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Commemorative bronze topographic model of the Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Scheme, presented to Ben Chifley at the scheme's inauguration

Object type

Object number

A bronze topographic model of the Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Scheme, mounted on a brown wooden plinth with four black rubber feet. Power houses are indicated by small red dots, which illuminate, and tunnels by rows of small parallel engraved lines. The waters of the Scheme's reservoir dams are represented by patches of resin. "SNOWY MOUNTAINS / HYDRO ELECTRIC / DEVELOPMENT" is engraved in an integral shelf in the bronze component in front of the topographic section. "PRESENTED TO / THE RIGHT HONOURABLE J.B. CHIFLEY, M.P. / PRIME MINISTER OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA , / TO COMMEMORATE / THE INAUGURATION OF THE WORKS / OF THE SNOWY MOUNTAINS HYDRO-ELECTRIC AUTHORITY. / 17TH. OCTOBER 1949" is engraved in a brass plaque stuck to the sloping front of the plinth. A black electrical cord emanates from beneath the model along the top edge, and the model's lighting is operational. The underside of the model is cover by a silver coloured metal plate. The bronze part of the model has a coating of verdigris, which is more pronounced in the valleys of the topography than on the ridges.

Collection name
Snowy Scheme Model collection

Collection statement of significance
Snowy Scheme Model Collection

This collection consists of a model of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Scheme presented to Prime Minister J.B.Chifley upon the inauguration of the Scheme in October 1949, and a booklet related to the Scheme.

The Snowy Scheme is world renowned as an engineering feat and is Australia's largest engineering project. Built during 1949-74, the Scheme provides hydro-electricity and irrigation water, and played a major role in developing Australia's engineering and manufacturing capacity and its technical expertise. Through its huge immigrant workforce it helped create a multicultural Australia. The inauguration of the Scheme on 17 October 1949 was a major event in modern Australian history. That models like this were made for the Governor General, the Prime Minister, relevant state premiers and ministers and other dignitaries reflects the profile of the event. The model also reflects the role of the Chifley Government in developing Australia's post-war industrial infrastructure. Because the design of the Scheme changed as the Scheme proceeded, the model in representing the original plan has added historical significance.

Date made

Associated person
Mr Joseph B. Chifley

Associated organisation
Snowy Mountains Authority

Snowy Mountains, New South Wales, Australia

Date of event

Wood, Metal - non specific, Plastic - non specific, Rubber, Resin - non specific

Width: 365mm
Height: 85mm
Depth: 420mm

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