10-12 ton road roller was manufactured by A.H. McDonald & Co. at 570-574 Bridge Road Richmond in Melbourne in 1925. This example was sold new to the Shire of Doncaster & Templestowe in August 1925 and was used by the Council on Road Construction work for the next 41 years before being traded in for a new road roller at A.H. McDonald's in June 1966. Following the acquisition of A.H. McDonald by Jaques in 1969 it was restored and placed on display at the Jaques-McDonald depot in Clayton. It was donated to the Museum in 1999 to be used in the operating machinery program at Scienceworks.

A.H. McDonald & Co. was one of the great success stories of Australian manufacturing in the 20th century. Their growth from a 'back-yard' workshop to a specialist manufacturer of engines, tractors and road rollers epitomises many aspects of local engineering business. Beginning with a small capital base, the firm struggled to establish its products against competition from imported equipment using the latest technological developments. Like many local firms they used imported designs but adapted them to local conditions and developed several important innovations in the their own right. The McDonald 'Imperial Super Diesel' brand was used for a variety of products and was copied from the American-built St Mary's heavy oil engine They ran their own foundry and machine shops manufacturing almost every conceivable component used in the assembly of their machines down to roller bearings, nuts and bolts.

The KV Roller design first emerged in 1922 and was so advanced that it put the company many years ahead of the competition and established A.H. McDonald as Australia's leading specialist road roller manufacturer. They developed a quick-reversing double-clutch mechanism for the KV which gave it an instant advantage over the labour intensive steam road rollers that then dominated the market. Although only 162 KV rollers were made before the design was upgraded in 1929, this model was McDonald's flagship product of the 1920s and left an impression on the Australian road construction industry during a decade in which it underwent major change from manual to mechanised methods.

Physical Description

10-12 ton road roller, with three wheels and a canopy above the drivers seat.

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