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Dark brown hard hat made of Duperite associated with the Snowy Scheme

The Snowy Scheme — Frank Rodwell Collection consists of two hard hats from the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme, one dating from the early 1950s and the other being of later design. The Snowy Scheme is Australia’s largest engineering work and one of the great engineering feats of the world. Designed to produce irrigation water and electricity, the scheme took 25 years to construct, from 1949 to 1974. The scheme included 7 power stations, 16 dams and 225 kilometres of aqueducts and tunnels. It was built by a workforce of 100,000 people, two-thirds of whom came from overseas. The scheme played a major part in making Australia multi-cultural, and also in developing Australia’s manufacturing, technical and engineering capacities. This collection reflects the need for protective clothing for Snowy workers and shows the hard and dangerous nature of work on the scheme’s construction projects generally but especially tunnelling. The Guthega hat is associated with the scheme’s first completed dam and power station project.