September 19, 1919 Construction officially began on a major road along Australia’s southeastern coast. At the time, this region of the Australian state of Victoria was mostly accessible to the outside world only by sea. The building of the Great Ocean Road was seen as an opportunity to better connect isolated settlements in the area... Continue Reading →

August 8, 1863 The Lady Barkly, widely regarded as the first steam-powered locomotive to operate in New Zealand, went into service in the township (and present-day city) of Invercargill on the South Island. The experimental run of this 8-ton (7.3-metric ton) train in Invercargill marked a major transportation milestone for New Zealand and in particular... Continue Reading →

July 24, 1864 Railroad executive Thomas James Tait, whose career spanned both North America and Australia, was born in the township municipality of Melbourne in Quebec, Canada. He started working for the Grand Trunk Railway (GT) in 1880; that extensive system ran through Ontario and Quebec as well as Michigan and much of New England. Tait... Continue Reading →

July 13, 1858 A new lighthouse began operations at Cape Borda on Kangaroo Island in the colony (present-day state) of South Australia. Cape Borda Lightstation was built to help guide ships being pushed along by the strong “Roaring Forties” trade winds in that part of the world and – via the Investigator Strait between Kangaroo... Continue Reading →

June 5, 2010 In the western region of New Zealand’s North Island, a bridge for pedestrians and bicyclists made its debut at the city of New Plymouth. Te Rewa Rewa Bridge, which measures 229.7 feet (70 meters) in length and crosses the Waiwhakaiho River, was officially opened by Peter Tennent, mayor of New Plymouth; and... Continue Reading →

May 24, 1843 In the British colony (and present-day state) of Western Australia, the first of a series of bridges known as the Causeway was opened to serve as a crossing over the Swan River and connect the town (now city) of Perth with the port of Fremantle.  For more than a decade, many settlers... Continue Reading →

In southeastern Australia, a truss bridge crossing the Murrumbidgee River was officially opened to connect the village of Tharwa with the city (and Australia’s present-day capital) of Canberra. The bridge reported the Queanbeyan Observer at the time, “is a stupendous but withal a light and very graceful structure.” As a truss bridge, Tharwa Bridge was... Continue Reading →

Marshall W. "Major" Taylor (1878-1932), the first African-American to become a world-champion cyclist, departed the Australian city of Melbourne via train during the course of his second racing tour in the Land Down Under. (His first tour in Australia took place the previous year.) The Indiana-born Taylor had launched his professional cycling career at New York... Continue Reading →

In the state of South Australia, a new bridge was opened in the town of Paringa. The bridge was built to carry the Brown’s Well railway (later renamed the Barmera railway), which had begun operations in 1913, across the Murray River at Paringa and to the larger South Australia town of Renmark in that grain-growing... Continue Reading →

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