Henry Lawson’s other skill

Henry Lawson remains one of Australia’s best known poets and authors a century after his death. Poems such as ‘The Lights of Cobb & Co’, ‘The Teams’ and ‘Andy’s Gone with Cattle’, and short stories like ‘Joe Wilson and his Mates’ flowed from his pen. His face has adorned banknotes and stamps.

Henry Lawson’s life was glorious and tragic in equal measure. At once blessed with insight and eloquence, humour and empathy, he was also cursed with melancholy loneliness and alcoholism. As a young man in the 1880s he struggled to overcome a limited education and the isolation of profound deafness. Yet, in the vernacular of the day, he was not without prospects. Henry Lawson was a skilled tradesman; a coach painter.

Henry became apprenticed as a 16-year-old in 1883 to Hudson Brothers, a large construction and railway engineering company with over 1000 staff. He learned his trade painting railway carriages and wagons at Hudson Brothers new workshops at Clyde (Granville) in Sydney, and for a time at their Newcastle works. Henry seems to have been at least proficient, as he considered Hudson Brothers good employers who ‘imported the best mechanics and treated and paid them well.’ [1] (However he may have had a rough time with his foreman at Newcastle.)

A railway carriage built by Hudson Bros. in the 1880s. Image State Library of New South Wales.
Hudon Bros. workshops at Clyde (Granville) in Sydney. Image State Library of New South Wales.

Henry subsequently worked for coachbuilder William Kerridge in Castlereagh Street Sydney, the home of ‘quality’ coachmakers such as Vial’s and Angus and Sons. Kerridge’s carriages regularly won prizes at the Sydney Show, and William Kerridge himself sometimes judged carriage classes. Indeed he was regarded highly enough to be made chairman of a coachbuilder’s conference in 1886. (Sydney Morning Herald, 7 Dec 1886. p8).  Henry Lawson later described William Kerridge as ‘an old fashioned tradesman and gentleman’ who had some employees with him for over 30 years. And in return William Kerridge wrote Henry a reference describing him as ‘a steady, trustworthy, hardworking, young man.’ This was certainly a description at odds with Henry Lawson’s later decline into alcoholism and poor mental health.

Coach painting was quite an involved trade to learn. Paints did not come premixed. Painters ground coloured ochre, and blended white lead base powder with linseed oil, terebene hardener, varnish and other mysterious additives. The trade at the time seemed somewhere between science and alchemy. Coach painters painted, sanded and rubbed back coat after coat of paint to produce glossy finishes. It took over a week to properly paint a carriage. Painters could ‘pull’ fine straight lines, paint intricate scrolls, and even produce signage and lettering on trade vehicles. For this they were paid at the same rate as the blacksmiths, body makers, and upholstery trimmers, and even a little more in some shops than the wheelwrights, although apprentices were paid only a fraction of the tradesman’s rate. (SMH, 11 June 1884. p12.)

Paint recipes from The Coach Painter’s Handbook and Guide, Henry J Drane.
A popular brand of paint provided the inspiration for Arvie’s surname.

Unfortunately ill winds were blowing towards Henry Lawson, the carriage industry and the country. The carriage conference William Kerridge chaired in 1886 discussed the effects of drought and cheap imported components on the trade. And an economic depression which even consumed the huge Hudson Brothers business was just around the corner. In 1890 William Kerridge closed the doors of his Castlereagh Street workshop but Henry Lawson had already moved on. He had studied at night while an apprentice in the unsuccessful hope of matriculating to university. A life of letters called.

In the late 1880s he was house painting for money but also establishing his name as a poet. Poems such as ‘Faces in the Street’ (1888) and ‘Second Class Wait Here’ (1899) depict the circles Henry moved in at the time, amongst Sydney’s poor in tenement slums. (Today properties in Phillip Street where he lived for a time and Castlereagh Street are amongst the most expensive in Australia.)

Although he considered Hudson Brothers good and fair employers, Henry Lawson drew on his time as an apprentice coach painter as the setting for two of his darkest short stories; ‘Two Boys at Grinder Brothers’’ and ‘Arvie Aspinall’s Alarm Clock’. Arvie Aspinall, is a very young apprentice at Grinder Brothers’ Railway Coach Factory. He tries to help his widowed mother pay the bills, but they still struggle to make ends meet. Arvie has neither the time nor money for interests outside of work believing… ‘it would be better if young fellows of this country didn’t think so much about racin’ and fightin’.’[2] His subcontractor boss Collins underpays the underage apprentice ‘babies’ and works them beyond the standard hours. And he preaches in the park on Sunday.

