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THE PIPES

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    Steel pipes awaiting delivery, 1899

This gives some understanding of the logistics involved in distributing pipes for use in the 560 km long Coolgardie Water Supply Scheme.

    Camels pulling pipes, c1900

Shows the unusual sight of ten camels in harness pulling a wagonload of pipes for the goldfields water supply pipeline.

    Making steel pipes, 1901

A machine to join two half cylinders of steel plate to make a cylindrical pipe inside a factory dedicated to pipe manufacture.

    Pouring lead for a waterproof joint, 1901

An electric caulking machine, invented by James Couston to speed up the process of joining pipe lengths, being moved into place above a pipe joint.

    Lead melting machine for caulking, 1901

Men joining lengths of pipe used lead in its molten state, delivered via a machine, to ensure the joints were waterproof and prevent leaks in the goldfields water pipeline.

   

Pipes at Parkerville, c1901

A trainload of pipes en route to a pipe-laying team gives some indication of the immense task of distributing them.

    Transporting pipes by wagon, 1902

Shows a horse-drawn dray, an alternate method of transport for distributing pipes where there were no train lines, since rail was the norm.

    Lowering pipes into trench, 1902

Significant in showing men preparing to lower a length of pipe into the trench excavated for the water supply pipeline, since today it is above ground.

    Manufacturing joint rings, c1902

In the days before welding of joints was commonplace, a ring or collar was used to cover the gap between individual lengths of pipe.

    Electric caulking machine, c1902

An electric caulking machine, invented by James Couston to speed up the process of joining pipe lengths, being moved into place above a pipe joint.

    Laying pipes across the Darling Ranges, c1902

View of a long section of pipeline that incorporates many stages in its completion including laying and jointing of lengths.

    Locking bar steel pipe, 1905

An innovative type of pipe was used to deliver water to the eastern gold fields and much of it is still in use more than 100 years later.

  Welding the pipes, 1930s

In the 1930s the goldfields water supply pipeline, opened in 1903, had a major overhaul that allowed it to continue operating.

    Plugging leaks, c1930s

Once completed, the goldfields supply pipeline had to be maintained on a daily basis, including repairing leaks with water still flowing.

  Leak in a wood stave pipe, c1950

Shows wooden pipe used in the goldfields pipeline which attracts a great deal of interest and around which myths abounds.

  Water Corporation pipe probe, 1994

Equipment specifically developed to inspect the interior of the goldfields water supply pipeline and identify problem areas.