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Baling hook

Date: 1860 - 1916
Overall: 99 x 173 x 250 mm, 408.92 g
Medium: Iron and wood
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Warren Simmons
Classification:Tools and equipment
Object Name: Baling hook
Object No: 00047723
Related Place:Sydney,

User Terms

    This iron baling hook was used by wharf labourer Theodore Danielson on the Sydney Harbour wharves in the early 1900s. It is a number 2 sized hook. Danielson died in 1916 aged 52 in an accident on the wharves.
    SignificanceThe baling hook was a common tool and symbolic of the wharf labourers daily work. This example is directly associated with wharfie Theodore Danielson, and it has his intials carved into the handle.
    HistoryThe baling hook was used by wharf labourers to carry wool bales. Four labourers lifted a single bale by putting their hooks into the four corners of the bale. There were three sizes of hook, Numbered 1 to 3. The baling hook was a typical tool of trade for a wharf labourer.

    Theodore Danielson was born in Emmashar, Sweden in the mid 19th century. He was a sailor and probably worked his passage to Australia. He was quartermaster on the sailing ship ELINGAMITE which was wrecked on Three Kings Reef off the North Island of New Zealand in November 1902. 16 people including Danielson took to a raft. He and eight others survived for a week until picked up by HMS PENGUIN.

    Danielson was 1.94m tall (6ft 4 in), and known as 'the big Swede'. He was a gambler and one day he made a fateful bet that he could load a steer on his own. When the steer charged and he stepped back, Danielson tripped on a rope and fractured his scull on the wharf. He died later that day in Sydney Hospital. This accident in 1916 was one of the first worker's compensation cases in NSW.

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