The Meters of Waddamana Power Station

In last week’s blog post I gave you a glimpse of the Waddamana Power Station Museum. This week we take a closer look at some of the fabulous meters in their collection.

Let’s start with the Weston Ammeter manufactured by the Weston Electrical Instrument Company in Newark, New Jersey in the United States. Ammeters are used to measure electric current in a circuit, and this one is proof that you can have pretty scientific instruments. If you look very closely you’ll see that this is number 79051.

The Meters of Waddamana Power Station | Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au

Next we have a water pressure meter on one of the London-based Boving & Co turbines. Interestingly it shows the pressure in both pounds per square inch (which anyone who has pumped up a tyre knows as PSI) and feet head of water, presumably to save the engineers having to do conversions between the two.

The Meters of Waddamana Power Station | Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au

This meter is also from Boving & Co, but from the days when Mr Jens Orton Boving was still living in Sweden. This one is showing the rate at which the turbines are spinning (in revolutions per minute or rpm). They had a top speed of 1300 rpm, which I thought seemed incredibly fast until I remembered my tiny domestic washing machine spins at 1000 rpm. Which led to a conversation about how they stabilised something so big spinning at this speed. Now the giant bolts make a bit more sense.

The Meters of Waddamana Power Station | Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au

Next we have a lovely brass power factor meter from Westinghouse in Manchester, England. I love seeing familiar brand names on old products. I also love that all these meters remind us there was a time when your location was the byline to your brand name.

The Meters of Waddamana Power Station | Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au

And finally we have another meter measuring power, with separate meters for amperes (amps) and volts. Despite a valiant search I can’t discover which company this lovely little logo belongs to. Another mini business lesson perhaps – including your brand name will mean you’re remembered long after people stop recognising your logo.

The Meters of Waddamana Power Station | Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au

As I mentioned last week, if you want to see more, Waddamana Power Station Museum is open daily between 10am and 4pm, every day except Christmas Day and Good Friday. Admission is free.

Waddamana Power Station

In the geographical centre of Tasmania, up in the highlands, there’s a turn off from the Highland Lakes Road that takes you 30km down a winding dirt road to an unexpected piece of industrial design history – the Waddamana Hydro-Electric Power Station. Or more precisely these days, the Waddamana Power Station Museum.

Construction on Tasmania’s first hydropower station began in 1910 as an ambitious and ultimately unsuccessful private venture, which was taken over by the Tasmanian Government in 1914. Waddamana began generating power in 1916, and if the lovely signage is accurate, this fine building was opened in 1922. It was functional for over 40 years before being decommissioned in 1964, and converted to a museum in 1988. Its twin (Waddamana B), which sits behind it, was functional until 1994.

Waddamana Power Station | Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au

It’s hard to grasp the volume of water that rushed through these pipes, and it’s even harder to reconcile the knowledge that the first pipelines were made of wooden staves (like a barrel).

Waddamana Power Station | Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au

These signs are still common on the active lines that criss-cross Tasmania today. They’ve updated the wording a little, but the message is still the same.

Waddamana Power Station | Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
Waddamana Power Station | Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au

We spent a long time in the turbine hall, wandering amongst these giant machines. They’re beautifully crafted, with a lovely attention to detail. The thing we struggled with most when coming to terms with the size and number of them is the knowledge that these giants were shipped to Tasmania from England and the United States, and then transported up into the highland wilderness, presumably by horse and cart. Waddamana isn’t that easy to get to now, and I can’t imagine what it was like between 1910 and 1916.

Waddamana Power Station | Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
Waddamana Power Station | Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
Waddamana Power Station | Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au

Tragically the control panel is behind glass, which I suppose is a good thing, because the temptation to play with all the controls would be irresistible if it wasn’t.

Waddamana Power Station | Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.auWaddamana Power Station | Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au

The museum also contains exhibits of other electricity related items including household items, and scientific items like this lovely cathode ray oscillograph.

Waddamana Power Station | Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au

The old office areas are set up as they would have been at the height of the station’s activity, complete with glorious advertisements for electricity for factory, farm and home!

