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Timber and iron in the smart colony

Thursday 8 May 2008

Yesterday I gave a talk at the Queensland Museum, part of a series called Queensland Connections. In this series, speakers about cultural heritage subjects are teamed with Queensland Museum staffers who talk about natural environment subjects. The result is short talks and odd double-bills.

My piece was called Timber and iron in the smart colony, about innovation in nineteenth century Queensland lighthouses. The title referred to our state government’s promotional pitch that we are already, or are destined to be, Queensland the Smart State. I don’t know what the audience made of my ideas about the nature of innovation in design and technology, but everybody seemed to like the pictures of strange structures, remote places and blue skies.

The timber-framed and iron-plated lighthouse tower at Booby Island in Torres Strait, topped with a Chance Brothers & Co lantern. The lighthouse was first lit in 1890 and is still in service.

filed under History + Lighthouses + Me + Technology

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