- 1915-1961 (Creation)
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Frank C. Green collaborated with Albert J. Gillies in drafting a history of the early development of hydro-electricity in Tasmania, pioneered by Gillies' father, James Hynde Gillies (1861-1942). J.H. Gillies, a metallurgist, developed an electrolytic process for extracting zinc from complex ores and in 1908 he started the Complex Ores Co. in Melbourne.
He proposed to establish works in Tasmania, using hydro-~ectric power from the waters of the Great Lake and the Shannon River. The hydro scheme was suggested by Harold Bisdee. a Midlands land owner, and Alexander McAulay, Professor of Mathematics at the University of Tasmania. The project was authorised in 1909 by the Complex Ores Act, which also allocated a site at Electrona, North West Bay for the refining works. A subsidiary of the Complex Ores Co., the Hydro-Electric Power and Metallurgical Co. was established and on 17 December 1910, at an informal ceremony, Mrs. McAulay turned the first sod for the water power development on land owned by Professor McAulay. A severe winter and other problems delayed work however.
In 1914 the Hydro-Electric undertaking was sold to the Government. In 1916 the Government authorised a rival firm, Amalgamated Zinc, to establish a zinc works at Risdon and agreed to supply hydro-electricity for it. Gillies retained a Carbide Electro Products project but this did not start producing until 1921 and in 1924 was taken over by the Hydro-Electricity Department.
The draft history was based on original records of the Complex Ores Co. and the Hydro-Electric Power and Metallurgy Co. as well as Gillies' private papers, and includes some extracts, but the original papers were burnt after A.J. Gillies' death, by his widow.
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Deposited by F.C. Green 1969
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Letters from Albert J . Gillies to Frank C. Green (1959-61) commenting on the draft manuscript and enclosing extracts from his father's papers and from newspapers that might be quoted. Includes articles in Mercury newspaper dated 9.7.1915 and 18.3.1922, undated article by A.S. Gill "The Australian zinc-industry". Letter from John Butters dated 9 July 1959.
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This material is made available for personal research and study purposes under the University of Tasmania Standard Copyright Licence. For any further use permission should be obtained from the copyright owners. For assistance please contact Special.Collections@utas.edu.au
When reusing this material, please cite the reference number and provide the following acknowledgement:
“Courtesy of the UTAS Library Special & Rare Collections”
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Original inventory and descriptive notes can be found at https://eprints.utas.edu.au/10932/
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