Nuts & Bolts

Ongoing Exhibition: Rotary Room

Features everyday tools and technologies dating from around the mid 1800s to 1960. The objects are drawn from a period of great technological advancement, when society and households were transformed.

Some are clearly recognisable today though perhaps in different forms – telephones, typewriters. Others – like milk churns and old lamps – are curiosities, perhaps they bring back memories of childhood, of grandparents.

Displays include industrial equipment – granite quarrying, farming, mining, and shipping. There is an interesting selection of household items – early sewing machines, radios, lamps, cordial and other bottles and writing sets.

And not to forget a fascinating display of early telegraph and surveying equipment.

These exhibits offer the chance to discover – or re-discover – how life was lived a century ago, where people worked and the tools and technology they used.

The Making of a Shed

By the mid 1980s, the Museum had a substantial collection of farming and mining implements. Rob Unwin, a member of the Historical Society and Rotary President for the year 1986/87 suggested that Rotary would build a shed to cover these. Bert Thomas, the builder, as Rotary’s Director Community Services, took on the project the following year.

But the shed was not used to cover machinery. Demand for space in the Museum house meant that it was needed for general exhibition. Walls were covered with second hand iron and broad wooden benches were built along two walls for exhibits.  And eventurally the earth floor was covered in concrete after a few missteps.

1998 brought an outbreak of termites. All internal woodwork in the Rotary Shed was removed and the uprights treated. Wall cladding was replaced, and termite-proof metal benches were constructed. The shed was divided to create a space for the Genealogy group.

In late 2002 the dividing wall was knocked down and the entire space was dedicated again to the display of tools and technology, its original purpose.


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