Port Phillip Steamers

In the early years of the colony of Victoria shipping was an important, and often the only mode of transport between Melbourne and the developing coastal towns.  Sail and steam powered vessels of various sizes and types plied their trade from the mid 19th century.  In holiday periods steamer excursion services carried large groups for club and company picnic outings and special events.

Steamer Displays

In the Museum are displays illustrating aspects of the steamer trade; these include:

  • SS Edina artefacts
  • PS Hygeia and PS Weeroona artefacts, plus model vessels on loan from Museum Victoria

The steamer models display has recently been enhanced in 2 ways.  The models now stand on glass shelves supported by stainless steel tubes.  Beneath the models is a display to illustrate the steamer services and the shipping companies which operated them.

The ships china relics which the Museum has acquired over the years have been cleaned, identified and documented.  Most of the china was made in the UK, and we were able to use the comprehensive Staffordshire potteries website for this research.  The china display is interspersed with illustrations of steamer activity reproduced from our photograph, postcard and map archive. 

Recently arrived steamer artefacts include promenade deck seats from SS Edina and PS Hygeia and a marvellous carved and painted wooden crest from the port side paddle box of the PS Weeroona.