Steam Pump ; 1911
Steam PumpAbout this object
This now modified cast iron and steel pump was made by G & J Weir Ltd, Glasgow, Scotland in 1911 for the Indefatigable-class battle cruiser HMAS Australia.
The flagship of the Royal Australian Navy, the HMAS Australia served in both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans during World War I.
In 1921 HMAS Australia was decommissioned and over the next three years stripped of all useful equipment including this pump. It was one of two purchased at auction by the Wingham Butter Factory and adapted for factory use to pump boiling water for cleaning. It was in use until the factory closed in 1979. Pumps like this one were important to the function and mechanisation of the butter factory.
This particular pump evidences the successful re-use of equipment from one of Australia’s best known wartime ships HMAS Australia, stripped before it was scuttled under the Washington Naval Treaty.
The pump is a reminder of Australia’s naval history and its flagship HMAS Australia. It seems right that the pump ended its working life at the Wingham Butter Factory where its use was still connected in a small way with water, albeit milk and butter production alongside the Manning River.
Anne Bain & Debbie Sommers
27 July 2014
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