Arvie is given an alarm clock by a benevolent society after it was reported in a local paper that he was found sleeping outside the factory, having arrived for work in the dark with no way of telling the time.[3] The benevolent society as it turns out is supported by the Grinder family, but their charity is paid for by the labour of those they purport to help, and only extends so far as to keep the workforce ‘grinding’ on in poverty.

On the face of Arvie’s clock are the words,

Early to bed and early to rise
Makes a man healthy wealthy and wise.

‘“Mother!” he said suddenly, “I think it lies.”’ Young Arvie, suffering from overwork, malnutrition and an untreated chest infection dies shortly after in his sleep.[4]

Henry Lawson was writing in the depths of the 1890s economic depression which exacerbated the plight of an already poor underclass. The stories are a reminder that ‘The Wonders of the Victorian Age’ in our museums, such as the railway rolling stock at the Workshops Rail Museum, were produced by a multitude of long forgotten Arvie Aspinalls working long hours, six days a week. And the urban coach painters, blacksmiths, coachbuilders and wheelwrights who built the carriages in Cobb + Co Museum almost never owned one themselves.

Jeff Powell
Curator, Cobb+Co Museum


[1] A Fragment of Autobiography

[2] Two Boys at Grinder Brothers

[3] Arvie Aspinall’s Alarm Clock

[4] Ibid

References

Geoff Barker, 2018 ‘Hudson Brothers’ Building & Engineering Company’. State Library of NSW.

Henry J Drane, 1896 The Coach Painter’s Handbook and Guide, London. Reproduced in Harness, Vehicles, Timber and Coach-Painting, Dene Bindery, Liverpool NSW 1980.

Ross Edmonds, ‘Henry Lawson and the Wickham School of Arts’, Hunter Living Histories, University of Newcastle.

Peter FitzSimonds, ‘From the Archive’, Sydney Morning Herald, 25 Jan

Henry Lawson, ‘Arvie Aspinall’s Alarm Clock’ first appeared in The Bulletin, 11 June 1892, page 11. Also 1896, While the Billy Boils. Angus and Robertson, Sydney.

Henry Lawson, A Fragment of Autobiography (vol 2) 1899. Angus & Robertson Manuscripts, State Library of NSW.

Henry Lawson, 1900 ‘Two Boys at Grinder Brothers’, Over the Sliprails. Angus and Robertson, Sydney.

Mike Scanlon, ‘Henry Lawson link should be marked.’ Newscastle Herald, 14 March 2014.

Geological maps and how to read them

Get exploring with these geology resources. This blog post supplements this video from our Discovery Centre team which you can watch here.

Geological maps show the distribution of rocks on the surface of the Earth, and are a fantastic way to explore our planet from the comfort of your own home. To help you get started exploring, here’s a ‘toolbox’ of useful resources:

Maps

map
“I can see my house from here!”

Macrostrat has geological maps of most of Earth’s land surface.

Rockd lets you access geological maps while out and about, and uses the GPS in your smartphone to tell you about nearby rock units. Free from the App Store and Google Play.

 

Reading the map

The colours on the map are different rock units, and clicking on any of them will bring up information about it. What rocks do you have in your backyard?

Remember that rocks are classified into three major categories: sedimentary (forming from sand, mud and gravel, mostly in rivers, lakes and the ocean), igneous (forming from the cooling of molten rock, commonly associated with volcanoes), and metamorphic rock (formed by the alteration of other rocks by extreme heat and pressure, commonly associated with movement of Earth’s crustal plates and the formation of mountain ranges).

You might also see some thick, black lines. These are faults, where the rocks have broken and shifted. They’re commonly associated with earthquakes, but most of the faults in Queensland aren’t currently active.

The coloured rock units and faults all overlap each other, because Earth’s surface is dynamic and constantly in motion. Mountain ranges are worn down by erosion, creating sediment that travels down streams and is deposited where it will eventually create sedimentary rocks. The slow movements of Earth’s crust create faults and volcanoes. Every landscape has a story.

map 2
The coast was toast.

