National Engineering Marker - East West Telegraph LinePrint Page Print this page

A National Engineering Landmark plaque commemorates the East West Telegraph Line.

On Sunday 26th August 2001, the National Trust unveiled six interpretive plaques as part of Australia’s Iron Heritage trail to commemorate the commissioning of the Hummock Hill - Iron Knob tramway on 28/8/1901, and Iron Knob as the birthplace of Australia’s iron ore and steel industry. The National Trust and Institution of Engineers Australia NEL plaques were mounted on fabricated pedestals manufactured from standard mild steel 610 UB and 150 PFC sections produced locally and donated by Onesteel Pty Ltd.

Although the telegraph did not pass through Whyalla (in fact the settlement of Hummock Hill was only established at the turn of the century and renamed Whyalla in 1914) the Mount Laura Homestead has a major telecommunications museum and provides a ready made interpretive centre for South Australian telegraphy.

The East-West telegraph was formed by constructing a line 2428 km long between Port Augusta and Albany to link with the existing telegraph systems in each Colony. The line from Albany to Perth had been completed in December 1872 while Port Augusta had been connected since August 1865. However, the South Australian Telegraph Department, under Charles Todd, had also decided to run an additional line from Adelaide to Port Augusta which included a new line of poles following the railway as far as Roseworthy. When completed the East-West telegraph formed a 3310 km line between Adelaide and Perth


Address:Ekblom Street, Mount Laura Homestead Museum, Whyalla Norrie, 5608
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.029235
Long: 137.533561
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Technology


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 26th August, 2001
Front Inscription

The East - West Telegraph
Adelaide to Perth

The East-West telegraph linked Western Australia to the other Australian colonies and, through the Overland Telegraph, to the world. The 2428 kilometre single iron wire line which completed the link had repeater stations at Port Lincoln, Streaky Bay, Smoky Bay, Fowlers Bay, Eyre , Israelite Bay, Esperance and Bremer Bay. The first poles were erected in Albany on 1 January 1875 and Port Augusta on 15 August 1875. When the line was joined at the border station on 8 December 1877, the first message was sent to Perth:  "Saturday, 7 p.m. Eucla line opened. Hurrah! " Richard Randall Knuckey supervised the South Australian section which was completed on 15 July 1877. Other commemorative plaques may be found at Albany and Esperance.

Dedicated by the Institution of Engineers, Australia,
City of Whyalla and National Trust of South Australia
2001 – The Centenary of Federation

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au