Teacher background information
- 1843 – C Y O’Connor is born in Ireland
- 1864 – C Y O’Connor sails from Ireland to New Zealand to work (aged 21)
- 1891 – O’Connor becomes WA’s Engineer-in-Chief. He became known as ‘The Chief’
- 1892 – Discovery of gold in Coolgardie
- 1895 – First plans for a pipeline are prepared
- 1898 – Construction of the 560 km pipeline commences
- 10 March 1902 – C Y O’Connor commits suicide (use with discretion)
- 22 December 1902 – Water reaches Coolgardie
- 16 January 1903 – Water reaches Kalgoorlie and construction is completed
- 24 January 1903 – Official opening ceremonies are held.
Information about the photograph of C Y O’Connor
This is a black-and-white photograph of Charles Yelverton O'Connor, originally taken in 1897. The photograph shows O'Connor in a posed position wearing his everyday working clothes and one of the hats that he commonly wore. He wears a black frock or morning coat (with tails), high-necked shirt and tie, with a black vest (waistcoat) and light-coloured trousers. A fob watch chain is tied through a waistcoat buttonhole and leads into the waistcoat pocket where the watch sits.
Point out that it shows the Engineer-in-Chief in his working clothes, a waistcoat and coat tails were expected in the formal times of the Victorian era.
Information about the photograph showing the laying of the pipes. c1902
This photograph shows the main steps involved in building the pipeline, which were laying the pipes, joining the pipe lengths and waterproofing the joints.
- Workers are seen lowering the next length of pipe into the pipeline trench.
- The cylindrical lead machine is following four or five pipe-lengths behind, pouring molten lead into the rings placed around the pipe joins.
- The caulking machine with its coiled cable then waterproofs the joints.
- In the foreground two men are finishing off a new machine-caulked joint by hand before the joint inspector gives approval for the pipe to be buried.
Large numbers of people were engaged in the Scheme and this photograph shows dozens of men, mostly labourers, with a few foremen. Judging from their more formal clothes, the four men gathered front left are probably supervisors, or inspectors who checked the quality of the joints.
- The gold rush – panning for gold
- Water is a gift