You can see one such story if you look at the Gold Coast and northern New South Wales on the map. You’ll see a large area of yellow rock that forms a ‘C’ shape, and includes the mountains of the Lamington Plateau and Border Ranges. These are igneous rocks, and they are the eroded flanks of a massive volcano. At the centre of the ‘C’ is Wollumbin (Mt Warning), which is the cooled magma chamber that was the heart of the volcano. This volcano erupted about 23 million years ago, and is estimated to have been two kilometres high at its peak. Erosion has since reduced it substantially, and uncovered underlying rocks that had been buried by lava.

Geological time

map 3
“Don’t let the names intimidate you, they’re actually quite friendly.”

When exploring geological maps, you’ll most likely come across some names for intervals of geological time that aren’t familiar (Wuchiapingian, anyone?). The international chronostratigraphic chart is your guide to making sense of deep time. This chart is arranged from youngest at the top to oldest at the bottom, because that’s the way that rocks are stacked.

You can also explore deep time with the Geological Timescale: Australia through time app, free on the App Store.

Books

[image: photo of a cool fossil from the QM image library [shot of Lark Quarry footprints would be ideal, and there don’t seem to be any suitable images of this in the DAMS]. Caption something like “dinosaurs were here.”]

In search of ancient Queensland is an extensive exploration of the geological history and fossil record of the state. Highly recommended.

The ‘rocks and landscapes’ series has books focussed on the geology of Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast, the Gold Coast, the wet tropics, and National Parks of northern, central and southern Queensland. They’re valuable guides for learning about the rocks, and how the landscape has changed over time.

So, what rocks can you find in your area? What do they tell you about the distant past, and how our world has changed over time? Did you once have an ocean in your backyard? Or a volcano? Have fun exploring!

If you have an interesting rock or fossil that you want to know more about, or have a question about Queensland’s deep history, you’re welcome to contact the Queensland Museum Discovery Centre.

Garden Insect Photography with Collection Imager Geoff Thompson

by Geoff Thompson, Queensland Museum Collection Imager 

What does a museum micro-photographer do when locked down?

He builds a modification for his flash diffuser and heads out into the garden to photograph small creatures, with his own camera and macro lens.

After editing and adjusting, only a few images are worth sharing. Queensland Museum entomologists have identified these as far as is possible. Often it is impossible to identify an insect from a photograph. Entomologists may need to see features from many angles and sometimes at high magnification on a specimen, to be sure of an identification. The trouble is photographers rarely manage to catch the insect as well as photograph it.

Yellow Shouldered Ladybird - Apolinus lividigaster
Yellow Shouldered Ladybird, Apolinus lividigaster, an aphid feeder. © Geoff Thompson

Blowfly, Lucilia sp. on grass seed head, Brisbane, Queensland Australia
A blowfly, Lucilia sp.resting on a grass seed head. © Geoff Thompson

cryptine ichneumonid wasp_sml
A parasitic wasp, Family Ichneumonidae, subfamily Cryptinae. Resting on a leaf. © Geoff Thompson

Polyrhachis rufifemur_sml
A lovely golden spiny ant, Polyrhachis rufifemur, crawling on the underside of a Lemon Myrtle leaf, Backhousia citriodora. © Geoff Thompson

Bromocoris souefi_sml
A Pentatomid bug, Bromocoris souefi (Distant), on the bark of Elaeocarpus reticulatus (Blueberry Ash). © Geoff Thompson

Ask an expert

To find out more visit our website here or if you have a specific question about wildlife around your home submit it via ‘Ask an Expert.’

What’s the oldest book in the Collection?

by Shannon Robinson, Queensland Museum Librarian

The Museum library has just over 2400 titles within the Rare Books Collection, spanning publication dates from the 16th century through to the 20th century. Over half, 1450 books to be precise, are from the 1800’s! Much of this material is irreplaceable and, being paper-based objects, in a fragile state. These factors contribute to placing these items in a climate-controlled, restricted access room to ensure their longevity and availability to future generations.

Seeing these items in their current locked up state, it’s easy to forget they initially were found in labs, offices and on shelves in libraries, being reference texts with the latest discoveries of their time. Nowadays they’re historical artefacts, valued for their hand coloured illustrations or being prized as the volume containing the first description of a species.

