Living in a Sensory World Exhibition Launch

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EXHIBITION LAUNCH: LIVING IN A SENSORY WORLD

Sensory World Exhibition #1This morning the Gold Museum hosted the launch of the travelling exhibition, Living in a Sensory World: Stories from people with blindness and low vision. This exhibition was developed in partnership between the Powerhouse Museum and Vision Australia, and includes first-hand accounts and technologies for people with blindness and low vision.

Interesting objects featured on display include telescope eyeglasses from the 1920s, a talking book machine from the 1950s, a Bionic Eye and a Braille Playboy magazine from 1974. Continue reading

Miniature Tombstone

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This is the first post in a series that will examine some of the highlights of our collection.

Miniature Tombstone (1890s)
Image: Ballarat Historical Society Collection (78.0712)

This tombstone, standing only 34 cm tall, was placed in the centre of Sturt Street, Ballarat by protesting cab drivers in the 1890s. The Mayor of the day, Councillor Charles Collett (C.C.) Shoppee, had ordered the horse-drawn cabs to move elsewhere in the city to allow the creation of a new median strip garden between Armstrong and Doveton Streets. Despite protests to the municipal council, the cabs were moved on and the garden was developed.

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Petford Letters Collection

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LETTERS OF THE GOLDFIELDS BY JAMES PETFORD, MARY ANN PETFORD AND JANE PETFORD

In May 2012, the Gold Museum purchased a collection of 36 letters written by James Petford and his second wife, Jane. These documents follow James’s life from his arrival in Adelaide, South Australia, in 1848, to his time on the Victorian goldfields of Ballarat, Smythesdale, Napoleon Lead and Mount Egerton.

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Miner’s Rights Collection

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MINER’S RIGHTS COLLECTION

Since gold was discovered in Victoria in 1851, the government has sought to manage the number of prospectors through a licensing system. The high rates of the first Gold Licenses led to protests from the miners, which eventually resulted in the events at the Eureka Stockade in December 1854. Following a Royal Commission in 1855, the Gold License was changed to the Miner’s Right, which reduced the fee and required annual payment, rather than monthly or quarterly.

Gold License (1854)
Image: Ballarat Historical Society Collection (78.971D)

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Researching the World’s Largest Nuggets

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THE WORLD’S LARGEST NUGGETS

The Gold Museum is home to a large collection of gold nuggets of all shapes and sizes. Visitors frequently ask if the gold we have on display is real, and whether people are still digging it up in Ballarat today. We are pleased to reply that our gold collection is indeed genuine, and that most of the nuggets were found in surprisingly recent years, from the 1970s to the early 2000s.

The Gold Museum’s largest existing nugget is the Goldasaurus, weighing 4.4 kg (141.17 troy ounces), which was discovered in Victoria at an undisclosed location in 2003.

Goldasaurus Nugget

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