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Biographical entry Thomson, Herbert (1870 - 1947)

13 July 1870
Prahran, Victoria, Australia
26 October 1947
Richmond, Victoria, Australia
Manufacturer and Engineer


Herbert Thomson trained as an engineer and as a boy, worked for his father helping to install coal-producing bores at Yallourn and Altona. In 1889 he made a steam-engine which was used in a launch on the Yarra River. Thomson set up his own business as a manufacturer of steam-engines and boilers in Melbourne in 1897 and in 1899 built a steam car, one of the first self-propelled road vehicles in Australia. This car is now in the Museum of Victoria and an early Thomson engine is in the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney. Thomson's company was incorporated in 1900 as the Thomson Motor Car Co. Ltd. He also built steam-engines for merry-go-rounds; the best-known, at St Kilda beach, was later purchased by the Commonwealth government and moved to Canberra. Once the company folded in 1912, Thomson worked as a consulting engineer.



1897 - 1900
Career position - Established a steam-engine and boiler manufacturing business
Career position - One of Australia's first steam cars built
1900 - 1912
Career position - Thomson Motor Car Co. Ltd established
1912 -
Career position - Consulting Engineer

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Rosanne Walker