The oldest book in the collection, Libri de piscibus marinis (aka ‘Summary of Marine Fishes’) by Guillaume Rondelet published in France in 1554, is one of the earliest known undertakings in modern ichthyology to scientifically describe fish known to Europeans at the time using the physical specimen – common practice now, but ground-breaking at the time. Rondelet (1507-1566) is most widely known for this body of work today, but when published in the 16th century, he was renowned as an anatomist, botanist and science professor.

The author is responsible for both the Latin text and woodcut illustrations within the 600 pages. An impressive feat at any date in history! Before the advent of photography, naturalists such as Rondelet embraced printing techniques to include illustrative descriptions of species from woodblock prints to lithographs to engravings.

While this book features around 250 fish species, he extended his scope to include mammals and invertebrates, such as the lobster on page 583 (pictured)…as well as some fantastical beasts, such as the ‘Sea Lion’ and ‘Sea Bishop’ (pictured). These inclusions are exceptions to Rondelet sighting the specimen, so how did they make their way into the book? According to historians, Rondelet did rely on other physicians and their recounting of sightings or stories. It’s been recorded that Rondelet would neither confirm nor deny their actual existence – interpret that as you like!

image 1
De Astaco, lobster, Book XVIII, page 538, woodcut illustration from Guillaume Rondelet‘s “Libri de piscibus marinis”, published in LyonFrance in 1554. Queensland Museum Library rare book.

image 2
De pisce Episcopi habitu, sea bishop, Book XVI, page 494, woodcut illustration from Guillaume Rondelet‘s “Libri de piscibus marinis”, published in LyonFrance in 1554. Queensland Museum Library rare book.

image 3
De Monstro Leonino, sea lion, Book XVI, page 491, woodcut illustration from Guillaume Rondelet‘s “Libri de piscibus marinis”, published in LyonFrance in 1554. Queensland Museum Library rare book.

The Smithsonian Libraries have digitised their copy of this book, available at the Biodiversity Heritage Library

A Story of artists and the museum

Written by: Andrew MacDonald, Factory Supervisor Cobb+Co Museum

Biological science can inspire artists, not only with form but also display style.

In a previous life I worked in the art department of a regional university, where I looked after the studios and taught sculpture techniques. One of my colleagues was the textiles lecturer, and we decided to collaborate after we noticed similarities in our work. I predominately used timber and metal, Sarah Rayner worked in fabric with embroidery and weaving.

We began by partially making a piece each then handing it over for the other to complete. After the first couple we couldn’t stop, deciding to collaborate to produce an exhibition with a museum feel.

Source material

We agreed that our work would be botanical or insect inspired, like case moths, beetles and seed pods. As we both lived in rural areas, Cabarlah and Ravensbourne, we focused on local species like Grevillea, Eucalypts, Flindersia, Castanospermum and other trees around us.

These forms were closely observed, manipulated and re-imagined in a combination of materials. To better view the locale, I walked along the road from Sarah’s house to Ravensbourne National Park. I noted native vegetation and exotics, and collected finds on the roadside. One discovery that changed our approach was a shredded inner tube. It became the material we could both work with, and physically joined many of the pieces.

Display style

We both identified as ‘museumophiles’ and loved the old Queensland Museum. The memories of pulling out drawers of pinned insects prompted us to display our work in a museum collection style. We designed glass fronted cases with handles, and labelled many works like insect displays, with a pinned tag bearing an obscure Latin name. We spent many hours inventing titles with the help of a Latin dictionary and a glass of wine.

The first exhibition was at the Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery, who purchased three of the works for their collection. With that success we approached Artisan Gallery, of Craft Queensland who agreed, and we received an Arts Queensland grant for exhibition and catalogue costs.

Runaway success

The popularity of the exhibition prompted an extension at the gallery. From local media coverage we were picked up by several curators, which meant inclusion in the Craft Australia exhibition, Material Speaks, at SOFA, Chicago; and we were asked to apply for a large sculpture commission with Brisbane City Council.

Our proposal was accepted, and we went on to install larger works very similar in content and style along Melbourne Street, West End. The inspiration was the original rainforest vegetation of the area. We used aluminium- cast or pressed, to make the pieces durable. We also produced laser cut aluminium lettering, of faux Latin nomenclature, like Flindersia westendus.

