The Miners' Foundry

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The Miner's Foundry was established by Messrs Ivey and Jeffrey in 1858 and was situated in Bridge Street.




In 1861 they concentrated on producing crushing machinery for the mines - employing about 20 men to meet their obligations.[1]

About a quarter past nine last evening the bell of the Eastern Fire Brigade was heard to give the alarm of fire, the Western bell joined in the din, and in a few minutes afterwards the Main Road was filled with people, rushing hither and thither, enquiring the locality of the conflagration. The cause of alarm was found to proceed from a glare of light proceeding from the furnace in the rear of Messrs Ivey & Jeffrey's foundry, near the Bridge. The furnace was being raked out and water thrown over it, and the steam and glare of the cinders excited the alarm. In fact, no one was more astonished at the bell ringing than Messrs Ivey and Jeffrey themselves, who came out to the street to see where the fire was. That there was really no fire was soon found out by the assembled crowd, who quietly dispersed.[2]
An impudent robbery of iron was effected from the foundry of Messrs Ivey & Jeffery on Saturday. The offender tried to dispose of the property in various establishments, but failed to do so, and ultimately had the cool effrontery to take it to the foundry from where he had stolen in, and offer it for sale to the owners, who at once recognised it as their property, and handed the offender over to the police.[3]
Monday, 4th March.
(Before S. T. Clissold, Esq., P.M., and George Clendinning, Esq, J.P.)
AS COOL AS A CUCUMBER.-James Halbert was charged with stealing 206 lbs of iron from the foundry of Messrs Ivey and Jeffery. Mr Jeffery deposed that a quantity of iron, about 5 or 6 cwt, was stolen from their premises. The iron now produced belonged to him and his partner. He did not dispose of it, nor authorise any person so to do. The prisoner brought the iron on Saturday for sale to the foundry. He had about two cwt of it with him at the time. Witness could identify the iron because it was his own casting, and had been broken up in the foundry. Had seen the prisoner several times at the foundry. The iron had been marked in consequence of some iron having been stolen. The marks were visible on some of the iron now produced. James Jeffery deposed that the prisoner brought the iron to the foundry, and offered it for sale. In consequence of iron having been stolen from the heap, witness marked some of it, and when he looked at the iron in possession of the accused he at once recognised it as the same as that he had marked. The iron was kept in a yard at the back of the foundry, and close to it was a right of way. He handed the prisoner over to the police. The prisoner said he picked the iron up at an old mining claim. The Bench said, in consequence of the manner in which the property was exposed, they should commit the prisoner only for seven days.[4]
The foundry of Messrs Ivey and Jeffrey, established in 1858, is situated on the south side of Bridge street, and designated the Miners’ Foundry. The walls, which are of brick, are spanned by a well constricted wooden roof, covered with galvanised iron. The premises, which are the property of the firm, have a frontage of 30 feet, with a total depth of 140 feet, exclusive of a capacious yard, occupied by pattern shops and other requirements. Of this extreme length, 50 feet is devoted to the fitting ship, 40 feet to the smithy, and 50 feet to the foundry. The street front is occupied by the office and a wide gateway, so as to enable carts to enter the building and be loaded from the crane. Commencing from the front, we first notice the chief lathe, which is a self-acting screw cutting lathe, possessing a 20 feet bed, and so arranged that a shaft of 30 feet can be turned in it. This fine piece of machinery was manufactured in England, after designs by the firm. Next to this we have a screw cutting machine capable of turning out screws advancing from half an inch in diameter by intervals of the eighth of an inch to an inch and a half. Further on is a little self-acting machine of the firm’s own make, for cutting key sears in shafts. Opposite to this is a boring machine, also of their own manufacture, capable of taking in a diameter of 9 feet, and boring whatever may be subjected to its action from a quarter of an inch in diameter upwards. Next to this stand a bench fitted with four vyces, and two lathes for turning the lighter class of work. Our notice is next attracted by the crane which traverses and commands the whole extent of the fitting shop, whether right or left, and by the assistance of the cart track renders the conveyance back and forward of heavy castings a matter of the greatest possible ease. It works by worm and wheel, so that one man can lift from one to four tons