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Registration Number H838.1
Classification CH classification PHOTOGRAPHY Cameras Cine cinematographe
Name or Title Lumiere Movie Camera and Projector - film cassette
Production Place Paris/Ile-de-France/France
Production Date Circa 1898
History and Use

The Lumiere Cinematographe, invented in France in1894, was a portable projector, camera, and film processor in one. It was invented by Auguste and Louis Lumiere - brothers, whose designs strongly shaped the future and popularity of modern cinema.

This film cassette was used to store film safely away from exposure to light.

There are only 12 known examples of the Cinematographe in the world today. Three are in Australia, of which this is the only one still in operating condition. It was acquired by the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Stock in 1899 and was used by the Department's artist and photographer Frederick Charles Wills and his assistant Henry William Mobsby. Together they comprised the worlds first government-funded film unit.

Footage filmed by this Cinematographe and possibly stored in this cassette includes scenes of the opening of Queensland parliament, sugar mills in Nambour, and Boer War soldiers marching on Queen Street, Brisbane. The 43 surviving reels of film Wills and Mobsby took comprise the largest collection of Australian film still in existence.

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Registration Number H47742
Classification CH classification MARITIME TECHNOLOGY Diving Diver's helmet
Name or Title Diving Helmet
Production Place London/England
Production Date 1840-1844
History and Use

This helmet may be the second oldest known to exist. It was used in the excavation of the ship 'Royal George', sunk in 1782 off Portsmouth, England. The design of the helmet and fittings proved to be so reliable that Siebe’s ‘standard diving dress’ became the British Admiralty’s benchmark for all diving equipment. It was hand beaten from a single sheet of copper and apart from the more recent faceplate each component has been stamped with the number ‘1’. This suggests that it was the first helmet to be made in a very limited series. Two other helmets held in private collections in America have the numbers ‘2’ and ‘3’ stamped on their components, making this one of the first of the series.

The copper domed bonnet has been beaten from a single piece of copper. A circular castellation (beaten join) is evident on the crown of the bonnet and castellation lines are also visible on the front centre of the bonnet running from the front port to the crown, and along the shoulders of the corselet.

Positioned at the centre back of the bonnet is an air inlet pipe (without a non-return valve) and a non-adjustable air exhaust valve. Both are offset on an angle. A rudimentary spitcock (outlet tap) is present and positioned between the front and proper right ports (opposite the small eyelet). This has almost certainly been added after the helmet was manufactured and is presumably fashioned from a gas tap or keg spigot.

Two (2) studs are mounted on the front of the corselet for the attachment of weights, along with lanyard hooks, positioned above the neck ring on each side of the bonnet. The lanyards were also used to assist in the rigging of weights. A small brass eyelet is evident between the front and proper left ports.

Twelve (12) threaded bolts are positioned around the outer perimeter of the corselet, however the associated brails and wing nuts are not present. (Brails are metal straps which fit over the bolts, clamping the corselet to the diving suit by way of the nuts to form an airtight seal).

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Registration Number H10912.1
Classification CH classification MACHINERY Engines Steam horizontal mill type
Name or Title Horizontal Mill Type Steam Engine (Cylinder)
Production Place Lincoln/England
Production Date 1905-1924
History and Use

This Ruston Proctor Horizontal Mill Steam Engine is a single cylinder double acting mill engine. It is believed that the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Queensland purchased as a new engine from the manufacturer around 1910. It was acquired for use as a teaching engine.

The engine uses a condensing system to increase the expansion of the steam. A partial vacuum is produced by condensing the steam outside the engine. The steam expands through a greater pressure range and does more work. This engine could have been connected to large factory machines by a belt around the fly wheel and is typical of engines used to drive saw mills.

Uploaded to the Web 27 May 2011.

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Registration Number H19512.1
Classification CH classification PHOTOGRAPHY Projectors Cine projector part
Name or Title Rolling Loop Film Transport Mechanism
Production Place Queensland/Australia
Production Date 1970
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Registration Number H4.1
Classification CH classification HOROLOGY Clocks wall clock
Name or Title Clock, Thomas Tompion
Production Place England
Production Date 1706
History and Use

This bracket clock was made in 1708 and is number 435 of the Tompion Banger collection. Thomas Tompion (1639-1713) was a renowned English clockmaker, sometimes called ‘the father of English clockmaking’. He was watch and clockmaker to the British monarchs of the day and the first clockmaker to be given the honour of a burial in Westminster Abbey. Tompion partnered with Graham Banger from 1700 to 1708, producing a fine range of individually numbered timepieces.

