Tamworth Powerstation MuseumLast updated Tuesday, 14 Dec 2010.
Tamworth Powerstation Museum consists of a working re-creation of the Tamworth Borough Council’s 1888 powerstation on its original Peel Street site. Also at this site is the restored 1907 Tamworth Municipal Electrical Showroom building. This building houses the historical collection of domestic, commercial, industrial and trade electrical items dating back to the late 19th Century. Also included are a selection of historical books, catalogues, documents and records pertaining to the development of the electrical industry.
The Museum is unique as it is the only comprehensive all electrical museum in Australia. It is also a valuable source of information about the history of electricity in Tamworth. The collection contains many items of historical significance and is an excellent educational resource for schools, TAFE and University students and teachers, with the collection itself being of particular interest to collectors.
The Tamworth Powerstation Museum is a facility which provides a balance between the past, the present and the future. The Museum is a working exhibition on the original site of the 19th century establishment of Australia’s first central power station supplying an electrical distribution system, establishing Tamworth as the first inland city of light. The Museum is an all electrical museum. It chronicles the science, discovery, invention and progress of electricity generation, supply and utilisation over the centuries. The Tamworth Powerstation Museum is testimony to the enterprising vision of the Council in its early formative years.
The Museum is a key educational resource for the City of Tamworth and the surrounding region. The Museum gives an insight into the science and history of the development of electricity, its supply and utilisation. Visiting the Museum is also a leisure activity for the regional community as well as for visitors from outside the region. It provides a lifestyle cultural experience combining entertainment, interest and education for all ages.
Category: Gallery/Museum (paid staff)
Phone: 02 6767 5459
Unit Not Applicable/Level Not Applicable, 216 Peel Street
Tamworth, NSW 2340
Other facilities in Tamworth
Local Government Area: Tamworth Regional Council
- accessible toilets
- a continuous accessible path of travel within the building to all public spaces, services and facilities
- a set down area at the facility entrance with a kerb ramp to allow access from the road to the entrance
- a wider parking space(s) designated for accessible parking
- handrails fitted to stairs and ramps
Dedicated parking: Tamworth Powerstation Museum does not have dedicated parking.
Disabled access: yes
CateringNo catering facilities are on offer.
Visitors2007/8: Museum 2027
2008/9: Museum 1995
School visitors: 8.0
Collection description: The Tamworth Powerstation Museum (PSM) is owned and operated by the Tamworth Regional Council, and consists of a working re-creation of the Tamworth Borough Council’s 1888 power station on its original Peel Street site. Also at this site is the restored 1907 Tamworth Municipal Electrical Showroom building. This building houses the historical collection of domestic, commercial, industrial and trade electrical item dating back to the late 19th Century, of which a selection is currently on display. There is also an archive which contains a collection of historical books, catalogues, documents and records pertaining to the development of the electrical industry. This is a listed heritage site.
The museum also houses the restored John Fowler semi portable, compound, undertype steam engines. These are of the same type and era as the 1888 originals and are the only two of their kind in the world to be operational. The dynamos are exact replicas of the Crompton originals.
Themes associated with the PSM collection are:
The Pioneer Room
Features a series of black and white pictorial reproductions of the key early pioneers of electricity, including basic personal information, and a brief history on their contribution to the development of electricity. This room also contains examples of early batteries and has a working generator that demonstrates the principle of Michael Faraday’s first dynamo, and a working installation of the electric telegraph.
The Tamworth Commemorative Room
Contains a series of photographs and record relating to the switching on of the first municipal electric street lighting in Australia at Tamworth on 9th November 1888. It also features the opening of the current facility.
The Battery Room
A selection of early household items such as fans and coolers, laundry and kitchen appliances.
A display of local electrical supply authority memorabilia, entertainment, and rare items of special interest.
The Meter Room
Contains industrial measuring equipment, off peak time switches and several generations of electricity revenue meters.
Features the light bulb collection, tools and equipment used by trades people in the distribution of electricity, the light fitting collection, and a display of the items relevant to the mid 20th Century Tamworth Powerstation.
The working Belliss & Morcom steam generating set is also on display in this room.
The Engine Shed
Contains the two working 19th Century John Fowler under-type steam engines and replica Crompton Dynamos.
The Archive Room
This is a fire proof storage area which contains books and documents of historical significance to the electrical industry in Australia. There are also records of the Tamworth Borough Council and Tamworth Municipal Council’s early electrical undertakings.
Collection items: Between 1000 - 5000 items