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Technology in Australia 1788-1988Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
Table of Contents

Chapter 6

I Construction During The Settlement Years

II The Use Of Timber As A Structural Material

III Structural Steel

IV Concrete Technology

V Housing

VI Industrialised Pre-cast Concrete Housing

VII Ports And Harbours

VIII Roads

IX Heavy Foundations

X Bridges

XI Sewerage

XII Water Engineering

XIII Railways

XIV Major Buildings

XV Airports

XVI Thermal Power Stations

XVII Materials Handling

XVIII Oil Industry

XIX The Snowy Mountains Scheme

XX The Sydney Opera House

XXI The Sydney Harbour Bridge

XXII Hamersley Iron

XXIII North West Shelf

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Construction During The Settlement Years (continued)

Next to water, the most urgent need in the infant settlement was an adequate supply of food. While wheat could be grown with some difficulty, one of the great concerns of the early Governors was to establish efficient mills for grinding wheat into flour, which was the principal source of carbohydrate. One of the earliest millwrights, a prisoner called James Wilkinson, produced a walking machine, the principal wheel of which was 15 feet in diameter. It was operated by two men walking inside, but because of the shrinkage of timbers in the morticed wheels and the failure of timber cogs was not a success. It was superseded by larger and more robust machines which, in due course, were sequentially powered by wind, water and steam. The needs of the community were satisfied and the age of mechanical engineering had arrived in Australia.

People in Bright Sparcs - Holland, Sir John; MacGillivray, Alistair; Wilkinson, James

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© 1988 Print Edition page 318, Online Edition 2000
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher