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Early rain-making experiments in Queensland

Battery of Stiger Vortex rainmaking guns at Charleville 1902. Clement Wragge on the right. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 85049

In Australia, water can be a scarce commodity, with various areas of the country suffering through prolonged droughts at times. Its no wonder then that several ‘cloud seeding’ (rain-making) experiments have been conducted in Australia. Here are the tales of two unsuccessful Queensland rainmaking experiments – Brisbane, 1882 In January 1882, advertisements began appearing in the … Read more

Edward Gustavus Campbell Barton, Electricity Pioneer


Edward Gustavus Campbell Barton (1857-1942) is hardly a household name in Queensland, however as a pioneer of electricity supply his contribution to the development and modernisation of the state is unquestionable. Born in Toorak, Victoria, Barton had quite an international education, attending school in Dunedin, New Zealand, receiving engineering training in Scotland and studying in … Read more

5 Queensland scientists who you’ve (probably) never heard of

Botanist Frederick Manson Bailey. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 160401

  5. Botantist – Frederick Manson Bailey (1827-1915) ‘Bailey, Frederick Manson (1827–1915)‘, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, published first in hardcopy 1969, accessed online 20 August 2015) State Library of Queensland have digitised volume 5 – Loranthaceae to Lemnaceae and volume 6 – Alismaceae to Filices of Bailey’s Queensland Flora, which can … Read more

Kidnappers of Space

Kidnappers of space by Mary Elwyn Patchett

Set in the future, 1976, this juvenile science fiction novel tells the story of two brothers captured by ‘golden men’ of Mars. The original edition, published in London in 1953, is scarce now. The author, Mary Elywn Patchett (1897 – 1989), grew up on a cattle property near Texas in Queensland and many of her … Read more

‘Inclement’ Wragge : pioneer weather forecaster

Clement Wragge, ca. 1901 State Library of Queensland Negative number: 161210

Clement Lindley Wragge (1852-1922) had an iron constitution and a ‘mop of flaming red hair and explosive temper to match’ according to the Australian Dictionary of Biography.  It goes on to say that he posssessed the ‘adjectival luxuriance of a bullocky’.  He was certainly a colourful character and acquired the nickname ‘Inclement’ Wragge because of his rain … Read more