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ASHA NEWS

Written by John Prickard

Regarding fencing wire:

About the most wires can usually tell you is that it is post-1788. And you knew that anyway! The earliest Australian record for wire in rural fences I now know of is 1840. A few years earlier than what I published several years ago. (Yes, even I engage in the "my site is older than yours" race.) Galvanised wire was advertised in mid-1850s. Barbed wire may give a more precise date, depending on the type. In general, barbed wire is post mid-1870s, but specific types were patented later, and may help you put brackets on a date of occupation.

Iron and steel fence posts, and steel droppers may also help because most (but certainly not all) were patented. But you must be aware of later re-use of older scavenged components.

Send me some images of your wire / post / dropper, and I may be able to help you. (This sort of advice and help is really expensive: a coffee when I next see you.)

BTW: all of my fence-related papers including my 2010 PhD are on Dropbox as freebies. Help yourselves:  HERE

Copies of the diagrams, images, etc. are available from me, please don't just screen-dump them.

Fencing wire references:

I guess that most of you are aware of Internet Archive (https://archive.org/details/texts), but if you aren't, then you should be.

Internet Archive is a treasure trove of FREE downloadable scanned books on everything from A to Z and beyond. These include hundreds of early mechanical, technological and agricultural encyclopaedias and books that will certainly help you better understand how things were done in 19th and early 20th centuries. If you want to know about just about any form of technology, this is the place to start. Any historical archaeologist worth her salt should have at least some of the zillion books from Internet Archive in her digital bookshelf. However, be warned: Internet Archive can be seriously addictive!

There are also hundreds of early Australian books, and if you are looking for some historical account that is only held in the Rare Books section of some library, then you should always start with Internet Archive. It is truly surprising what you will find.

Many of the titles were scanned by Google, and some appear to require payment to download them. If it looks like this is going to happen, you can bypass it by clicking on the "All files HTTPS" or similar button. This will get you to a page with options of downloading in a range of formats including PDF.

The search function is a bit clunky, and the way the items are described is painful to say the least. You can't distinguish between the same item from different libraries.

Here is one my favourite sources, Holtzapffel. A series of five volumes from mid-19th C. with extensive discussion of materials, and how things were done. The titles are not truly indicative of the encyclopaedic contents, there is considerably more than you might think from the titles. The URLs are to the PDFs (mostly 40 - 70 MB), there are other formats available. Other historical archaeologists will have their own lists of useful titles.

Holtzapffel, C. (1852). Turning and mechanical manipulation. Volume I. Materials; their differences, choice, and preparation; various modes of working them, generally without cutting tools. London, Holtzapffel & Co.

http://www.archive.org/details/turningmechanica01holtuoft  

Holtzapffel, C. (1856). Turning and mechanical manipulation. Intended as a work of general reference and practical instruction on the lathe, and the various mechanical pursuits followed by amateurs. Volume II: The principles of construction, action, and application, of cutting tools used by hand; and also of machines derived from the hand tools. London, Holtzapffel & Co.

http://www.archive.org/details/turningmechanica02holtuoft         

Holtzapffel, C. (1850). Turning and mechanical manipulation. Intended as a work of general reference and practical instruction on the lathe, and the various mechanical pursuits followed by amateurs. Volume III: Abrasive and miscellaneous processes, which cannot be accomplished with cutting tools. London, Holtzapffel & Co.

http://www.archive.org/details/turningmechanica03holtuoft         

Holtzapffel, C. (1881). Turning and mechanical manipulation. Intended as a work of general reference and practical instruction on the lathe, and the various mechanical pursuits followed by amateurs. Volume IV: The principles and practice of hand or simple turning. London, Holtzapffel & Co.

http://www.archive.org/details/turningmechanica04holtuoft

Holtzapffel, J. J. (1884). Turning and mechanical manipulation. Intended as a work of general reference and practical instruction on the lathe, and the various mechanical pursuits followed by amateurs. Volume V: The principles and practice of ornamental or complex turning. London, Holtzapffel & Co.

https://archive.org/details/HoltzapffelVol5_1884
(Unfortunately this is the only version available and it is a really poor scan, and the PDF is 1.2 GB. Yes, GB, not MB)

Please contact: blog@asha.org.au for John's email address



Compiled by Blog Editor

The iconic Flinders Street Railway Station in Melbourne has recently undergone renewal works. In order to determine the original colour of the buildling, conservators have tested the layers of original paint. During 2017 the building was wrapped in scaffolding and re-painted, and has recently been revealed to the public. Works are also taking place on the interior of the building, including Ball Room. For more information and images see: www.timeout.com/melbourne/blog



Caiti D'Gluyas

The next ASHA reading group is being hosted by Artefact Heritage and will be held on Thursday 30th November at 6.00pm. This is a semi-regular (quarterly) opportunity to catch-up with other historical archaeologists and discuss themes of interest.

