Long before the days of electric trams and myki cards, one wily local tycoon was the beating heart of the Melbourne transport industry, Francis Boardmann Clapp.
Clapp was hell-bent on fixing the distinctive odour of ‘Smellbourne’, as the unsewered Melbourne was known to Sydneysiders at the time. The sweltering January heat had Windsor socialites flocking to nearby St. Kilda for coastal relief while the open sewers made the three-kilometre walk almost unbearable. Horse trams were not ideal either, leaving an unwelcome trail in their wake.
The Windsor Engine House Coworking was the driving force behind the tramline and became a symbol of industry, enterprise and innovation.
Coal burners fired the pistons, pumps and cogs heaved, and enormous steel cables brought Melbourne’s trams to life. The coal burners have long since retired, but the ‘Engine House’ still drives industry and innovation today.