Road work machinery a century ago

Every week the Dunedin City Council post a bunch of old photos. They provide an interesting window into out past.

Today the focus was on road works about a century ago.

In my living memory heavy fossil fueled machinery has been almost exclusively used, but in the 1920s horse power, steam power and man power were still in common.

Image may contain: sky, tree, mountain, outdoor and nature

The Public Works Department road gang, working on a hairpin bend at Saddle Hill,
c1928, Taieri County Council Collection.

Steam powered traction engines with rollers on the front.

Image may contain: one or more people and outdoor

Workers with a concrete mixer on lower High Street,
undertaking work for lower Rattray Street development in the 1920s.

Most concrete is trucked in now – I don’t know how long mixer trucks have been used.

Image may contain: outdoor

Dunedin Drainage and Sewerage Board ‘Bear Cat’ excavating machine and work horses, c1920.

While petrol (and diesel) engines were introduced about the start of the 1900s horses were still used a lot well into the middle of last century.

I remember in the mid 1960s stopping on the way from Queenstown to Cromwell to watch the use of horses doing hay making on Chard Farm across the Kawarau River (it is now a winery, just on the Queenstown side of Gibbston).

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, sky, outdoor, nature and water

Workers at recently reclaimed Lake Logan laying pipe as part of
preparations for construction of the 1925 NZ and South Seas Exhibition.

The above view is looking towards what is now Otago Polytechnic.

Lake Logan became Logan Park after the exhibition and is now a sports ground, including the University Oval crick ground, the Caledonian athletics ground, and closer to the harbour is Forsyth Barr Stadium.

Image may contain: one or more people, people walking, tree, sky, child and outdoor

A labourer breaking rock for work on George Street, December 1928.

Manpower is still obviously being used now, but not breaking rocks.