The ’89 Steam Punk Rebellion

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On 28 March 1889 the Colony of Victoria held a general election. In the electorate of Ballarat West William Collard Smith (a key director of the Phoenix Foundry) stood as an Independent in support of the cause of Liberal Democrats. In the same electorate Samuel L. Bailey (long-time overseer of the Foundry’s boilermakers) represented the newly-formed cause for Labor.

Less than one week earlier . . .

In the early hours of 22 March 1889 three overseers were brutally dismissed from their positions with Ballarat’s Phoenix Foundry. Immediately, ninety-six blacksmith’s assistants walked out on strike. For 49 day they fought together for what they felt was fair and right.

Here is an untold story of the foundations of the Australian Labor Party.