Carving for the Screw

In the 1890s, a Chinese prisoner in Bathurst Gaol was entrusted with a carving tool and used it to create something of beauty. Applying either traditional ivory-carving skills or training received during incarceration, he created twelve delicate trinkets made of bone. Seemingly taking inspiration from Western symbols rather than Chinese motifs, some examples depict a […]

Read More…

Industry Connections

Rectangular tray of rusty, assorted drill bits.

At this point, the history of Newcastle, located on Awabakal and Worimi country, is enmeshed with coal mining – but this was not always the case. Though these twentieth-century drills bits may have seen use in one of the many coal mines in the region, they are actually typical of those used for woodworking or […]

Read More…

First Light

aged hardcover book with 'LETTER BOOK' on the spine

Tamworth was the first town and municipality in Australia, and the Southern Hemisphere, to install electric streetlights. The Veness Letter Book, pictured here, documents the unfolding story of this celebrated occasion. Installed in 1888, the electric streetlights replaced poor performing gas and kerosene lamps, which dimly lit the centre of town. The installation of electric […]

Read More…