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Online Catalogue last updated 2nd of November 2021


Arsenic and Molasses A Pictorial History of the Powelltown Tramway

Written by Fank Stamford

When the railway from Lilydale to Warburton was opened in 1901 it led to the rapid development of the timber industry in that area. Until 1912 this was in the hands of small operators. In that year a large company with major shareholders in Western Australia and New Zealand was formed to exploit the newly developed "Powell" process of timber preservation.

The process involved the heating of timber in a solution containing molasses, water and other ingredients including arsenic to control white ants. To use the process economically involved the building of a large sawmill and a company town. The Company chose a site 10 miles from Yarra Junction, and named it "Powelltown".

To provide transport the Company built narrow gauge steam operated tramways through the bush. The Powell process proved a failure, but the timber milling operations centred on Powelltown remained.

This book provides an illustrated history of those operations, and an insight into a way of life long since gone.

Code No. 008645, 88 pages, ISBN 0909340358, $36.30

This item is listed under the following subjects:

Railway   Saw Mills  
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