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H7310 Half-ship model, TSS 'Antleon', builder's model in case, twin screw sand pump dredger built for New South Wales Government, wood / metal / glass, made by William Simons & Co Ltd, Renfrew, Scotland, 1898. Click to enlarge.

‘Antleon’ dredger ship model

Made by William Simons & Co Ltd in Scotland, 1898.

This shipbuilder's model of the TSS 'Antleon' represents the first sand dredger to be constructed to deepen sea bars submerged by only 5 feet (1.5 metres). As the model shows, it is equipped with the latest improvements in boiler engines, pumps and steel shipbuilding, enabling the ship to carry up to 250 tonnes of sand on a rough bar and steam slowly over it. In fact, the 'Antleon' was the first Australian steamer to be fitted with Babcock & Wilcox boilers (the best known of watertube types firs...


Object No.


Object Statement

Half-ship model, TSS 'Antleon', builder's model in case, twin screw sand pump dredger built for New South Wales Government, wood / metal / glass, made by William Simons & Co Ltd, Renfrew, Scotland, 1898

Physical Description

Half-ship model, TSS 'Antleon', builder's model in case, twin screw sand pump dredger built for New South Wales Government, wood / metal / glass, made by William Simons & Co Ltd, Renfrew, Scotland, 1898

Half-ship model of the TSS 'Antleon' sand dredger made of wood with metal trimmings and mounted inside a glass and wooden framed case. The model is shown with bollards, deck rails, a ship's wheel, funnel and masts, deck houses and side pipe trailing suction equipment. Other details painted on the model include portholes and doorways. The model is finished in red and black and is screwed onto a backboard.

Full-scale specifications:
Type: Side trailing dredging pipes
Hull: Steel
Gross Tonnage: 469 tonnes
Overall Length: 51.6 metres
Overall Beam: 11.4 metres
Height: 19.4 metres
Main Engines: Two triple expansion engines with Stephenson's valve gear, 200 rpm and 410kw horse power
Boilers: Two water-tube type of Babcock and Wilcox design, coal fired. Working pressure 200 psi.
Max. Speed Loaded: 5 knots
Dredging Speed: 2 knots
Dredging Depth: 9.1 metres
Horsepower: 700
Output: 550 cubic yards per hour in sand





445 mm


220 mm



This ship model of the TSS 'Antleon' was produced by William Simons & Co Ltd in Renfrew, Scotland in 1898.

William Simons & Co Ltd started out as a shipbuilding company in Greenock, Inverclyde, Scotland in 1810, but after only two years in operation moved to Canada on the Isle Aux Noix, near Montreal. In 1818, William returned to the site of the original shipyard in Greenock (having left his brother in Canada) and operated there until 1826. Further relocation of the company took place to Whiteinch, Glasgow after the proposed construction of the Victoria Harbour. It was here that Simons built his first steamship. Wooden hulled brigs, barques and full-rigged ships, however, continued to be the mainstay of the yard.

Although William Simons died in June 1839, the firm was carried on by his eldest son who was also named William, along with another son on behalf of their father's Trustees. From this period in the company's history (while still at Whiteinch), they moved into iron shipbuilding, which meant that by the late 1850s, ship construction was seen as a science of working in metals.

In 1860, William Simons Junior took on Andrew Brown (a naval architect) as partner. It was also in this same year that the company relocated for the last time to Renfrew, Scotland where they took over the iron foundry of Fox, Henderson & Co and the shipyard of J.W. Hoby & Co. This then meant the company could supply their own propelling machinery, as well as hulls, passenger liners, cargo vessels and river steamers.

William Simons Junior retired in 1886 and Andrew Brown went and took control of the firm, before Brown's two sons (William and Walter) became partners in 1888. It was during this time in the company's history that it changed its name to William Simons & Co Ltd. Control of the business remained in the hands of the Brown family for 70 years, until 1951when the commercial and financial structure of the business was considered to be unsound.

In 1956, G & J Weir Ltd pump manufacturers of Glasgow bought out William Simons & Co Ltd for the sum of GBP 1 million. Three years later, G & J Weir merged William Simons & Co Ltd with the newly acquired Lobnitz & Co Ltd, before becoming Simons-Lobnitz, Ltd. The company ceased to operate in 1964.



The full-scale 'Antleon' sand dredger first commenced service for the New South Wales Department of Public Works on March 19, 1899. Its intended use was in dredging shallow river sand bars on the New South Wales coast by means of side trailing suction pipes that could dredge to a depth of 30 feet (9.1 metres). This process was powered by a centrifugal pump and provided deeper channels to many of the rivers used by the North Coast Steamers.

For the construction of the 'Antleon', the Engineer-in-Charge of the Public Works, C. W. Darley, specified that it was to include the latest improvements in boiler engines, pumps and steel shipbuilding. This enabled her to load herself with 255 tonnes of sand on a rough bar and steam slowly over it, drawing on only 5 feet of water. In the vessel's very successful trials, she pumped 2040 tonnes of sand from the crown of a shallow and tortuous sea bar where there had only been 5 feet of water previously.

From March 19, 1899 to June 30, 1899, the 'Antleon' dredged 141, 780 tonnes of sand over a period of 284 hours. From 1900 - 1960, she dredged in the following rivers and regions - Bellinger, Byron Bay, Camden Haven, Clarence, Macleay, Manning, Moruya, Newcastle, Port Hacking, Port Macquarie, Richmond, Shoalhaven, Tweed and Wollongong.

In 1927 the hull of the 'Antleon' was largely rebuilt and the original boilers replaced by Babcock and Wilcox water-type, while in 1959 she was given a major overhaul including construction of additional superstructures for crew accommodation.

In 1968, the 'Antleon' was laid up due to lack of work and in 1970, following a Review of Dredge Service Operations, she was sold to breakers.

It is believed that this half-model was made by the shipbuilders. It was presented to the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences in 1963 by the Principal Engineer of the Harbours and Rivers Division of the Department of Public Works.


Credit Line

Gift of A Dance, 1963

Acquisition Date

24 July 1963

Cite this Object


'Antleon' dredger ship model 2019, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 31 March 2020, <>


{{cite web |url= |title='Antleon' dredger ship model |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=31 March 2020 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

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