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The Waterworks Museum in Goulburn
Photo: The Waterworks Museum in Goulburn
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Waterworks Museum, NSW

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One of the technical wonders of the Victoria Era was the machinery invented and built to do everything from powering the massive steel bridges such as the Tyne Swing Road Bridge, steam powered pile drivers, huge cotton factory machinery to pumping water.

Such a machine is still in working order and on view at the Goulburn Waterworks Museum, a steam engine that powered the pumps at the Goulburn Waterworks. The last machine of its kind in Australia to be located in its original setting, it operated till 1932.

Appleby Bros. Steam Engine

An 1883 Appleby Bros. steam engine, it is also known as a beam engine, due to its large arms that rock up and down enabling water to be pumped from one place to another.

Achieving 120 horsepower, the steam engine can pump 130,000 litres of water out of the river. The engine was restored to working order by Bruce MacDonald and with help from his family, completing the monumental task in 1958. He was a steam engineering engineer and is also credited with helping the works turn into a museum.

James Barnet

The distinctive red brick building housing the works was designed by the Colonial Architect, James Barnet, who amongst others well known NSW buildings, designed the Sydney General Post Office and the the iconic Macquarie Lighthouse at Bondi, as well as the Colonial Chief Secretary’s Building. Another is the Australian Museum.

The Appleby Brothers

An engineering firm based in London, they made a variety of industrial scale steam powered machines, including steam cranes, machinery for making bricks, pumps and other engines, including portable and stationary ones.

Others included pile drivers, dredgers, saw benches, mortar mills, hoisting and builders machinery.

Getting to the Museum

Located just west of Goulburn at Marsden Weir (off Fitzroy Street).

Goulburn Waterworks Museum

Visit their site:

Goulburn Historic Waterworks Museum

Surrounds of Goulburn

Capital Country

Goulburn War Memorial Museum

Places in Australian History

Goulburn Weather

Further Reading

South Coast NSW

You can also head from the Southern Highlands to the stunning South Coast for great beaches, national parks and resorts: South Coast of NSW.

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