Uploaded to the Web 27 May 2011.

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Registration Number H3862
Classification CH classification MARITIME TECHNOLOGY Diving Diver's helmet
Name or Title Diving Helmet
Production Place Australia
Production Date Circa 1930
History and Use

During the 1920s and 1930s there were a number of expeditions to the Great Barrier Reef by amateur and professional scientists. Charles Melbourne ‘Mel’ Ward was a prominent member of many of these expeditions, some of which were carried out in association with the Australian Museum.

This Australian made hood (helmet) was featured in the pearl diving scenes from the 1937 Australian film 'Vengence Of The Deep' (AKA 'Lovers and Luggers'), directed by Ken G. Hall and filmed by Frank Hurley (cinematographer).

Another film crew from Hollywood arrived with the intention of also producing a pearling film. The cinematographer and a colleague did met up with Mel Ward and his shallow diving expedition and the crew and Ward spent a number of months diving for crustaceans off PNG - Ward's speciality. Eventually the footage was scrapped and the crew returned to Hollywood.

Mel Ward was one of the first scientists to experiment with underwater cameras and to use underwater goggles or ‘divers’ glasses’. He was also the subject matter of the first underwater photograph taken on the Great Barrier Reef.

This hood has a large rectangular faceplate. The crown followed the shape of the diver's head, making it easier to tilt the head backwards for an upward view. The inlet valve allowed air to enter the hood on the mid right side and was guided by a deflector to the front window; minimizing fogging and draft. Excess air escaped below the apron (corselet). The position of the air inlet valve forms an air safely chamber; in case of a cut or loosened hose. The hood sat on the diver’s shoulders and was held there by four (4) 8.25 pound lead weights hung on straps from eye hooks on the apron; two (2) on the front and two (2) on the back. The contour roll on the outer edges added strength to the apron. There is a lifting (ducking) handle at the top, and two side handles.

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Registration Number H3892
Classification CH classification MARITIME TECHNOLOGY Diving Diver's helmet
Name or Title Diving Helmet
Production Place Australia
Production Date 1945
History and Use

The Robinson Brothers helmets (manufactured from 1943-1945) were the only Australian made production standard dress diving helmet. Only fifty six (56) Robinson Helmets were made (fifty for the Commonwealth Salvage Board). This helmet was manufactured in 1945 with the serial number forty six (46). The production was subject to a low run, which makes this one of the rarest diving helmets world wide. The unusual clip that tethers the front light (viewing window) is known as a 'monkey puzzle' clip.

Established in 1854, Robinson Bros & Co. Pty Ltd manufacturing engineers, brass founders and coppersmiths manufactured machinery used in the food industry in Melbourne. Founded by James McFarlane Robinson and his brothers in 1854 the firm steadily expanded from plumbering and copper smithing into general engineering. As one of Melbourne's most important engineering companies Robinson Bros constructed railway bridges, gold mining equipment, abattoir machinery and many other diverse pieces of equipment (including the first turnstiles at the Melbourne Cricket Ground). The company crashed with the collapse of the land boom and was reconstructed in 1888-94 on a reduced scale. Alfred Deakin was Chairman of Directors during this period. In 1935, Robinson Bros (in liquidation) was purchased by Valentine Henderson of Henderson's Federal Spring Works and operated as Robinson Bros and Co (1935) Pty Ltd until if finally closed in 1973.

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Registration Number H3881
Classification CH classification MARITIME TECHNOLOGY Diving Diver's helmet
Name or Title Diving Helmet
Production Place England
Production Date Circa 1957
History and Use

This helmet is particularly unusual. There is a single large fixed front light (window), no conventional air inlet and no corselet. This helmet does not appear to be a conventional divers helmet but a very special Mine Recovery Suit (MRS) bonnet. It has a genuine manufacturer's plaque.

This MRS bonnet was built by C. E. Heinke & Co. Ltd under commission from the Royal Navy in 1957 to replace the original MROs used during WWII. Only 18 were produced (Connell 2007). Its operation had a maximum depth of one hundred and twenty (120) feet (37 metres).

These types of helmets were originally designed in WWII to recover and de-activate German mines.

