Found in the burnt-out remains of Bill Coppinger's shed at Mount Disappointment, this oil can is one of the few objects from a large collection of old tools and machinery to remain following the Kilmore East Bushfire of 7 February 2009.

The oil can dates from 1940s-1950s and was used by Bill but originally belonged to Peter Strickland, the donor's father-in-law.

Bill Coppinger had an active interest in heritage objects and the contents of the tool and machinery shed were 70-100 years old. In addition to old tools and machinery, Bill's shed included items from his father, Bob Coppinger who worked for International Harvester for 50 years, and had an extensive collection relating to International Harvester, including negatives, plans, trade catalogues, and other items relating to his working life. All of these items were lost to the fire.

This is part of the Victorian Bushfires Collection, which includes a number of interviews with Bill Coppinger and a large range of fire affected artefacts from his destroyed home.

Physical Description

Dome-shaped oil can with a circular base and screw on central cap and nozzle. The nozzle is loose and bent to one side.


This is a story of good fire preparation but ultimate defeat before an overwhelming firestorm. On 7 February 2009, the donor watched closely as the Kilmore East Fire jumped the Hume Highway and moved across to the base of his property on Mount Disappointment. He was aware of the fire's movements, had vast amounts of water and was properly prepared to 'stay and defend', but his house, sheds and all their contents were destroyed. He lost his dog and very nearly lost his life.

It is also a reminder of the number of personal collections, both large and small, that were lost in the fires. From books and photographs to old tools and machinery, these collections were repositories of personal stories, as this example illustrates, but also contained objects of historical value to the larger community.

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