B2256-2 Half-ship model, SS 'Eden', timber, designed by James Scott, made by Russell & Co, Port Glasgow, Scotland, 1900
Sea and river transport provided the most effective means of travel for people and cargo along the South Coast of New South Wales up until the early 20th Century. At this time, roads were either non-existent or extremely poor in quality and vehicles were scarce. This meant that the only affordable and available means of commuting was either by horse or foot.
This ship model of the SS 'Eden' is therefore representative of the type of vessel that instigated passenger services by water on the South Coast, providing an effective service for people to such destinations as Sydney, Eden, Bermagui, Tathra and Merimbula. In fact, the 'Eden' (like the TSS 'Merimbula') helped to relieve the infamous reputation of the Illawarra Steam Navigation Company of 'waiting an hour for a pig, but not a minute for a passenger' (hence their nickname the 'Pig and Whistle Fleet'). Both vessels also represented the pinnacle of South Coast passenger ship design with the 'Eden' being the first vessel in the Illawarra Steam Navigation Company fleet to have two and four berth cabins. New regulations covering crew conditions, however, meant that in 1922 her second class accommodation had to be removed.
Models such as this one would have been made for shipbuilder's to assist in their full-scale construction, helping to provide the builder with an idea of the vessel's fittings, riggings and sail plans, as well as helping to show the ratio of length to beam, the fining of her entry, stern and so on. This model also acts as a legacy of the full-scale version which no longer survives. The 'Eden' was withdrawn from service in 1929 and hulked three years later.
Glasgow University Archive Services, "Records of Lithgows Ltd", http://www.archives.gla.ac.uk/collects/catalog/gd/gd320.html (Downloaded 7/5/2007)
Lorck, W., "The Illawarra and South Coast Steam Navigation Company's Illustrated Handbook: A Guide for the Tourist and Holiday Maker" (Sydney, 1905)
Parsons, R., "Steamships to the Illawarra" (Goolwa, 1991) pp.4, 59 & 63