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Registration Number H12391.1
Classification CH classification MACHINERY Engines Steam single cylinder
Name or Title Ransomes Sims & Jefferies Single Cylinder 6 N.H.P. Portable Steam Engine
Production Place United Kingdom
Production Date 1919
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Registration Number H44141.4
Classification CH classification ELECTRICAL TECHNOLOGY Components cable, flex, wire
Name or Title Edison Street Tubes - 3 Core Conduit
Production Date Circa 1883
History and Use

This is a section of the three-core electrical mains system, designed by Thomas Edison and laid along William Street, Brisbane, in 1884 to supply the first electricity to Queensland’s Parliament House and Government Printing Offices. This was laid in 1892 under the direction of Government Electrician Mr Edward Barton, to provide more efficient service to the expanded precinct on Alice Street.

The conduit, in excavated condition, reveals the inner copper strands and viscous pitch substance, used to insulate the wires. The later three-core conduits made use of a much less fluid pitch, which was ultimately more stable, and because of the thinner copper wires they were cheaper to produce. These conduits conducted electricity from a nearby power station which ran generators called ‘dynamos’. Edison was also responsible for the design of the wiring, fixtures and light bulbs at the other end of the conduits.

Manufacture and installation of the two-core street tubes commenced in the United States in 1882, with only two other cities preceding Brisbane in the use of such electric lighting – London and New York. By the time the replacement tubes were installed, and despite improvements to Edison's design, newer systems were being installed in other cities.

The Edison Street Tubes, as they are known, were recovered in 1992 from William Street by a team from the South East Queensland Electricity Board (SEQEB), now Energex, and the Queensland Museum. These objects provide a valuable insight into the earliest developments in street electricity, both in Brisbane and internationally. Edison’s inventions were soon surpassed in affordability, speed and access by overhead wires and other underground cables in the mid 1880s. However, these objects are a significant early technological development, and reveal the modern, forward-thinking approach of Queensland Government to electricity and innovation.

Uploaded to the Web 27 May 2011.

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Registration Number H47763
Name or Title Ophthalmoscope
Production Place USA
Production Date Circa 1940s
History and Use

This ophthalmoscope represents the early designs of electric ophthalmoscopes, which came with their own light source rather than relying on separate light and magnifying devices. The instrument is used by medical practitioners to examine the eye. It was made in the 1940s by Keeler Optical Products, Ltd, a British company who at that time operated out of London and Philadelphia. The object was used in a medical practice on Wickham Terrace in Brisbane by a relative of the donor.

Uploaded to the Web 27 May 2011.

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Registration Number H12782
Classification CH classification SCIENCES Instruments Measuring hydrometer
Name or Title Sikes Hydrometer
Production Place London/England
Production Date 1802-1907
History and Use

Bartholomew Sikes invented this style of hydrometer in 1802, in response to a competition held by the Board of Excise in London. Sikes’ hydrometer remained the legal standard instrument for excise purposes (mainly for alcohol testing) until 1907.
This example was manufactured by Robert Bretell Bate (known as ‘Bate of the Poultry’) in London in the early 1800s. Bate originally trained as a haberdasher and later in his career patented spectacle designs. Bate made the first Sikes hydrometers after the competition and supplied the Board of Excise. Each hydrometer was individually numbered; this is number 7260.

Uploaded to the Web 27 May 2011.

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Registration Number H13084
Classification CH classification SCIENCES Instruments Weighing balance, beam
Name or Title Beam Balance
History and Use

The beam balance is considered to be the first mass measuring instrument invented. A balance differs from scales as it measures gravitational mass rather then weight. The date of production is unknown as is the manufacturer. However, inscriptions in French may denote this objects provenance.

This object was donated by the Marks family. The Marks family were a prominent Brisbane family that made significant contributions to the fields of science and medicine.

Uploaded to the Web 27 May 2011.

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Registration Number H12799.1
Classification CH classification SCIENCES Instruments Measuring prismatic level
Name or Title Prismatic Level
History and Use

This prismatic level is believed to have been used as a gun sight by Australian Imperial Forces during the First World War.

It is attributed to the 14th Australian Light Horse Regiment (Queensland Mounted Infantry) who served in Egypt, Gaza, Jerusalem, Jordan and Palestine from 1915 to 1918.

This object was donated by the Marks family. The Marks family was a prominent Brisbane family that made significant contributions to the fields of science and medicine.

Uploaded to the Web 27 May 2011.

