The transitional boomerang has an array of imagery including a steam locomotive with carriages of passengers and freight cars carrying horses and long horned cattle. At the opposite end, the name GALBRAITH and a flower motif is carved into the surface.

Physical Description

A boomerang made of a single piece of wood. The upper surface is intricately carved or engraved with the name "Galbraith", a flower motif and a steam locomotive with coal bin and carriages containing passengers, and livestock (horses and cows). Reverse side - plain.


The boomerang is a unique and fine example of transitional artwork produced on the northern frontier of Queensland from around the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The details here are consistent with the A10 Fairlie locomotives that serviced the Normanton to Croydon line completed in1891 (Queensland Railway Locomotives 202,203,204). In 1895 two locomotives were decommissioned. Number 202 was sold in 1906 and continued to be used until 1915, and today the Croydon Shire Council have this locomotive and some restoration work was undertaken perhaps with parts from Number 203. This class of locomotive has three coupled wheels with distinctive star-shaped spokes as seen in the image here. It was brought to Normanton in 1888 for use on this line that was built to service the Croydon gold fields.

The name Galbraith refers to Percy Dumas Fead Galbraith (1854-1926), who was Sub-Inspector of Police at Normanton from 1889 to 1891 and then Inspector from 1901-1906. The boomerang may have been made to mark either of Galbraith's departures or he may have commissioned it himself. He had Native Mounted Police under his charge and Aboriginal trackers were engaged by him in police work, and any one of these may have made this boomerang. It came from a private collector in the United Kingdom and unfortunately no documentation was forthcoming relating to its history.

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