View of two locally manufactured steam locomotives in the Victorian machinery section of the Eastern Machinery Annexe at the 1880 Melbourne International Exhibition held at the Exhibition Buildings, Carlton Gardens, between 1 October 1880 and 30 April 1881.

In addition to the main permanent Exhibition Building, two permanent annexes as well as a large, central wooden temporary annexe was constructed to house the courts of various countries, or to include larger items from countries already represented in the main Building. The eastern permanent annexe was known as the Machinery Annexe, and housed exhibits from Victoria and Great Britain. A corresponding Western Machinery Annexe on the opposite side of the Carlton Gardens included exhibits from France and the United States, as well as minor displays from New South Wales, South Australia and New Zealand.

Of the two locomotives exhibited, one - a passenger O-Class steam locomotive - was produced by the Phoenix Foundry, Ballarat, while the other was a goods and freight engine manufactured by the Victorian government workshops at Williamstown. Phoenix Foundry had delivered their first engine to the Victorian Railways in February 1873, and subsequently enjoyed a steady stream of contracts across the remainder of the century. At the time of exhibition, it was reported that of the 100 locomotives then in service, 62 had been supplied by Phoenix Foundry. The company would produce a total of 352 locomotives, built across 38 different designs, between 1873-1904.

This is one of sixty-one photographs in a presentation photograph album titled '1880 Melbourne International Exhibition' presented to Thomas B. Hill. Hill was the Assistant Secretary of the 1880 Melbourne International Exhibition. This leather bound album was given to Hill, and all the Exhibition Commissioners, by the Exhibition Trustees. The photographer is believed to be Ludovico Hart, acting on a private commission from the Exhibition Trustees.

Description of Content

International Exhibition at Exhibition Building, Melbourne, 1880: interior view showing the Victorian locomotives section.

Physical Description

Monochrome, gold-toned, silver gelatin photograph in a black leather bound album with decorative gold tooled border and gold tooled lettering in centre of front cover. Inside, 61 monochrome photographic plates showing exterior and interior views of the 1880 International Exhibition, held at the Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne. Each photograph is mounted on heavy buff coloured card and has a simple black line border with a title beneath the photograph.


The Royal Exhibition Building has played an important role in Melbourne's social commercial and sporting life since it was built for the Melbourne International Exhibition in 1880. The building's size and scale provide us with a physical example of 'boom-time' Melbourne in 1880. The international exhibitions of the late 1800s provided the fledgling Australian colonies with a forum in which to showcase their progress in commerce and industry to the world. This album is significant for its detailed visual record of the first international exhibition held in Melbourne. It has clear views of the colonial & international courts, as well as specific prominent exhibits. It also provides a contemporary view of the Exhibition Building interior and exterior in the year it was constructed.

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