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Registration Number H24057
Classification CH classification DOMESTIC EQUIPMENT Pest Control insect powder
Name or Title Insect Powder
Production Place Victoria/Australia
History and Use

Insectibane was the brand name given to a pyrethrum insect powder manufactured by Australian manufacturing chemists Rocke, Tompsitt & Co Pty. Ltd. The product was distributed through Queensland Agent Noble’s Pty. Ltd., based at Eagle Street, Brisbane. The powder was marketed as ‘singularly destructive to insects, though harmless to men and animals’. The tin had perforations in the top that allowed the user to sprinkle the powder on surfaces and was commonly used in and around homes.

This object is part of the Marks collection, donated to the Queensland Museum by Dr E.N. Marks. The Marks were a prominent Brisbane family who made significant contributions to the fields of science and medicine.

Uploaded to the Web 27 May 2011.

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Registration Number H3888
Classification CH classification MARITIME TECHNOLOGY Diving Diver's helmet
Name or Title Diving Helmet
Production Place United Kingdom
Production Date Circa 1880
History and Use

This is an earlier style 'Pearler' helmet as identified by the non-return valve. This helmet, like other Heinke's and Siebe Gorman's demonstrates the craftsmanship that went into its manufacture, the bonnet having been hand beaten over a mould for shaping rather than being spun by machine. There are corselet (breastplate) weight loops both to the front and back of the corselet. This helmet was made in the last independent period of Heinke.

'Pearler' corselets were squared to allow the diver to bend forward to collect shell from the sea bed. They became extremely popular in the pearl fisheries of Australia and around the world and this particular type of Heinke helmet was favoured by the Torres Strait pearling industry.

Charles Edward Heinke was born on the fourth of September 1818. He was the son of a Prussian immigrant, Gottlib Fredrick Heinke who was a successful copper smith and had a business at 103 Great Portland Street, London (est. 1819). Charles was to become a very successful manufacturer of diving equipment. His first helmet appeared around 1844. Heinke worked hard to improve the Siebe style helmet and gradually gained an excellent reputation for reliability and for being better designed from the practical point of view. He later introduced an additional exhaust valve on the front of the corselet (breastplate) (these days referred to as the 'peppermill'). This device made it possible for the diver to ascend and descend fast and as often as they wished. Heinke became world famous for his 'pearler' style helmet. These helmets featured a square corselet (breastplate) allowing the diver to bend forward to pick of shell from the sea bed. Companies like Siebe, TAO, Robinson, and Morse later copied the idea.

Charles died in 1869 but his company continued. The last helmet was produced in 1961. Over the years the company name changed:
C.E.Heinke, Submarine Engineer (from 1844 - 1871), during this period Heinke had 2 to 3 different trading names split around the family.
C.E.Heinke & Co., Submarine Engineers (from 1871 - 1922).
C.E.Heinke & Co. Ltd., Submarine Engineers (from 1922 - 1961).
Until 1905, helmet featured the 'butterfly' style wing nuts, after that regular wing nuts were used.

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Registration Number H3890
Classification CH classification MARITIME TECHNOLOGY Diving Diver's helmet
Name or Title Diving Helmet
Production Place Japan
Production Date Circa 1940
History and Use

This helmet was manufactured by the TOA company in Tokyo for the northern Australian and Asian pearl fisheries. It was designed on the Heinke ‘pearler’ helmet with a square corselet that enabled the diver more freedom to bend forward AND had a more useful, larger front light (faceplate). There is a 'Heinke like' air inlet elbow and safety pin, which is a bolt that screws in from the corselet (breastplate) securing the bonnet in place.

Toa was established in 1909. This company has always produced quality helmets bearing a similarity to the Heinke, who also made pearler style diving helmets. TOA still make quality helmets and were still in business in 2007.

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Registration Number H27116.1
Classification CH classification LIGHTING Kerosene & Oil kerosene lamp
Name or Title Kerosene Lamp
History and Use

The wick variety of kerosene lamp has a tank for fuel, a cotton wick which sits in the top of the burner, and a small knob for adjusting the height of the wick, and therefore the strength of the light. This lamp has a glass hood or shade held in place by metal prongs to protect the flame from draught. Typically, lamps like these were used in the late 19th, early 20th century and were kept beside the bed to act as a kind of torch. This lamp does not have a carry handle and was most likely used as a stationary bedside lamp.

This object is part of the Marks collection, donated to the Queensland Museum by Dr E.N. Marks. The Marks were a prominent Brisbane family who made significant contributions to the fields of science and medicine.

Uploaded to the Web 27 May 2011.