Old works re-imagined

My role in QM is a fascinating mix of technical and creative work, with a dash of history. At home I still make constructions in aluminium and rubber, and Sarah now makes exquisite porcelain pieces based on native flora. Working at QM suggested a way of linking old and new pieces, by mixing them into the museum displays. The forms find new echoes with collection specimens, and the display boxes merge into the museum matrix!

Visitors to Cobb+Co have the opportunity to see more than horse drawn vehicles. The Inquiry Centre has an eclectic mix of objects from the past, fauna specimens, and physics interactives. Can they stimulate new connections or creations in the observant visitor?

To the teachers, thank you

As of Monday 25 May 2020, all Queensland school students are set to go back to school, after many being at home doing school virtually for some time.

The importance of teachers and their pivotal role in our youth’s lives cannot be overlooked. During this unique and unprecedented time, teachers have been responsive and supportive in transitioning whilst helping students and parents alike.

With this, we wanted to shine a light on teachers and thank them for the work they do.

Teachers have the unique ability to guide us in the right direction, make us believe in ourselves and encourage us to be creative and imaginative. 

We asked some of our staff to share their thanks to a teacher they know.

Luke, Public Engagement

Thank you to the teachers of my daughters at this difficult time, you have built a magnificent garden for their sunflower minds and importantly, even now, each day you bring the sunshine.

Ronnie, Cobb + Co

In high school I studied a French Immersion language program, which was introduced in Australia by a passionate teacher I was lucky enough to learn from. While at first it was incredibly challenging studying core subjects such as Math, Geography and Science in a completely different language, the rewards were so worthwhile. He provided the most stimulating, fun and encouraging educational environment every day and certainly made an impact on my life. Thank you!

Zoe, Marketing

Thank you to my high school geography teacher. You were very enthusiastic about geography and teaching our class. Every lesson you walked through the doors with a beaming smile and after each topic you taught us you would say “now isn’t that just fascinating!” You believed in me and pushed me to work hard. I will always remember that class fondly and the passion you had for learning.

Bernadette, Major Projects and Exhibitions

Teachers have always amazed and inspired me. A great teacher is a true gift.  Most recently, I had two university associate professors guiding my doctoral studies – they were not only a knowledge bank but life coaches as well. They imparted their extensive knowledge, challenged my engrained perceptions and helped and encouraged me to reach the end when the going got tough. To them, I will be eternally grateful and hope I can inspire others in the way they inspired me. I am also grateful that I live in a country that allows me and other women to learn and to teach.  

Andrew, The Workshops Rail Museum

Thank you to my high school economics teacher who, especially in Year 12, provided guidance and support that enabled me to achieve successful subject results. Year 12 is stressful and demanding and your patience, insight and ability to provide humour, when needed, was greatly appreciated. Your enthusiasm for the school and the learning environment are memorable and I do reflect on that time with much fondness.

Chae, Lifelong Learning

I would like to thank the teachers who took me under their wing during each of my preservice teaching placements. I learnt a great deal from your skills and experience. You each gave me the freedom to take risks in the classroom and to learn from the outcomes. In your own ways, you provided me with the support, encouragement and feedback I needed to develop my self-confidence and teaching ability – and it is this that really helped to prepare me for my own future classrooms.

Gabriel, Museum of Tropical Queensland

We moved to America for a few years back in 1979. I had to start year 9 at West Roxbury High School, in Boston, a week after we arrived. Speaking minimal English I was terrified on how I would manage to attend classes. Lucky for me, I came across a Greek American Teacher, Mr Kalogerakos. To this day, I feel that I owe him so much. He started helping me with my English after school, and got to the extreme of translating in Greek any of my other subjects. Also, I still remember what he had said to me.  “Watch random shows on TV. With what you learn after school, you will be able to understand in 3 months and speak really well in 6”. He was right. The only bad thing is that I am now addicted to television. Thanks for your guidance.

You could build a railway carriage for that!

What do manual arts students, dentists, domestic science students and leprosy patients all have in common? At one point in Queensland’s history they have all had custom railway carriages built for them.

When railways were the most dominant means of transporting goods and people on land, some of the rolling stock used had to be customised to accommodate all sorts of passenger and freight needs. Sometimes standard carriages and wagons were not suitable. The Queensland Railway Department during its long history designed and built a number of these special carriages.