Facilitator: Adele ZubrzyckaSenior Heritage Consultant, Artefact Heritage
Topic: Industrial Archaeology and Heritage
Time and Location:
6pm, Thursday 30th November 2017
Artefact Heritage Offices (Level 4 Building B, 35 Saunders Street, Pyrmont)
There will be an Artefact Heritage Representative at the ground floor to allow you access to Level 4.

Primary Readings
Is Industrial Heritage greater than or equal to the Heritage of the Industrial Revolution? – Iain Stuart
Transplanted technologies and rural relics: Australian Industrial Archaeology and questions that matter – Eleanor Conlin Casella

Secondary Readings
Industrial Archaeology, from Industrial Heritage Re-tooled – Patrick Martin Process Recording at Industrial Sites – Brian Malaws
Engineering and Industrial Heritage – NSW OEH
Approaches to Industrial Archaeology in Australia, from Industrial Archaeology in Australia, Rural Industry – Judy Birmingham, Ian Jack and Dennis Jean

The event is free and open to anyone who is interested, however, RSVPs are essential (to secretary@asha.org.au). Please also get in touch if you are having difficulties sourcing the papers.



Bronwyn Woff

Excavations of the Harrietville Chinese Mining site are currently being undertaken in Victoria's gold field region. The one of the project's staff members, Melissa Dunk, is putting together regular blog posts on her wordpress site called Overseas Chinese Archaeology. The blog can be found here: https://oschinesearch.wordpress.com/ and contains updates on the excavations and the behind the scenes activities.

Compiled by Richard Morrison and Bronwyn Woff

Cornish mining sites at Burra and Moonta have recently been added to the National Heritage List. These important historic copper mining sites, representing the start of Australia’s metal mining industry, were added on 9 May 2017. Expert Cornish labour familiar with the recovery of copper ore was imported in the mid-19th century to establish the industry. The mines represent the earliest examples of Cornish mining and domestic architecture in Australia.

For more information, please see the following links:
http://www.environment.gov.au/heritage/places/national/australian-cornish-mining-sites
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/

ERRATUM 11-06-2017: The image previously attached to this article showed the Burra Brewery. The image now attached shows the Burra Mine.

Image of Burra Mine, showing Cornish style buildings. Supplied by Meredith Satchell, President of the Burra History Group, Inc


Bronwyn Woff, Research Associate, La Trobe University

The fragment of glass illustrated in the images below was found in the 1988 excavation season of Melbourne's Little Lon district. This area was reported to be a slum, with a mixed use of domestic and light industrial lots.


Crown glass window pane fragment. LL71844 Historical Archaeology Collection, Museums Victoria. Images: Bronwyn Woff

The glass fragment is the central panel of a spun crown glass sheet, which was created in the manufacture of glass for window panes. Hot glass was spun on a pontil rod so that it slowly spread into a large disc up to 1400mm wide. Because of this manufacturing technique, the glass was thicker at the centre than at the edges. The majority of glass imported to Australia from Britain before 1834 was manufactured in this way, as taxes and duties were lower than for other manufacturing techniques (Boow, 1991 pp.100-102). This glass fragment can be dated to between 1788 and the 1860s (Boow, 1991 pp.100-104).

Crown Glass being spun flat by glass makers. Image from “Glass in Architecture and Decoration” by Raymond McGrath & A.C. Frost, 2nd Edition, London, 1961 [1937], p. 75 via : https://blog.mcny.org/2014/11/25/whats-in-an-artifact-crown-glass/    (accessed February 28, 2017.)

In this case, the whole sheet was used and the central section was cut into a pane of glass with the "bulls eye" pontil mark in place. In some cases, these were ground out or otherwise modified so that the pontil mark was not evident, but in this example the snapped off pontil mark protrudes at least 5mm from the flat glass. One straight-cut edge of the window pane is present on the shortest side. Because of the flaw present in the glass, this window pane would have been much cheaper to purchase than a thin, outer fragment and this may reflect the buying power of the owners of the residential property where it was found at Little Lon.

 


"Spectactular clear bullseye glass panes in an English house" via: http://www.peachridgeglass.com/2012/04/the-bulls-eye-glass-pane/  (accessed February 28, 2017)


Bronwyn is currently working as a subcontracting archaeologist, cataloger and analyst. She is contactable via: bronwyn_woff@outlook.com.au
Originally posted on the Lost Trades Fair website

Rundell and Rundell Lost Trades Fair
Saturday 11th - Sunday 12th March 2017
Kyneton Racecourse, 10am - 4pm

The Lost Trades Fair was born on the principle that people are fascinated when artisans and craftspeople openly demonstrate their skills and share their knowledge. Meet the makers; armourers, chairmakers, coopers, blacksmiths, leatherworkers, silversmiths and stonemasons; over 100 traditional artisans - start planning a road trip to the fabulous central highlands, Victoria and enjoy a 'lost weekend' at the most inspiring event you will experience in 2017.