unassisted. On the left is a large grindstone, which, with the fan blast for the forges and cupola, as well as all the machinery heretofore described, is driven by a little horizontal eight horse-power engine, made after designs by the firm, by Messrs Tangye & Co., of Birmingham. Close by is lying the apparatus connected with one of Lloyd’s patent silent fans, much used in England. This fan will shortly be erected, and put into action. In the smithy there are two forges, built of stone and brick. Lying about the foundry is the usual litter of such places – heaps of pig and bar iron, moulders’ boxes, and the like. At the extreme end of the building is the stove for drying the cores of pipes and pumping gear, and adjoining it a brass furnace. The cupola is capable of smelting about 30 cwt of iron at a time. A lesser one stands close by, from which casting up to 5 cwt may be made. In the rear are two pattern shops, together with a quantity of metal and fuel, and other stores. This establishment gives employment to about twenty men on the average, who occupy vacant time in the manufacture of cog-wheels, truck wheels, stamper boxes, and cam-barrels for mining machinery. The firm have supplied crushing machinery to the Canadian Company, the Golden Point Company, to the Temperance and British United Companies, Little Bendigo; and the Perseverance Company, Black Hill Flat. They have also made revolving stampers for some companies at Creswick and its neighborhood.[5]
On Thursday J. Oddie & Co. sold by auction, for the sum of £1050, the brick building in the Main road known as Ivey and Jeffrey’s foundry.[6]
About half-past eight on Sunday morning a fire broke out in the Miners' Foundry belonging to Mr James Ivey, situated on the banks of the Yarrowee Creek, and nearly behind the store of Messrs Wittkowski Brothers' in Bridge street. The fire was occasioned by leaving a quantity of charcoal on the top of the store to dry, near which was a heap of coals variously estimated at between two and three tons. The charcoal, it appears, became ignited, set fire to the coals, and the result was a blaze that communicated with the roof, which was partly composed of shingles and partly of corrugated iron. As soon as the fire was discovered both fire bells rang out lustily. In the meantime the people in the vicinity of the building set to work with considerable alacrity and kept the flames from spreading until the arrival of the fire brigades, the members of which bodies were promptly on the spot. As soon as the hose and engines were got into play a large stream of water was poured on the building, and happily the fire was extinguished after the roof had been partially destroyed. The damage Mr Ivey estimates is £100, and we regret to state that he is not insured. A body of police from the Camp and the Eastern Station was promptly on the ground and rendered efficient service. We have been Informed that the loss includes some patterns and mouldings used in the Foundry for business purposes.[7]
Ballarat is deteriorating in the sensational so far as fires are concerned. Since our last summary there has been only one fire, but several alarms of fire, among which latter was a rather brilliant affair of chimney burning at the Hospital. We have not not [sic] heard that the committee has been fined for the breach of municipal law there[illegible]. The real fire was also, luckily, a small one. It broke out one Sunday morning in the Miners’ Foundry, belonging to Mr James Ivey, situated on the banks of the Yarrowee Creek, and nearly behind the store of Messrs Wittkowski Brothers in Bridge street. The fire was occasioned by leaving a quantity of charcoal on the top of the stove to dry, near which was a heap of coals variously estimated at between two and three tons. We are informed the loss amounts to £100, uninsured.[8]



Community Involvement

Works Produced

Workplace Relations

The People

James Ivey


See also

Further Notes


  1. Bate, Weston. (1978). Lucky City: The First Generation at Ballarat 1851-1901. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press.
  2. The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), Thursday 21 July 1859, page 2.
  3. The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), Monday 4 March 1861, page 2.
  4. The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), Tuesday 5 March 1861, page 4.
  5. The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 – 1864) Saturday 10 August 1861, page 2.
  6. The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), Friday 20 February 1863, page 2.
  7. The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), Monday 31 August 1863, page 2.
  8. The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), Thursday 24 September 1863, page 1.

Further Reading

External Links

--Beth Kicinski 11:19, 30 December 2012 (EST)

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