Inside the Collection

A Snowy souvenir

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Collection, Powerhouse Museum

The 60th anniversary of the launch of the Snowy Mountains Scheme will be celebrated on 17 October 2009. Such grand engineering projects tend to generate tourism – and souvenirs to remind tourists of their visit. They also remind us of the public relations exercises that help publicly funded projects reach their goals rather than be cut short by politicians. So which souvenir would a family with three young boys be likely to purchase in Cooma: a tea towel, teaspoon, pennant, or a map and cross section of the Scheme?

The Longworth family purchased this souvenir, and a moulded plastic topographic map of the area, for their educational value as well as to help them remember their journey and the experience of seeing the monumental Scheme transform the landscape. Ironically these souvenirs had long been forgotten when one of the Longworth boys finally tidied his boyhood bedroom in 1999 and discovered them behind his old wardrobe.

This object is a moulded plastic representation of two major cross sections of the mountains, showing reservoirs, tunnels, pumping stations and power stations. It has added historical value, when compared to representations of the completed Scheme, because it shows Kosciusko Reservoir and Power Station, which were never built – for cost and environmental reasons rather than loss of political will.

We’d love to hear if anyone else remembers these Snowy souvenirs?

Debbie Rudder

Ps: The Museum will have a small display in our foyer to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the scheme, don’t forget to have a look if you are coming to visit.

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