Eureka Foundry

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Cowley's Eureka Ironworks Company. Courtesy University of Ballarat Historical Collection [Cat. No. 4692].

Also known as Cowley's Foundry, Cowley's Eureka Ironworks.

Cowley's Foundry was located in Rodier Street, Ballarat East. The proprietor was Joseph Edward Cowley (1847-1910). The Foundry produced high quality steam boilers that were well known across Australia. Cowley's Foundry also produced the steelwork that was used in the construction of the bridge over the Murray River.





The Eureka Foundry participated in Factory Day, 1917, an initiative of the Forward Ballarat Movement.

In 1960 Cowley's Eureka Ironworks, boilermakers and engineers, were still situated in Rodier Street. The General Manager and Director was W. B. Wheeler, and under him the ironworks made steam boilers, storage tanks, welded steel pipes, engines, electrically driven bowling green rollers, milking machines and dairy farm machinery.


The Eureka Iron Works was situated in Rodier Streets, Ballarat East, on a site near the Eureka Stockade[1].

In 1904 it was situated on Rodier Street, Ballarat East.[2]

A 'galvanized corugated iron factory building' associate with the Eureka Foundry still exists on Eureka Street.[3] In 1967 the address was advertised at Rodier Street. [4]


Heralding a new Ballarat industry' and an enterprise of still wider importance, a new 12-ton steam roller for the Country Roads Board use was christened at Cowleys' Eureka iron works on Wednesday. There was a large and representative gathering. In extending a welcome, Mr B. A. John, managing director, said the manufacture of the engine opened a new page in the industrial history of Ballarat, and it could be rightly said, of Australia. With the exception of one or two made by the old Phoenix Foundry and the Austral Otis firm, all the steam rollers in the country had come from overseas. Likewise all the money paid for them had gone out of Australia. With the exception of the steel castings which were obtained from Melbourne owing to the absence of a steel foundry in Ballarat, the new roller was entirely a local product, embodying all the best accepted principles. The engine had been solely designed in the firm's own drafting office and made by Ballarat workmen, with a view of meeting Australian conditions. It represented an enterprise which should be fostered. Mr. John added that one of the greatest difficulties experienced by manufacturers was getting the confidence of Australian people in their own goods. This was a truly made-in-Australia piece of work manship. ... Cr White broke a bottle of champagne over the roller and christened it Eureka. The roller will undergo a trial on Wednesday. Members of the Country Roads Board will be present. Complete success has been achieved in unofficial trials. The firm states that the cost compared favorably with the im ported article.[5]

Community Involvement

Works Produced

Boilers, steel pipes, industrial repairs, bins and hoppers, machining, tanks, gas holders, pattern making, general fabrications. [6]

Workplace Relations

The People

Federation University Historical Collection (Cat. No. 15771)

Phillip Francis Acott (1869-1940)

Joseph Edward Cowley (1847-1910)

Albert Rowell completed an apprenticeship at Cowley's.[7]

William Baden Wheeler (1900-1971)


See also

Recommended Reading

Smith, James (Ed) The Cyclopedia of Victoria, Vol.II : An Historical and Commercial Review. Victoria: F.W. Niven & Co., 1904.


  1. Cyclopedia of Victoria, pp126
  2. Smith, James(1904). The Cyclopaedia of Victoria, Vol. II.. Victoria: The Cyclopaedia Company, Publishers, Melbourne.
  3. Ballarat Heritage Precincts – Statements of Significance 2006.
  4. Ballarat Courier Christmas Number, Ballarat, 1921.
  5. The Horsham Times, 25 December 1925.
  6. Ballarat Courier Christmas Number, Ballarat, 1921.
  7. The Re-Discovery of the Ballarat Orphanage's Arthur Kenny Avenue Commemorative Booklet.

Further Reading

The Evening Echo Historical Edition, Ballarat, 1904.

1960 letterhead held in the University of Ballarat Historical Collection [Cat. No. 12957].

External Links

--Kerryn Murphy 10:01, 16 May 2011 (EST); --C.K.Gervasoni 14:10, 3 November 2011 (EST); --H. Scarpe 21:22, 19 August 2012 (EST)

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