One of the earliest needs for a special carriage was to transport people suffering from Hansen’s Disease (leprosy). The general public was very fearful of traveling with leprosy patients so a special carriage was designed and built to allow patients to travel in their own cabins (usually with two nurses to look after them) while keeping them isolated from the rest of the train. The carriage was used throughout the state. Patients travelled to Brisbane, with the carriage coupled onto an existing service. Patients were then transferred to the lazaret (the name given to leprosy hospitals) at Dunwich on Stradbroke Island. From 1907 a newer lazaret was opened on Peel Island where leprosy patients were housed in isolation until 1959.

1. Carriage diagram of Hansen’s Disease Carriage

As there was no known cure for Leprosy until the 1940s, Government policy around the world was to keep sufferers isolated from the rest of society. This railway carriage was used to transport patients throughout Queensland to be isolated on islands off Brisbane.

Another area of public health where special railway carriages were used was dentistry. In the mid-1920s the Queensland Department of Public Instruction recognised the difficulties that rural and regional children experienced in getting dental care. It also recognised that the best chance that a person had for having healthy teeth into their adult years was to receive proper dental care in childhood. These observations led to the building of the first traveling dental clinic carriage at the Ipswich Railway Workshops in 1928. The carriage consisted of a small treatment area, a waiting room and a living area for the dentist, and was described as being ‘a lesson in the economy of space’ by The Telegraph.

Although small, the carriage was full of modern conveniences including an electrical generator, spot lights, a wash basin with a high pressure water system, a steriliser for the instruments and a filtered water system. A trailer with a motor vehicle coupled behind the carriage was also provided so that the dentist could travel to patients who could not attend the local railway station.

2. 1928 Traveling Dental Clinic

Queensland’s first traveling dental clinic carriage was only six metres long and two and a half metres wide with just enough room to spin the chair around.

The traveling dental clinic was upgraded after 1945 and included two carriages and a trailer for a motor vehicle. There was even enough room in the newer version for the dentist to bring along his wife.

3. Photo of dentist and wife, child in chair

Mr and Mrs Kilby were a husband and wife dental team who operated on the post-1945 dental carriages. Photo courtesy of Mandy Rounsefell

The traveling dental clinic was adopted due to the success of an earlier traveling endeavour initiated by the Department of Public Instruction, traveling classrooms. In the early 1920s the sparseness and vastness of distance in Queensland was a major hurdle when it came to educating the State’s youth. In an attempt to improve rural education, the Department requested that the railways build custom teaching carriages. The idea was to install the carriages on railway sidings throughout the state in order to teach children for up to six weeks.

The first carriage to be built, a domestic sciences carriage, was launched in 1923 and students were taught dressmaking, millinery (hat making) and cookery. A second carriage was built and sent to Townsville in early 1924. This carriage had a wood stove, kerosene refrigerator, shelves packed with aluminum saucepans, and a dresser full of cups, saucers, plates and various other dishes – all held in place with special devices to stop the items shifting while the carriage was moving. The carriage also had a Singer sewing machine and enough bench space for 14 pupils. There was also a small living quarters for the teacher.

4. Domestic sciences carriage   

A classroom on wheels, the interior of the domestic sciences carriage. Courtesy of Keith MacDonald. 

The success of the domestic services carriages led to the Department of Public Instruction requesting that the Railway Department build them a traveling manual training classroom in 1925. The new carriage would travel along with the domestic science carriage in a pair. Twelve students could be accommodated in the manual training carriage, and would be taught wood, steel and leatherwork. The ingenuity of the classroom’s design was credited to the Railway Department’s Chief Mechanical Engineer’s branch who did amazing work in housing all the materials and tools needed to teach such a class in a small amount of space.

5. Manual training carriage

A manual training carriage was designed and built because of the success of the domestic sciences carriage. Courtesy of Keith MacDonald. 

Specialised railway carriages started being phased out in the 1960s when it became easier to travel by motor vehicle and to fit out trailers for specialised services (who remembers Harold and the Life Education van visiting their school?). But the history of these carriages shows us how adaptable the railways needed to be in meeting the needs of the community. In a state as large as Queensland these carriages were a way of bridging vast distances so the lives of rural communities were improved by public health and education initiatives. These carriages are only four examples of the wide range of specialised vehicles the Queensland Railway Department designed. Prisoners, explosives, maternity clinics, cheeses, army hospitals and even circus animals had specialised vehicles designed for them so they could travel on the railways safely.

Rob Shiels
Collection Manager, The Workshops Rail Museum