Decade-by-Decade History

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Contents

1850s

‘Electric telegraph communication was first had between Ballarat and Melbourne on the second anniversary of the Eureka Stockade action. The Ballarat Star of Tuesday, the 4th of December, 1856, contained the following announcement:—
The first telegraphic communication between Ballarat and Melbourne, and vice versa, took place yesterday afternoon at twenty minutes past three o’clock. Last evening, about eight o’clock, the representatives of the Press on Ballarat were invited by Mr. McGowan to witness the working of the telegraph. There being no office accommodation ready at present, the spot selected was the last post near the Unicorn hotel on the Township. A wire was carried from the post to a small testing machine placed on a stump at its base, and thence, to secure moisture, carried to the stream adjoining, which runs from Bath’s claim [now Cobb’s corner]. Mr. Humffray, who was at the Melbourne station, transmitted the following remarks to Mr. McGowan—“The establishment of electric telegraph communication between Ballarat and Melbourne is a far more pleasing event to celebrate on the anniversary of the 3rd of December than stockades and massacres.”
Intelligence of the bestowal of knighthood upon Mr. Ronalds, the inventor of the telegraph in England, led to the publication of the fact that the Mr. Ronalds referred to was the brother of Mr. Ronalds, who once had the Wendouree Nursery, in Ballarat, and who was also a man of considerable attainments. Several nephews of the inventor were lately in the colony’.[1]

1860s

1870s

1880s

‘In the interval since 1870, great urban and industrial developments have taken place; new social and ecclesiastical creations have added distinguishing features to the city; arts and manufactures have grown in importance, albeit there may not have been additions to the number of business firms. There are fewer flour mills, breweries, distilleries, and hotels now than at the earlier date; no additions have been made to the number of churches in permanent materials, and some of the wooden ones have disappeared; but additions have been made here and there to churches existing in 1870, and in some places new churches have taken the place of old ones. There are still eleven banks, not including the Savings Bank; some metropolitan wholesale firms have offices here; warehouses and factories exist now that were not built in 1870; several manufactures are new, and others have extended their boundaries, whilst municipal works have gone on with ceaseless march whether revenues have risen or fallen’.[2]
‘The telephone was introduced in Ballarat by the Victorian Telephone Exchange Company, Limited, in February, 1883. The office is in Lydiard street, and there was at the end of June, 1887, a subscription roll of 176, Mr. James Oddie having been the first subscriber enrolled. This roll involves an apparatus of 200 lines, each subscriber paying £10 a year for a service extending within a radius of one mile from the Post-office. The company was at first known as the Melbourne Company, and began work in Melbourne in 1880, a branch having been opened in Sandhurst soon after the Ballarat one was started’.[3]
‘There are within the city 86 streets, of which a length of 52 ½ miles is formed and metalled. There are also 90 miles of footpaths, 36 miles of kerbing and channelling, over 3,000 lineal yards of flagging, 17 ½ miles of flagged or asphalted footpaths, near 5,000 dwellings, 120 hotels, 24 churches, 2 steam flour-mills, 7 iron foundries, 4 agricultural implement factories, 2 woollen factories, 3 aerated water and cordial factories, 3 furniture factories, 10 printing offices, 1 tannery, 1 gas works, a town-hall, a theatre, a mechanics’ institute, a free library, a free art gallery, a free museum, a gymnasium, friendly society and other halls, 7 State schools, many private schools, 2 fire brigades, post and telegraph office, assize and police courts, gaol, and other Government offices. The total population of the city is set down by the valuer at 20,878 persons, the City Council having revenue from all sources of £26,841, for the year 1886, and for the same year an expenditure of £26,675’.[4]

1890s

1900s

1910s

1920s

1930s

1940s

1950s

1960s

1970s

1980s

1990s

2000s

2010s

References

  1. William Bramwell Withers. The History of Ballarat from the First Pastoral Settlement to the Present Time. Ballarat: F. W. Niven and Co., 1887, pages 314—315. [University of Ballarat, Mt Helen Library]
  2. William Bramwell Withers. The History of Ballarat from the First Pastoral Settlement to the Present Time. Ballarat: F. W. Niven and Co., 1887, page 242. [University of Ballarat, Mt Helen Library]
  3. William Bramwell Withers. The History of Ballarat from the First Pastoral Settlement to the Present Time. Ballarat: F. W. Niven and Co., 1887, pags 315—316. [University of Ballarat, Mt Helen Library]
  4. William Bramwell Withers. The History of Ballarat from the First Pastoral Settlement to the Present Time. Ballarat: F. W. Niven and Co., 1887, page 246. [University of Ballarat, Mt Helen Library]
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