The diggers seem to have two especial propensities, those of firing guns and felling trees.
- Author and miner, William Howitt
These dilletantes [...] send the bullets in all directions, even into other miners' tents. Sleeping miners have been killed by stray bullets. I nearly had it happen to me in Bendigo. By the sound of the passing bullet I knew it was close to my head for it did not moan like a high flying shot, rather it whispered by and suddenly the sound ceased as the bullet hit the ground.
- Miner, Seweryn Korzelinski
Object 7 is a pepperbox pistol, c.1850, on loan from Heritage Victoria. It was excavated from an old mining shaft on the Eureka gold lead in Ballarat. It has revolving barrels and was designed mainly for self-defence.
Read more about the pistol and the work involved in its conservation in an article by Barbara O’Brien, Richard Garcia and Susan Lawrence – Curious Matter for Contemplation - published in Australasian Historical Archaeology in 2005.
Author: Curator, Old Treasury Building
Gold Rush: 20 Objects, 20 Stories
Object courtesy Heritage Victoria.