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Manual handling on the wharves
Title : Manual handling on the wharves Manual handling on the wharves
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Source : PRG 280/1/33/51 Waterside workers at Ocean Steamers wharf, Port Adelaide
Date of creation : ca. 1922
Format : Photograph
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
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Description :

Waterside workers moving bagged produce at Ocean Steamers wharf, Port Adelaide; a cargo ship is docked in the background.

Another ship can be seen across the river at the wharf at Birkenhead. The wooden deck of the old Ocean Steamers Wharf can be seen clearly. Railway trucks with loads of bagged grain stand outside the store sheds and men move the sacks on hand trucks. This tedious back-breaking work would disappear from docksides worldwide as containerisation replaced it. From the 1960s this method of handling cargoes became increasingly common, and wharfs were mechanised to handle the large containers.

Between 1930-32 Ocean Steamers Wharf was rebuilt after the old wooden structure became unstable when the channel and berth were deepened. The new concrete wharf was claimed when completed to be the most modern in Australia. It had a depth at low tide of 32 feet.

Period : 1919-1927
Place : Port Adelaide
Further reading :

Mudflats to metropolis: Port Adelaide 1836-1986 [Port Adelaide, S. Aust.: B. & T. Publishers, 1986]

Couper-Smartt, John Port Adelaide: tales from a "commodious harbour" Port Adelaide: Friends of the South Australian Maritime Museum, 2003

Parsons, Ronald, Southern passages: a maritime history of South Australia Netley, S. Aust.: Wakefield Press, 1986

Internet links :
Exhibitions and events :

State Library of South Australia: Mortlock Wing exhibitions. Wooden Walls and Iron Sides August 2004-



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