Part of the joy of being a museum curator is working with amazing objects and their stories. In recent months this work has been focused on helping to develop an upcoming exhibition on the history of horses and humans in Australia. The National Museum of Australia has a rich collection of horse-related objects. It includes the iconic Phar Lap’s heart, the Junius Cup (the earliest known Australian made racing trophy) and an enormous wool wagon, as well as, smaller everyday objects such as children’s toys like rocking horses and toy horses hand-crafted from wire.
The story of Nelson the Newfoundland’s collar is a classic tale of Melbourne in the late nineteenth century – dog rescues cab driver from drowning in Swanston Street.
Walking in central Melbourne when storm clouds gathered was a risky business – dozens of people were killed or injured in torrents of stormwater that rushed down city streets laid over ancient watercourses leading to the River Yarra. But recovering the story of Nelson’s heroic rescue has turned out to be a quintessentially twenty first century tale.