A packet of photographs sent to author and researcher Barbara Cytowicz has revealed some of the human faces behind the construction of Ballarat's Civic Hall.
Names like Manton, Sutherland, Pittard, Cartledge and Kawa are among the builders, bricklayers and council representatives in the photographs, detailing the construction from foundation to finish.
The pictures were sent to Ms Cytowicz by Robert 'Bob' Trahar, son of Civic Hall's builder Walter Benbow 'WB' Trahar, and were taken by The Courier as the hall went up.
For a modern-day safety officer, the pictures are a nightmare-inducing record.
Check out the gallery here.
There is not a helmet or Hi-Vis in sight, and the idea of safety scaffolding is barely indicated.
Want to get up to the roof height? Climb a ladder.
On the plus side, hats are all the rage, so there was some protection against skin cancer - although a goodly proportion of the workers are happily dragging on a smoke at the same time.
Ms Cytowicz is working with Merle Hathaway and Judith Buchanan on a book telling the story of Civic Hall, expanding on an exhibition held in the Backspace Gallery in 2015.
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Ms Cytowicz says with the help of the extended Trahar family and the MBAB (Master Builders Association of Ballarat), the trio were able to get in touch with the son of WB Trahar.
Bob Trahar, now in his 80s and living interstate, also worked on the site as a youth in his first job.
His photographs on the hall's construction, a number also with views of the surrounding precinct, illustrate the massive construction effort entailed in building the hall - and the civic pride invested in it.
"It was a huge effort and of course, represented the dreams of the community which had waited so long since the fire in the Coliseum and the demolition of the Alfred Hall for a building to cater for performances," Ms Cytowicz said.
She says WB Trahar was one of a long line of engineers, foundry owners and steel fabricators in Ballarat, but his passion lay in carpentry.
Nevertheless his work on Civic Hall saw it become one of Australia's largest post-war steel frame buildings after restrictions on steel use were dropped in the 1950s.
WB Trahar was a member of a pioneering Ballarat family and a well known Ballarat builder in the 1940s and 1950s, president of the MBAB in 1941 and 1942.
After Civic Hall his next job was the Queen Elizabeth Home which entailed construction of a crane (ready-made cranes not then being commercially available).
His workshop building is still standing in Golden Point.
He was a long-time member of the Ballarat Fire Brigade and was awarded both a fire brigade valour medal and a Royal Humane Society award for rescuing a mate from a flooded mine in the 1930s.
When he died in February 1959, aged just 48, both Ballarat brigades marched in his honour down Lydiard Street.
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