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F55 Wool specimen, hogget progeny of Rodney Downs ewes, bred by Darling Downs Pastoral Company, Ayrshire Downs, Winton, Queensland, Australia, 1889.. Click to enlarge.

Wool specimen from hogget.

Made by Darling Downs Pastoral Company in Ayrshire Downs, Queensland, Australia, 1889.
The wool collection held by the Powerhouse Museum contains thousands of wool samples collected between 1804 and 2003. These samples provide a record of wool growing in Australia. The different fleeces reflect the breeding programs and environmental conditions under which the fleeces were grown and, as such, they provide a valuable history of the areas of Australia in which sheep were grazed.

Sheep were introduced into Australia in 1788 from Cape Town in South Africa. Since then sheep from other countries, including the Spanish Merino were imported into Australia and selectively crossbred. Careful crossbreeding, paying particular attention to the impact of the environment on both animal and fleece, led to the evolution of the Australian Merino. It is an excellent example of the engineering, through selective breeding, of a domestic animal. Wool went on to become the mainstay of the Australian Economy from 1807 to 1960.

Written by Erika Dicker
Assistant Curator, July 2007


Object No.


Object Statement

Wool specimen, hogget progeny of Rodney Downs ewes, bred by Darling Downs Pastoral Company, Ayrshire Downs, Winton, Queensland, Australia, 1889.

Physical Description

Wool specimen, hogget progeny of Rodney Downs ewes, bred by Darling Downs Pastoral Company, Ayrshire Downs, Winton, Queensland, Australia, 1889.

Wool specimen from a hogget

This sample of wool was tested in June 2007 by the Interactive Wool Group. They used the OFDA2000 instrument for fleece testing. The following are the results for this specimen:

Microns: 20.4 microns (3.4 Standard Deviation)
(average fibre diameter)

Staple length: 80 mm

Mean fibre curvature: 101.9 Dg/mm
(A measurement in degrees
per mm related to
crimp frequency)

Comfort Factor: 98.9%
(The % of fibres equal
to or less than 30 microns)



170 mm


30 mm



The wool specimen was produced in 1889 by the Darling Downs Pastoral Company, Ayrshire Downs, Winton, Queensland, Australia.



In 1890 Alfred Hawkesworth, honorary wool-classer to the Museum, noted the following about this specimen:

Hoggets, progeny of Rodney Downs station; ewes. This cross is very suitable to the district and shows to greater advantage than any other cross tried at Ayrshire Downs. The wool is of a much greater length than the other specimens, also dens, therefore preventing the heat and dust from destroying the pure fibre far down the staple, which, when combed, will be of a most useful length, combined with quality, softness, and pliability. Spinning quality 66s, value 11 ¼ d per lb (Alfred Hawkesworth's valuation). Country mostly open downs, sheep running in large paddocks.

Alfred Hawkesworth, Technological Museum, Sydney, Descriptive Catalogue No 1. Raw wools and specimens to illustrate the woollen manufacture. Sydney Government Printer. 1890.

Originally donated by Darling Downs Pastoral Company, Queensland, 1889.

This wool specimen is part of the Bill Montgomery Wool Collection which consists of approximately 7000 samples. In the older part of the collection there are 5000 samples from Australian sheep fleeces grown between 1856 and 1906. The samples were collected by the Museum at a time when scientific research was prominent in the Museum's activities. In 1979, when the Museum's focus changed, most of its wool collection was transferred to the teaching collection of Mr Bill Montgomery, a wool classing teacher at Newcastle Technical College. When Bill retired from the College, the collection was again in danger of being thrown away. He took the entire collection home and stored it in his garage for 15 years. His Collection also contains approximately 1500 wool samples grown between 1950 and 2000 and collected by Bill himself. It includes 147 examples of faults and stains occurring in Australian flocks, 20 pigmented wools and 33 rare and extinct breeds from around the world. The Museum purchased the entire collection in 2003. Bill Montgomery died on 7th July, 2007.


Credit Line

Purchased 2003 (originally gift of Darling Downs Pastoral Company, 1889)

Acquisition Date

31 March 2003

Cite this Object


Wool specimen from hogget. 2019, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 5 July 2020, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Wool specimen from hogget. |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=5 July 2020 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

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