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  • Hobart Tramways – Ian Cooper

    Hobart Tramways – Ian Cooper

    Self published by the author in 1993. Scarce and worthy history of the Hobart tramways .. we wish they were still here.

    Perfect bond small folio, 64 pages, magnificently illustrated from original photographs, mots not found anywhere else. End paper maps of the tram networks.

    The Hobart tram system was the first successful electric tram system in the Southern Hemisphere commencing in 1893.

    With systems out to Glenorchy through Springfield; the Lenah Valley; Proctors Road; Sandy Bay; West Hobart and a beauty out to the Cascades and the Brewery. Those that know Hobart will understand the extensiveness and the amenity that the tramways must provided.

    The author a transport buff who made it his career spent many years in Hobart even though this publication was completed after he had returned to the other island.

    Irreplaceable history of the Hobart trams and superb photographic record..


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  • The Founding of Hobart 1803-1804 – Frank Bolt

    The Founding of Hobart 1803-1804 – Frank Bolt

    The author of this fine book, Frank Bolt, was surprised that he could not find any book on the very early period of the settlement of Hobart. So he carried out his own research and effectively self published this work.

    Large octavo, 320 pages, illustrated, with folding plan, printed to a high standard. A first edition 2004 and in as new condition.

    An unusual work in structure … Bolt explain his approach well in the lengthy Preface. Having assembled all of the exiting evidence his challenge was how to present it … landing on the idea of creating a faux diary of events on a nearly day by day basis. It work very well. After a further introductory “Prologue” the diary runs from page 38 through to page 279. Within this there are separate brief “cut-aways” regarding the “difference between the initial Risdon Settlement and the final Settlement at Sullivan’s Cove and “the Cargo of the Collin’s Expedition”.

    Notes on Sources are kept until the end and are extensive and useful as well is a list of the Pioneers of Hobart Town. And Meehan’s Plan of circa 1811.

    Hobart the early days revisited


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  • Ross Bridge Tasmania – Studies in Historical Archaeology – Maureen Byrne

    Ross Bridge Tasmania – Studies in Historical Archaeology – Maureen Byrne

    Maureen Byrne was a professional archaeologist which makes this “local history” rather more honed and full of well researched fact.

    Anyone who loves Tasmania either as a local or a visitor cannot help fall in love with the town of Ross and its magnificent convict built bridge.

    Published in 1969 by the Australian Society of Historical Archaeology in conjunction with the Ross Council and its then appointed Bridge Restoration Committee .. now there’s a worthwhile cause.

    Squarish perfect bound card covered, 51 pages with folding plans at rear. Extensively illustrated from photographs taken by the author. A very good copy.

    The bridge was to undergo restoration with the removal of badly laid thick tarmacadam … this was the chance to call in the expert Byrne. A special record was made … the best part being something that could have received better treatment earlier .. 186 carvings, 31 over the top of each arch. Among the carvings along with those involved in the creation of the bridge we have … Jorgen Jorgensen the Danish adventurer then part of life in Van Diemens Land; Governor George Arthur resplendent in his top hat; John Headlam a hated school master in his mortar board; William Kermode a local grazier .. along with horned goods and wild beasts.

    Comparison with Italian bridge architecture add interest.

    The Ross Bridge rivals European Bridge Architecture with its numerous carvings.


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  • Port Arthur Railway Across Tasman Peninsula – Australia’s First Railway – Bayley

    Port Arthur Railway Across Tasman Peninsula – Australia’s First Railway – Bayley

    Published in the early 1970’s this is an interesting historical account of what was the first railway in Australia, albeit convict powered.

    The author William Bayley self published a number of well researched historical documents. Octavo, 64 pages, illustrated heavily and well throughout. Fine copy.

    Much about Booth and his plans, the Port Arthur settlement and discovery of coal on the other side of the peninsula. The need for the railway, its construction and the manpower. The visit of Trollope and other incidentals.

    The first railway – no mean feat for anyone.


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  • The Shot Tower [Hobart] and its Builder Joseph Moir – Richard Lord

    The Shot Tower [Hobart] and its Builder Joseph Moir – Richard Lord

    A special local history item by Richard Lord who also authored the respected book on St David’s graveyard and the Isle of the Dead at Port Arthur.

    More than a local history is the shot tower is the only stone and brick built circular shot tower in the Southern hemisphere.

    Anyone coming to Hobart may not have a visit here on the agenda … after reading this thorough account I doubt you will neglect the tower.

    First Printing 1980, self published, printed by Specialty Press, Hobart. Perfect bound, ninety-one pages, nicely illustrated mainly from historical photographs.

    The builder of the shot tower Joseph Moir was an incredibly enterprising individual. Already successful in business. He went to England and came back with a shipload of hardware and set up the Economy House at 49 Murray Street. It did very well.

    In the 1860’s his mind turned to making shot … a quite complex process fundamental to which is the action of gravity hence the tower. His careful planning led him to select the perfect site some seven miles form the centre of Hobart. The author goes through the considerations regarding the location, the structure, the outhouses for arsenic, powder etc and the incredible feat in erecting the tower in eight months with the help of only two stonemasons. The process for making shot was designed by William watts of Bristol in the 1700’s. A bit of experimentation was required at Hobart, but Moir eventually cracked the technique … which he guarded for year to come.

    The Shot Tower – Tasmania’s finest industrial structure.


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  • They Reigned Supreme [Steam Ships in Tasmania] – Thomas W. Fox

    They Reigned Supreme [Steam Ships in Tasmania] – Thomas W. Fox

    Self published second printing, scarce as hen’s teeth.

    Red card wrappers, 50 pages plus advertisements, including one for Purdon & Featherstone Shipyard! Illustrated with a few images of steam boats.

    Excellent account of the steam ships that used to ply the Derwent, Tamar and coastal routes in Tasmania. From the very beginning to the very end.

    Lengthy list of vessels in alphabetic order with details regarding their construction, when and where they were put to use and by whom. Often ending in a mishap.

    After the boats comes a chapter on the famous O’May family who for three generations were at the heart of the Derwent ferry services. Then a brief section on boat builder and a most interesting account of River Steamer racing.

    Super primary reference for anyone interested in the now gone steamer activity in Tasmania.


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