A number of images of antique pumps are now available online through Museum Victoria.

The images form part of the Vickers Ruwolt Collection, which comprises over 1,000 glass plate negatives relating to production at the Vickers Ruwolt engineering works on Victoria Street Richmond, taken between 1915 and the late 1950s.

In 1911, partially in response to a growing export demand for large tin mining dredges, Charles Ruwolt acquired a 10-acre site previously used for market gardens on the banks of the Yarra River in the Melbourne suburb of Richmond, with a view to relocating his company’s manufacturing operations.

By 1922, the firm had began diversifying into heavy industrial work, producing road-making equipment, ore crushing machinery for the mining industry, brewing machinery and hydraulic presses for the emerging Australian car industry. By 1938, Ruwolts was one of the largest engineering companies in Australia, occupying 20 acres (8 hectares) and employing 600-700 workers.
Images include a 4 inch Wilfrey pump from 1932, a vacuum pump and a hydraulic pump both from 1933.

The Museum’s engineering collection also includes items such as the original The British General Electric Co Centrifugal Pump Motor from the MMBW Spotswood Sewerage Pumping Station installed in 1938.

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