Working scale model of a wire weaving loom used by Cyclone Fence & Gate Company, of Melbourne, for the manufacture of fly-wire.

Believed to have been built about 1925 by workers in the company's engineering workshops to either prove or demonstrate modifications to a full-size machine of similar design that was imported from Germany.

The model sits in its own wooden and glass display case, with spare parts draw underneath. The case appears to be roughly contemporary to the model in age.


Reason for Acquisition:

The Cyclone Fence & Gate Co. Is one of the great 'icon' Australian brand names who through their products have made a significant contribution to Australia's urban and rural landscapes of the early to mid 20th century. The Cyclone Woven Wire Fence Company was established in Melbourne by Leonard Tasman Chambers and William Eastwood Thompson, in 1898, after they had successfully secured the Australian manufacturing rights for 'cyclone' woven wire fencing, invented by the Lane brothers of America. Though many of the original product concepts and technology used by the Australian company originated overseas, the Cyclone Fence & Gate Co. Established a widespread reputation for innovative products adapted specifically for the Australian market.

By the 1920s, the company had established separate manufacturing works in Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney and Perth, and their distinctive products such as 'ringlock' and chain-mesh fencing, tubular steel and wire gates, ornamental wrought-iron balustrades, railings and gates and tubular steel playground equipment could be found throughout Australia. Their ornamental woven wire and wrought-iron gates and fencing formed one of the most distinctive elements of Australian urban architecture of the 1920s and 1930s.

Cyclone's screen cloth department was established at the Melbourne works in 1928 under the management of Reginald Alfred Chambers, and began producing the first Australian-made fly-wire screens. 'Cyclone' brand fly-wire screens made from galvanized 'Zincoid' steel or bronze wire made their first appearance in the company's no. 40 catalogue of January 1930.

This model wire-weaving loom provides a nice example of the Cyclone Co's tradition for innovative product development and for many years was on prominent display in the foyer of the company's head office and works in Gipps street, Abbotsford.

It also provides some nice associations with Scienceworks existing model collections and with a number of pieces of radio equipment used by the brother of Leonard Tasman Chambers, Francis West Chambers, who was involved in early Australian radio developments.

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