The Making of the Melbourne Mechanics' Institution - Marsden
The Making of the Melbourne Mechanics' Institution - Marsden

The Making of the Melbourne Mechanics' Institution - Marsden

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The Making of the Melbourne Mechanics' Institution: The "Movers and Shakers" of Pre-Goldrush Melbourne - Anne Marsden (Paperback, 2016) 187 pages. Melbourne: Melbourne Athenaeum Library. ISBN 9780646949413. Index

From the blurb...

The Melbourne Athenaeum, formerly the Melbourne Mechanics' Institution, is that gracious landmark building standing in Collins Street adjacent to the Melbourne Town Hall.

In 1839, just four years after John Batman, John Pascoe Fawkner and a handful of other adventurers first pitched their tents on the banks of the Yarra River, the "gentlemen" and "mechanics" of Melbourne Town got together to establish the Melbourne Mechanics' Institution. This was fraught with tensions and squabbles, even "newspaper wars", and perhaps was the start of Melbourne-Sydney rivalry.

This book looks at the origin of the mechanics' institute movement in Britain and studies the links between the Melbourne institute and two of the earliest mechanics' institutes established in Australia: the Van Diemen's Land Mechanics' Institute set up in 1827, and the Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts established in 1833.