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Listed under:  Technologies  >  Transport

Steam transportation in Australia

Steam generated the principal form of mechanical power for Australia's transport systems from the second half of the 19th century until the widespread adoption of the internal combustion engine in the 20th century. This collection of digital curriculum resources is organised into six categories - steam trains; river steamers; ...

Interactive resource

Zou ba! Transport

Explore the words for a range of transport types such as train, bus, ferry, car, bike, walking. Find out how to ask someone what mode of transport they will be using to travel.


Austral Laboratory building at the Kodak factory in Abbotsford, late 1920s

This is a black-and-white photograph with sepia toning of the Kodak factory in Abbotsford, Melbourne, taken around the late 1920s. It features the Austral Laboratory building, built in 1886, which curves around Southampton Crescent on the Kodak factory site. A car and two trucks, with their drivers standing beside them, ...


Horsedrawn 'Manly' tram, 1894-1907

This is a 14-seater horsedrawn tram made in 1894 at the Randwick Tramway Workshops of the New South Wales Government Railways, Sydney. The tram is metal-framed, painted brown and rests on an axle box and pedestal with helical steel springs. A metal raised roof, painted light pink, has air vents and a rotating air ventilator ...


Repairing a truck on the Nullarbor in 1915

This is a 1915 black-and-white photograph showing a man and a woman working to repair a truck while another man looks on. The whole rear axle and wheels have been removed from the vehicle and spare tyres lie on the ground. The photograph was taken somewhere on the Nullarbor, along the route of the Trans-Australian Railway ...


Australasian Gazette - Conversion, c1920

This silent black-and-white clip shows newsreel coverage of the conversion to electric power of a cable tram system in Melbourne. It shows work commencing on tracks on Victoria Parade, including shots of a mechanical pothole digger excavating holes for the power poles, and men installing the poles. A new electric tram is ...

Moving Image

A smarter future car

Over about 125 years the automobile has only experienced minor changes, but now our cramped and clogged cities demand a smarter car. In this clip from 2010, see how the automobile is being adapted to make our cities more efficient.

Tablet friendly (Interactive resource)

Give me a brake

Investigate braking efficiency of cars and trucks by testing stopping distances under controlled conditions. Test effects of vehicle type, tyres, road surface and weather conditions. Choose driving speed, then apply brakes and compare stopping distances. Estimate distances from target markers. Answer questions about antilock ...


A Geelong street in 1929

This is a silent black-and-white film clip introduced by the intertitle 'Activity characterises its everyday life.' showing a distance shot looking up a main street in Geelong in 1929 with cars, trams, bicycles and pedestrians, followed by a medium-distance shot across the road from shopfronts, with police directing traffic ...


Sydney Harbour Bridge, 1932 - asset 2

This is a clip from footage prepared as part of the production process of an item to be included in a 1932 episode of Movietone News, a black-and-white newsreel. It contains footage of Sydney Harbour Bridge shortly after its official opening in 1932, showing cars driving across the Bridge. Many people are walking across ...


Sydney Harbour Bridge, 1932 - asset 3

This is a clip from footage prepared as part of the production process of an item to be included in a 1932 episode of Movietone News, a black-and-white newsreel. It contains footage showing vehicles boarding and leaving ferries next to the new Sydney Harbour Bridge and the vehicular ferries zipping across the busy Harbour. ...


Darling River chart, c1878 - section 2 of 3

This is part of a black-and-white, hand-drawn cloth chart of the Darling River in New South Wales. Drawn in ink, this section of the chart indicates Ten Mile Point and depicts a dairy. It shows navigational hazards in the River using symbols and, in some cases, names or descriptions, for example, 'V Dangerous', 'Ten Mile ...


Leyland double-decker bus, 1951

This a double-decker Leyland omnibus painted in blue and cream and numbered 2769. The bus has a Leyland style OPD2/1 chassis. There are 13 seats downstairs in addition to a driver's cabin, and 16 seats upstairs, with a rear corner staircase and fitted lighting.


Cable-trailing tramcar, 1894

This is a 16-passenger cable-trailing tramcar that once ran from King Street Wharf to Ocean Street in Sydney. It is painted a deep rich brown, and the exterior is decorated with gold and cream trimmings. The seats are varnished timber. The six windows open inwards and are covered with pulled-down roller blinds. There are ...


Robilt toy steam locomotive representing Australian rolling stock, 1949

This is a 'Robilt Series 52', 0-gauge toy steam locomotive manufactured from metal by Robilt Products, Sandringham, Victoria, in 1949. The toy includes features such as four moulded metal driving wheels with coupling and connecting rods, a safety valve, boiler, steam dome and chimney. There is a brake lever on the right ...


Model of the Princess of Tasmania passenger ferry, 2004

This is a model of the Bass Strait passenger ferry 'Princess of Tasmania', in a perspex case. It was made from wood and perspex by Iain Scott-Stevenson for the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, in 2004. The model is finely finished, complete with decks, lifeboats, radio masts and deck equipment. The hull is beige and the decks ...


Steam tram used in Sydney, 1879

This is a steam tram motor locomotive made by Burnham, Parry and Williams and Co at Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia in 1879. A wooden cab encloses the entire locomotive, which features five windows along each side. Access to the cab is through doors from both the front and back platforms. Protruding through the ...


Horsedrawn omnibus, c1904

This is a horsedrawn omnibus produced by the Sydney Tramway and Omnibus Company, Sydney, in 1898. It seats 24, and consists of a wooden body with a series of five sash windows along each side. Inside are two rows of seats running the length of the vehicle. At the rear is a stairway that leads to the open seating area on ...


Sydney trolley bus number 1, 1933-56

This is a trolley bus that was made in the UK in 1933, and was the first to operate in Sydney. It looks like an ordinary motor bus on rubber wheels except that, like a tram, it once operated on electricity and was connected to overhead wires by the pair of trolley poles on the roof. There is a yellow number '1' on the front. ...


Horsedrawn fire-engine, c1895

This is a red horsedrawn steam fire-engine made in the UK in 1895 and used in Broken Hill, Australia. It consists of a boiler, steam pumping engine and various accessories (including a coal bunker) necessary for generating and maintaining steam pressure in order to pump water. All the machinery is mounted on a sprung carriage ...