Esperance Municipal Museum

The Museum collection is housed in the old Esperance Railway Station building. It was officially opened in October 1976 and is staffed entirely by volunteers. Items from the wreckage of Skylab which crashed to earth near Esperance in 1979, a WAGR steam locomotive, exhibits from Sir Douglas Mawson's Antarctic expedition, a large agricultural machinery display, items from shipwrecks and items from early settlements make up a fascinating collection of exhibits. Restoration, accession, database, archival and display programmes are carried out.

Address: 
James Street, Esperance, WA
Tel: 
0890711579
Hours: 
1.30pm-4.30pm daily
Admission: 
Adults $4.00, Concession $3.00, Children $1.00
Facilities: 
Shop, guided tours on request, education programs, newsletter
Collection: 
Estimated 4,000 items. Physical and documentary evidence of the heritage of the Esperance region, ie pre-settlement days of Aborigines, maritime explorers and whale and seal traders. Pioneer settlers, gold-rush days, two world wars, depression era, agricultural development. Unique Skylab display.
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Items

Tractor

1907 Saunderson & Gyfkens Tractor

1907 Saunderson & Gyfkens Tractor
Creator:
Saunderson & Gyfkens, Elston Works, Bedford, England
Description:
Internal combustion engine used on farms in Esperance region.
Date:
1907-1940
Item Id Number:
E95.094

This tractor was purchased secondhand by the Turner family and used on their farm "The Pines" at Meljinup near Esperance until around 1930.

Steam locomotive W919

W919 locomotive

W919 locomotive
Creator:
WA Government Railways
Description:
Weight 101 tons, length 62 feet, capacity 435 tons, 1 in 80 grade, mileage covered 347,403.
Date:
1951-1969

W919 steam locomotive was purchased from Westrail by the Esperance Bay Historical society in 1974 at a cost of $3,600. Features include roller bearings on all carrying axles, power operated reversing gear, boiler with a wide firebox and large combustion chamber. "Master Mechanics" spark arrester to smoke box. Placed on display outside museum on special occasions.

Skylab wreckage

Nitrogen Gas Tank (part of)

Nitrogen Gas Tank (part of)
Creator:
Kennedy Space Centre, USA
Description:
Part of a titanium sphere (one of 22) used to house the nitrogen required for the operation of the thruster altitude control system of Skylab.
Date:
1973-1979

Skylab was launched from the John F kennedy Space Center on May, 1973. It completed 34,981 orbits of earth before crashing to earth in the early hours of july 13,1979.

Aeroplane propeller

Creator:
Hawker Aircraft Limited
Description:
Wooden propeller from Vickers REP monoplane belonging to Sir Douglas Mawson, used in Australasian Antarctic Expedition 1911-1914.
Date:
1911
Item Id Number:
E81.001

Sir Douglas Mawson planned to use the Vickers REP monoplane on his expedition to the Antartic between December 1911 and Febraury 1914. The plane crashed on a trial flight at Adelaide in October 1911. The wings were removed and the plane was taken on the expedition and used as a tractor sledge, albeit with little success as the extreme cold solidified the lubricating oil and the engine seized. Charles Sandell was the radio technician for the expedition and was based at Macquarie Island from 1911. He retrieved the propellor from where it was buried under ten feet of snow. Sandell later lived in Esperance, and after his death various items from the expedition were donated to the museum.

Austin seven car

1929 Baby Austin 7

Creator:
Austin Motor Company, England. Previously owned by Don Thomas (dec'd), of Bayswater, WA, purchased secondhand at a cost of 70 pounds in 1939.
Description:
Motor cycle tyres, speed 32mph, fuel consumption 45 miles to the gallon. Copperplate hand-written book giving details of structural alterations to the car and seven long trips radiating north, south and east of Perth over a period of over 50 years.
Date:
1929-1992
Item Id Number:
E.12155

Owned by Don Thomas of Bayswater and used continuously until 1992 (63 years). Driven throughout the Southern half of Western Australia, including Esperance.