper loom. The gripper system was invented by Brintons in 1890 and operates using a gripper shaped like a bird’s beak. This loom also uses a jacquard system for weaving colours. In jacquard weaving, punched cards are used to instruct the loom which colour to use. The system was invented by Joseph Jacquard, a silk weaver from Lyon, and was introduced in 1804. It revolutionised pattern weaving as it had the capacity to create intricate patterns. Charles Babbage was later to adapt Jacquards punch-card system to produce a calculator that was the forerunner of computer programming.
This Navy Postcard was the property of Charles Tug Wilson. These postcards were distributed to time poor sailors in order to pass on a message to a loved one without having to take too much time to think of a message. It shows the ways in which defence force staff interacted with the home-front. Did receiving such a postcard carry the same affection as a hand-written postcard?
Tricorn ornately styled and finished in black velvet with woven details and ostrich feathers. Formal clothing was regular practice by mayor and councillors for many events throughout the municipality. Such formalities continued for over a century.
The unknown mariner was commissioned by the City of Greater Geelong in 2015. The enormous artwork by Cam Scale was a made as a tribute to the maritime history of Geelong. The life of a Mariner is not always easy. This mural captures the life and tales of an old man of the sea, a face that has been weathered by time and the elements.
Cloth sample from an opera cloak made in England c1820. Wool for the cloak was clipped from John Macarthur’s merino sheep in 1816. Macarthur is recognised as a pioneer of the wool industry that was to boom in Australia in the early nineteenth century. The British woollen mills were desperate for wool at the time because of the Napoleonic blockade, and the Australian bale sold for a record price. Australia needed a product to sell in European markets which did not perish during long sea-voyages and which offered high value per unit of weight.
This paper certificate details the service record from Charles “Tug” Wilson who was training in the Australian Royal Navy during World War 1. It states the vessels he served on and for what period of time. Ships included are the HMS Vivid, HMS Europa, HMAS Platypus, HMS Apollo and HMAS Powerful. Wilson switched between both Australian and British ships during his time of service.
Drug paraphernalia constructed using a red plastic condiment dispenser, a permanent marker tube and packing tape. This was used to inhale illicit drugs smuggled into the Geelong Gaol by prisoners and others. Seized from an inmate the late 1980s from the Geelong Gaol. (At the time it was the oldest inhabited prison within Victoria. It forms part of a unique collection of contraband items.)
The monument was erected by public subscription in 1902 as a historical mark of the Boer War and the Proclamation of Peace on the 2nd of June 1902. The obelisk also commemorates the four Geelong men who lost their lives in the Boer War; Trooper Walter E. Clark, Corporal Eric A. Wilson, Alston T. Dickinson and Francis James.
Beautifully ornamented and engraved Scottish military dirk dating from the 1790s, presented to Comunn Na Feinne Society Geelong in the 1850s and passed on to Newtown Council during their reinvigoration of the Highland Gathering.
Ornate timber ceremonial chair featuring a carving of the Geelong coat of arms c1860. Until recently the chair was in the foyer of City Hall, it is now held in safe keeping at the Geelong Heritage Centre.
Fundraising badge produced for the Geelong Peace Celebrations in 1919. Many badges were produced at this time for popular causes. Such badges were sold in trams, buses, funds. Funds raised were given to those affected by the War in the Geelong and District region.
These six medals are part of the Charles “Tug” Wilson collection. From left to right the medals read; MBE, 1914-5 Star, British War Medal WWI, Victory Medal WWI, War Medal 1939-45, and Australian Service Medal 1939-45. The medals were awarded to Wilson in recognition of extensive service to the Royal Australian Navy, achieving the final rank of Lieutenant Commander while serving the nation across multiple decades and conflicts.
This story details the life of Uncle David Tournier and growing up on the edges of Geelong in the 1960s. A Wadawurrung elder, Tournier made a significant contribution to the Geelong community. Film by Malcolm McKinnon.
In 1913 the Royal Australian Navy inherited the practice of wearing swords for formal dress from the Royal Navy.This sword belonged to Lieutenant Commander Charles “Tug” Wilson. Wilson began with the Royal Navy in World War I and served right through to the Korean War. The sword was well maintained and cared for while it was in service. In recent times, the brass on the hilt is showing signs of oxidisation. This is due to chemical reactions from polishing products historically used on this item during its military service.
This album was compiled from 1872 to 1896 by John Raddenberry, the second curator of the Geelong Botanic Gardens. This 235-page volume contains an impressive collection of pressed fern (botanical) specimens from across the world. Raddenberry was heavily involved in the emerging horticulture scene in Victoria and the book is symbolic of this new pastime and the fern craze that gripped the State. Photos courtesy of Geelong Heritage Centre.
The cranes were originally purchased for WR Wilson’s St Albans’ Park homestead in around 1873 for £400. Mr Wilson was a race horse breeder and trainer with an appreciation for Asian cultures. The cranes were then purchased by City of Greater Geelong in 1929 and placed in the newly developed water fountain under the Eastern Beach Improvement scheme. The cranes were consistently vandalised therefore they were moved to the Geelong Botanical Gardens in the 1970’s and were replaced by replicas.