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Port Pirie wharf
Title : Port Pirie wharf Port Pirie wharf
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Source : PRG 280/1/43/351 Cargo ships at Port Pirie
Date of creation : 1910
Format : Photograph
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
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Description :

Close view of two cargo ships, the 'Beckenham' and the 'Myra Fell', waiting for the loading of silver lead ingots at Port Pirie wharf.

Port Pirie was established as an outlet for the pastoral industry shipping wool and later meat from its port. Later the local grain harvest would also be exported through Port Pirie. However it was the discovery of silver/lead ore at Broken Hill which saw a major expansion at the port when the mine owners at Broken Hill decided in favour of Port Pirie rather than shipping through ports in New South Wales. The railway line to the New South Wales border was laid by June 1887; this connected with the private Silverton Tramway Company. With the railway line open everything for and from Broken Hill went through Port Pirie - timber for the mines, coal and mining gear and outwards the ore and processed minerals. Smelters were built at Port Pirie and the face of the town changed rapidly - it became an industrial town as well as a port.

The port expanded rapidly with its association with BHP, and was an important link with the company's development at Whyalla on the opposite side of the gulf.

Coverage year : 1910
Place : Port Pirie
Further reading :

Flannery, Nancy. Reluctant harbour: the romance of Pirie Jamestown, S.A.: Nadjuri Australia, 1976

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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