Melbourne Industrial Revolution School Tour

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THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION (IR) was a period from approximately mid-1700s to mid-1800s when new sources of energy particularly coal and steam were used to power new machines designed to reduce human labour and increase production. The move to a more industrial society would forever change the face of labour, society and technology.
This Industrial Revolution changed global commerce and exploration enabling the  British settlement of Melbourne in 1835.
Our school tour explores the impact on Melbourne of the Industrial Revolution including British settlement,  impact on Indigenous people, ports, technologies, transport, inventions, land use, shipping, geography, railways, buildings and mills.
WHEN: Our school tour dates are by arrangement and are usually two hours in length starting and finishing at Federation Square  Students explore the surrounding river, park and urban CBD.
ROUTE: From Federation Square we travel east down the Yarra River promenade via Federation Wharf, Princes Bridge and Flinders Street Station, then north to Flinders Lane and Lt Collins Street, returning via Howie Place, Presgrave Lane, Melbourne Town Hall and Swanston Street to St Pauls Cathedral to Federation Square.



 The IR era created great wealth for some, great hardships for others and huge increases and movements in population.  It also created the British colony of Melbourne in 1835:
-Tasmanian wool farmers settled Melbourne to provide wool for the industrial mills of England to make clothes.
– Ships with new technologies such as compass, chronometers, maps, steam engines (1843)  brought vast numbers of migrants seeking gold and land.
– New transport – railways, steamships, trams, horse vehicles, bicycles – enabling mass movement of people and goods and the building of Melbourne’s suburbs.
– New inventions including stamps, telegraph, phones, enabling mass communication.
–  Technologies powered by coal and steam  enabling vast factories. 
–  Free education, books and newspapers enabling people to gain skills.
–  Gold and currency enabling people to transact and exchange goods easily.
–  New weapons, ships and machine enabled occupation of new colonies including the Kulin Nation clan estates.
– New pastoralism using fenced lands, vastly increasing food but moving most people into cities.

PLACES we visit depending on time available and events in the CBD

FEDERATION SQUARE: Federation, industrialisation, colonial borders and trade barriers

KULIN WORLD: Impacts on Indigenous people by the IR. Firestick farming supplanted by wool, beef, gold and wheat industries using tools including weapons of iron and steel.

HODDLE GRID: Horses, bullocks, railways, trams and towns

FEDERATION WHARF:  Ships and bluestone, From Dreamtime trail to the highway of British colonists and explorers, steam-powered ships, chronometers, cannons, ports, immigrants and quarries.

PRINCES BRIDGE 1886: The New Iron Age with concrete and steel and the Watt steam engine. The Melbourne Crest 1842.

FLINDERS STATION: Following the Iron Horse of the Industrial Revolution. Impacts of rail and suburbs. The first steam train in Australia. The Southbank Factory Hub, Industrial pollution.

FLINDERS LANE: Gold Rush lanes and warehouses. The Degraves flour mill. Mass immigration. 

BLOCK ARCADE: Weights and measures. Wool Mills. Photos and promenades. Basements and refrigeration. 1881 World Fair.

GPO: Mass communication, stamps, telegraphs and phones.

COLES BOOK ARCADE: Printing presses, books and free education.

Warehouses, winches, horse­­-posts, bricks and sewage.

MANCHESTER UNITY: Depressions and occupations. Telephones


ST PAULS: Churches and social services. Eureka, gold and democracy..




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