Item 18 to 19 - Photograph of the Franklin Saw Mills

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Reference code



Photograph of the Franklin Saw Mills


  • pre 1878 (Creation)

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1 photograph

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Administrative history

The Risby Timber Company until its demise in the mid-1990s was one of Australia's oldest family-run firms. Boat builders Thomas and Joseph Risby established a sawmill in Hobart in the mid-1840s. Thomas left, but Joseph had the business on a sound footing when his three sons took control in 1885, trading as Risby Brothers. By 1900 Risbys had ten vessels and their enterprises extended from the south-east to the west, with a depot and mill at Strahan (1897), followed by numerous bush mills in the Derwent Valley. They sold timber and timber-related products, and moved to different sites in Hobart as business expanded, particularly during the do-it-yourself boom of the 1970s. After the main Westerway mill burnt down in 1957, Risbys developed a state-of-the-art sawmill at Austins Ferry. Among numerous timber-based ventures, the company became embroiled in the conservation-forestry confrontation at Farmhouse Creek in 1986. The company closed in 1994. From:

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Deposited on loan by Risby Bros. Pty Ltd., 1970

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Scope and content

Photograph of the Risby's Franklin Wharf Saw Mills, showing groups of workmen posed on weighbridge in front. Photographed by Frederick Spurling & Co. Taken pre 1878 before building destroyed by fire

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Conditions governing access

May be consulted. Permission from owners necessary for copying or publication.

Conditions governing reproduction

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

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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Publication note

Risby Bros. Pty. Limited : the rise to prominence in the Tasmanian timber industry / by David Brownlow. Thesis (B.A.(Hons.)--University of Tasmania, 1969.

Publication note

Against the odds : Risbys - Tasmanian timber pioneers 1826-1995 / Alex Graeme-Evans. - Morris Miller-Book CS 2009 .R57 1995

Publication note

Destructive fire at the Franklin Wharf. Reported 9 March 1878 - Mercury.

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Dates of creation revision deletion

CE August 2018




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