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Registration Number H22210
Classification CH classification PHOTOGRAPHY Cameras Still coronet midget
Name or Title Miniature Camera - Coronet Midget
Production Place England
Production Date Circa 1935
History and Use

The Coronet Midget was a miniature, fully operational camera marketed as “The Tom Thumb” of cameras, convenient and simple to use. It was distributed widely and cheaply through mail order catalogues, popular in a time where smaller film sizes were sought after.

Coronet Camera Company in Birmingham, England, produced Midget cameras from 1935 until 1943. The company specialised in making extremely cheap, simple cameras with their own attachments and accessories. The Coronet Midget came in several different colours (blue was the rarest), with subtle differences of design which made the cameras very collectable. The Coronet catalogue advertised that for a little extra, you could buy matching coloured Morocco grained leather cases for your Midget camera, or even a pocket-sized print enlarger called the ‘Scoper’. The Midget was sold with its own 6-exposure film.

Despite its simplicity and attractive design, the camera’s slow exposure time meant that it was probably not used very much, especially not by serious photographers.

Uploaded to the Web 27 May 2011.

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Registration Number H45332
Classification CH classification AUDIO-VISUAL TECHNOLOGY Audio Appliances radio receiver
Name or Title Radio
Production Place Australia
Production Date 1947
History and Use

This stylish Kriesler Radio, made around 1947, uses the "Superheterodyne" circuit. This circuit configuration in a modified form is still in use today in radios and televisions. The use of plastics in radio casings allowed a variety of shapes and colours to be used in radio casings with some highly aesthetic results.

Uploaded to the Web 27 May 2011.

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Registration Number H19821
Classification CH classification AUDIO-VISUAL TECHNOLOGY Audio Appliances two way radio
Name or Title Radio Transceiver
Production Place South Australia/Australia
Production Date 1929-1939
History and Use

This pedal radio was invented by Alfred Hermann Traeger (1895-1980), an engineer in the employ of the Royal Flying Doctor’s Service from 1926.

After an outback tour of duty, Traeger began work in Adelaide on a transceiver for the Flying Doctor network. The sets had to be cheap, durable, small and easy to operate. Using bicycle pedals to drive the generator, he found that a person could comfortably achieve 20 watts at a pressure of about 300 volts. His famous pedal wireless was actually a pedal-operated generator which provided power for a transceiver.

Once the first pedal sets had been introduced in Queensland in 1929, the invention created a communications revolution by diminishing the loneliness of the inland environment. In 1933 Alfred invented a Morse typewriter keyboard, an accessory to the pedal sets which was widely used until the advent of radio telephony. In 1939 Traeger's set adopted a vibrator unit and no longer used pedals.

Uploaded to the Web 27 May 2011.

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Registration Number H22579
Classification CH classification MEDICINE Medicine x-ray equipment
Name or Title X-Ray Tube
Production Place Germany
Production Date 1898
History and Use

This is an extremely rare and fine example of early x-ray technology. The cathode x-ray tube was amongst the first radiological equipment developed.

The cathode, being concave, focuses an electron beam to a small spot on the anticathode, where they are absorbed. This excites atoms in the anticathode, which relax by emitting X-ray photons. X-rays emerge from the side of the tube and since they emanate from a small spot on the anticathode, X-ray images are sharp. The glass becomes discoloured due to radiation damage or metal deposits.

Uploaded to the Web 27 May 2011.

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Registration Number H22580
Classification CH classification MEDICINE Medicine x-ray equipment
Name or Title X-Ray Tube
Production Place USA
Production Date 1912
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Registration Number H46760
Classification CH classification ELECTRICAL TECHNOLOGY Components valve
CH classification MEDICINE Medicine x-ray equipment
Name or Title X-Ray Tube
Production Place Germany
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Registration Number H47758
Classification CH classification PACKAGES AND CONTAINERS Tin bandage tin
CH classification MEDICINE First Aid bandage
Name or Title Zonas Adhesive Plaster
Production Place England
Production Date Circa 1911
History and Use

Zonas adhesive plaster was a rubber-based tape marketed for first aid, but in practice used for a variety of other household purposes. Created by Johnson & Johnson in the early 1900s, the product pre-dates the invention of other masking or ‘sticky’ tapes, and was thus appropriated for myriad domestic purposes including mending clothes and furniture, bookbinding, sealing packages and waterproofing. Zonas tape is the earliest example of a non-medicated, adhesive surgical tape – a product which has changed little up to the current day.

Uploaded to the Web 27 May 2011.

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The Queensland Museum collection Online is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added regularly.


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