By 1890, when the eight-hour day procession in Victoria was at its peak, the Ballarat Branch of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers, Blacksmiths, Fitters, Patternmakers, Turners, and Machinists decided to underline and celebrate the many gains it had made over the last three decades. Raising the finances by selling £5 debentures, the Society commissioned Kift & Smith, a local firm of commercial painters and decorators also used by many other Ballarat unions, to make a banner. On 21 April 1890, the Society's banner debuted in the Ballarat eight-hour day procession.
The Ballarat Star newspaper described the float: 'The Amalgamated Society of Engineers…showed a new banner, on which appeared the flags of England, America and Australia, with representations of a locomotive and a stationary engine, and the name of the society. Following this was a display in two lorries. In the first were a crank, connecting rod, cylinder covers, crank and crank shaft, patterns & c., which were supplied from the Union foundry. In the second lorry were a brass dome, connecting rods, way shaft and brass mountings, lent from the Phoenix Foundry.'
Ballarat Star, April 1890.