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Half block ship model by Halvorsen & Kissle Pty Ltd

Date: mid 20th century
Overall: Height: 58 mm, width: 408 mm, depth: 79 mm
Medium: Wood
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Half block model
Object No: 00049037

User Terms

    A stained half model by Halvorsen & Kissle Pty Ltd, with light and dark brown coloured wood in horizontal lines.
    SignificanceThis item comes from the eclectic and extensive collection of maritime objects assembled by Herbert Edward (Bert) Young. Before a ship was built a half model such as this was created as a means of planning a vessel's design and to demonstrate the vessel's dimensions to clients and ship builders. These skilfully crafted models are replicas of their full scale counterparts and provide important information relating to the design and build of individual vessels.
    HistoryHerbert Edward (Bert) Young assembled an extensive collection of maritime objects and in the late 1960s established a private museum, Young's Maritime Museum, from his home in Forestville Sydney. Young's varied collection contains a number of important items such as a rare octant, a fog horn and a huge pair of ship's wheels. Several important works of art are also amongst the collection, including a series by the Newcastle maritime historian and artist Terry Callen. Young's Maritime Museum was unfortunately short-lived and in 1972, Mr Young presented his collection to the Department of Shipping and Transport to hold for incorporation into a future national maritime museum. The collection was later transferred to the Australian National Maritime Museum in 1987.

    The Halvorsen family are an integral part of Australian boating history, making their name as both champion sailors and quality boatbuilders. Growing up in Norway, Lars Halvorsen (1887 - 1936) learnt the basics of boat building from his father, Halvor Andersen (1829 - 1906), building small craft such as rowboats and fishing vessels. In 1906 Lars travelled to America, expanding his skills by working in the shipyards of New York, Connecticut and Long Island. Lars returned to Norway after three years to marry and start a family, and initially prospered as a shipbuilder. However in 1921, due to the family's growing financial problems, Lars sought a fresh start in Cape Town, South Africa.

    The family remained in South Africa for several years, surviving but living rough - for a time their home consisted of a shed and a tent in the village of Fish Hoek just outside of Cape Town.

    In 1924 Lars Halvorsen tried his luck abroad again and moved to Sydney, with his family following soon after. Lars quickly secured work in Australia and was able to begin a family business assisted by his eldest son Harold and the younger boys as they each turned 14 (by 1934 all five sons were working at the boatyard). In 1927 the Halvorsen's had a permanent business on site at Neutral Bay and their reputation for fine quality boats was growing in Sydney. Their income at this time was supplemented by selling tickets for thousands of joy rides in their motor launch KANGAROO. When Lars Halvorsen died in 1936 his eldest son Harold took over operations and registered the company as Lars Halvorsen Sons Pty Ltd. During World War II the company expanded to take on defence contracts and at its height employed over 350 people. After the war Halvorsen Sons Pty Ltd expanded into commercial fishing, fleet hire and harbour tourism ventures.

    Aside from their thriving boatbuilding business, the Halvorsens were also successful competitive sailors. Two of the brothers, Trygve and Magnus, won four Trans-Tasman races between 1948 and 1961 amongst many other titles.

    Halvorsen built boats are now collector’s items, recognised for their craftsmanship and distinctive style. The Halvorsen family played a significant part in Australian competitive and recreational boating, and are still making history as a fifth generation of boatbuilders continues the family legacy.
    Additional Titles

    Collection title: Herbert Young Collection

    Web title: Half block ship model by Halvorsen & Kissle Pty Ltd

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