ARSENIC AND MOLASSES
A Pictorial History of the Powelltown Tramway and Timber Milling Operations
by Frank Stamford
When the railway from Lilydale to Warburton was opened in 1901 it led to the rapid development of the timber industry in that area. Until 1912 this was in the hands of small operators. In that year a large company with major shareholders in Western Australia and New Zealand was formed to exploit the newly developed Powell process of timber preservation.
The process involved the heating of timber in a solution containing molasses, water, and other ingredients, including arsenic to control white ants. To use the process economically involved the building of a large sawmill and a company town. The Company chose a site 10 miles from Yarra Junction, and named it Powelltown. To provide transport the Company built narrow-gauge steam operated tramways through the bush. The Powell process proved a failure, but the timber milling operations centred on Powelltown remained. This book provides an illustrated history of those operations, and an insight into a way of life long since gone.
Many of the photographs are full page windows-to-the-past, from photographers such as John Buckland, Rev. Brenton, Fred Rayment and others.
Soft cover, 88 pages, A4 size, 103 photographs, 7 maps and diagrams.
Price A$24.00 ( excluding Postage & Handling )