The encyclopedia of Melbourne…

Posted by on Jun 27, 2011 in Melbourne, Random | 0 comments

The encyclopedia of Melbourne…

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No, not me. Had you worried? I have recently purchased…you guessed it…The Encyclopedia of Melbourne. In my true inner dorky style I am enraptured with it and all the random information it imparts. Published in 2005 it is a smidge out of date but as the majority of information is historical it’s a fascinating read. The book was originally $150 reduced to $38 and nearly pushed me to the floor when I pulled it from the top shelf so big and heavy it was. Bargain. Even if my arms were killing me by the time I lugged it home.


Whilst reading it I have discovered a real assortment of random information in its 820 pages such as;

1) Melbourne’s first Aquarium was located at the Royal Exhibition building from 1885. It had fresh and sea water fish, performing seals and a creepy cork lined grotto for darkened viewing. The aquarium burnt down in 1953 and was not rebuilt. Would have clashed with all the bridal shows am sure. Page 25.

2) In 1921 the population of Metropolitan Melbourne was 801,000 in 2001 it wad 3,472,000. Boom Town. Page 202.

3) Corporal Punishment was abolished in Victorian Government Schools in 1983. Ummm what about Private? Page 174.

4) Ringwood, in the 1920 Eureka Plan Book, was known in London for the ‘rosy cheeked apples’ and ‘the rosy children are said to be a direct result of the rosy apples’. I am fairly sure it would be hard to buy a rosy apple from Ringwood these days. Page 522.

5) Melbourne’s many lane ways and alleys were not a part of the original 1837 street grid however by the mid 1850′s there were over 80 named lanes. Where I ask you did the original town planners think all the cool hidden bars would be? Page 400.


Hmm… I am not sure if you found any of that interesting – but I am finding the book fascinating and perfect to peruse whilst sipping a hot cup of tea. Am sure I will find more to share over coming months (unless you all tell me it’s terribly dull).

Now what’s a ‘block tart’…


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