For more information, please see: http://www.losttrades.info/
Originally posted by Elizabeth Foley

Registration is still open for the Victorian Archaeology Colloquium, to be held at La Trobe University on Friday 3 February 2017. Registration is inclusive of morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea. Please register via https://latrobe.onestopsecure.com/onestopweb/LTUEv/createbooking?e=ASSC_EV49

Program
8:30 Registration
9:00-9:30 Welcome to Country
9:30-10:00 Introduction
10:00-11:00 Session 1: Approaches: Methods and objectives
11:00-11:30 Morning tea
11:30-12:30 Session 2: Site-specific investigations
12:30-1:30 Lunch
1:30-2:30 Session 3: Regional Victoria
2:30-3:00 Afternoon tea
3:00-4:00 Session 4: Living on the edge: detection, recording and meaning of Aboriginal archaeological sites in Victoria
4:00-4:30 Conclusion

Excavating a colonial-era Melanesian village site, south Tanna Island. (Courtesy of J. Flexner)
Excavating a colonial-era Melanesian village site, south Tanna Island. (Courtesy of J. Flexner)
Penny Crook

Historical archaeologists have been awarded three Discovery projects in the recently announced round of ARC-funding. The projects reflect the diversity of historical-archaeological research in the Australasian region, ranging from the archaeological vestiges of the Queensland Native Mounted Police, to the mining landscapes of regional Victoria and the Christian missionaries of Vanuatu. Details of each project are below.

The investment of over $1.73 million over 4 years demonstrates the competitiveness of, and interest in, historical archaeological research on the national stage.

We congratulate the chief investigators, Associate Professor Heather Burke, Associate Professor Susan Lawrence and Dr James Flexner, and all their locall and international collaborators, and wish them every success in their research.

THE PROJECTS

Associate Professor Heather Burke, Professor Bryce Barker, Professor Iain Davidson, Dr Lynley Wallis, Dr Noelene Cole, Ms Elizabeth Hatte and Dr Larry Zimmerman
The Flinders University of South Australia
$765,727, 4 years

This project plans to conduct a systematic archaeological study of the Queensland Native Mounted Police. While previous studies have focused on policing activities as revealed by the historical record, this project will combine material, oral and historical evidence from a range of sites across central and northern Queensland to understand more fully the activities, lives and legacies of the Native Police. This project aims to provide an alternative lens through which to understand the nature of frontier conflict, initiate new understandings of the Aboriginal and settler experience, and contribute to global studies of Indigenous responses to colonialism.

Associate Professor Susan Lawrence, Associate Professor Ian Rutherfurd, Dr Ewen Silvester, Dr Darren Baldwin, Professor Mark Macklin, Dr Peter Davies and Ms Jodi Turnbull
La Trobe University
$650,187, 4 years

By considering rivers as cultural artefacts, this project aims to evaluate how historical gold mining has shaped river systems in Victoria. Victoria’s historic mining industry led to extensive and long-lasting change to waterways across the state. The project plans to integrate approaches from landscape archaeology, physical geography, geomorphology and environmental chemistry to identify and map the extent of changes, including increased sedimentation, erosion, and chemical contamination. The project plans to demonstrate how historical mining continues to influence chemical and physical processes in Victorian streams and to develop understanding of the landscapes experienced by Victorians at the height of the mining boom. Project outcomes may provide improved context for catchment and reservoir management and counter prevailing impressions about causes of observed damage to rivers.

Dr James Flexner, Dr Stuart Bedford and Dr Frederique Valentin
The Australian National University
$317,698.00

This project aims to conduct an archaeological survey of Vanuatu. One of archaeology's most significant contributions is providing models for the emergence of cultural diversity through time. Vanuatu is one of the most diverse regions on Earth. The southern islands were an important hub in early settlement and long-term inter-island interactions of Island Melanesia. Yet little is known about the origins of cultural contacts and diversity in the area. A major archaeological survey of the Polynesian outliers Futuna and Aniwa and neighbouring islands Tanna and Aneityum would greatly improve our knowledge of settlement patterns, long-distance exchange, and cross-cultural interaction in the region, from initial Lapita settlement 3000 years ago through to the arrival of Christian missionaries in the 1860s.

The project will include archaeological survey and excavation as well as a survey of 19th and early 20th century museum collections, particularly looking at examples of stone and shell exchange valuables from Futuna, Aniwa, Aneityum, Tanna. These objects may provide evidence about connections to neighbouring island groups, including New Caledonia, Fiji, and possibly Western Polynesia.

Adze Blades from Southern Vanuatu, Geddie/Robertson Collection, Nova Scotia Museum (Courtesy of J. Flexner)
Adze Blades from Southern Vanuatu, Geddie/Robertson Collection, Nova Scotia. Museum (Courtesy of J. Flexner)

 

MORE INFORMATION

ARC Selection Report (Discovery Projects)

ARC Funding Announcements (Discovery Projects)