Waddamana Power Station | Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
Waddamana Power Station | Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
Waddamana Power Station | Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au

Waddamana Power Station Museum is open daily between 10am and 4pm, every day except Christmas Day and Good Friday. Admission is free.

Highland Adventures

Today’s post features a tiny, tiny glimpse at the central highlands of Tasmania. As always we took the quiet back roads as much as possible and it paid off. It’s a beautiful region, and as is so often the case in Tasmania, you almost have the roads and the views all to yourself…

Highland Adventures | Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au Highland Adventures | Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au Highland Adventures | Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au

As well as the sweeping vistas of highland farms, the high voltage pylons serve as a frequent reminder that the central highlands are hydro country. And I’m happy to admit that I’m often as enthralled by telegraph poles, pylons and wires as I am by trees.

Highland Adventures | Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au Highland Adventures | Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au

As well as meandering through the countryside we made a brief stop in the town of Bothwell. It’s a town we’ve visited quite a few times before, but on this visit we made time to wander around the Bothwell Cemetery. I’ve always been fascinated by the sense of time and history I get from reading the epitaphs and the dates on the headstones. The cemetery has been in use since the 1830’s, and parts of it have certainly seen better days, but it’s still an intriguing place to visit.

Highland Adventures | Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au Highland Adventures | Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au

A weekend in Sydney

Recently we made a brief foray to the mainland for the weekend. Each year we try to travel to Sydney see the Archibald Prize exhibition, and this year was no exception. As well as seeing some amazing art, we got the chance to play in a big city again for a few days. If (or more likely, when…) the desire to move interstate grabs me again, I’d be very, very tempted to give life in Sydney a try.

A weekend in Sydney | Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
A weekend in Sydney | Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
A weekend in Sydney | Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
A weekend in Sydney | Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
A weekend in Sydney | Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au

Inspired by an old dictionary

In November 2014 my lovely husband gave me an India Paper Edition of Webster’s New International Dictionary of the English Language published in 1919.

It spurned the Dictionary Project, a series of images inspired by the words and definitions contained in the impossibly thin pages of this beautiful old book.

The latest entry is inspired by the word gamble, which is defined as:

1. To play or game for money or other stake, as at cards, dice, billiards, horseracing, cockfighting, etc.

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It’s a slow project, one that will steadily grow over time, whenever the mood takes me to flick through the pages seeking inspiration. I imagine one day the book itself will even feature.

Dark Times in Hobart

I’ve been a bit quiet lately, preoccupied with things that keep me away from my computer, and honestly, transmission is likely to be patchy for awhile. But there have still been adventures, oh my, have there been adventures.

This week I take you to a small piece of the world of Dark Mofo.  Enjoy.

Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au

Fire Organ, Bastiaan Maris
Fire Organ, Bastiaan Maris

Angry Electrons, Jason James
Angry Electrons, Jason James

Exploring the far south

What better way to spend a wet and gloomy Saturday than on a road trip? Especially one that takes our little Fiat500C to places I’m pretty sure Fiat never intended it to go. This trip took us back into Tasmania’s Far South, through the Southern Forests to the D’Entrecasteaux River and Recherche Bay.

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The D’Entrecasteaux River, Recherche, Tasmania
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The D’Entrecasteaux River, Recherche, Tasmania
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The Southern Forests, Recherche, Tasmania
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The D’Entrecasteaux River, Recherche, Tasmania
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The D’Entrecasteaux River, Recherche, Tasmania
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Recherche Bay, Tasmania
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Recherche Bay, Tasmania
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Recherche Bay, Tasmania
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Sunken timber in a tea-tree stained pool, Recherche Bay, Tasmania
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Kelp, Recherche Bay, Tasmania

A Peninsula Experience

Tasmania has no shortage of amazing places to stay. However, there are are a handful that are truly spectacular. The Peninsula Experience in Dover is one of those. To start with you get a beautiful house, complete with wood fire, and outdoor spa. But on top of that you get an entire peninsula to yourself, complete with 4km of walking tracks, and an army of birds and wildlife.

Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au
Shy Fox Photography | shyfoxphotography.com.au