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Shot Tower Museum (Melbourne CBD)



Located in Melbourne Central shopping centre is the 20 story high glass cone, designed by renowned Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa, which houses the heritage listed ‘Coops Shot Tower’. The Shot Tower is a bullet making facility designed in 1889. It was the tallest building in Melbourne's CBD until the mid-1940s, and has become one of the city’s most enduring landmarks and is a significant building in Australia’s industrial history.

On a shot-making day, the shot maker would load the pig iron (in the form of lead bars) into a bucket on the second floor. He’d then take the 300-odd stairs to the top of the tower, where he would use a pulley to haul the lead to the top. There, he’d fire up a gas ring vat and melt the lead, which boils at a reasonably low 118 degrees Celsius. Then he would ladle the molten lead into a colander and the lead would fall 132 feet into a vat of water on the second floor. By the time it hit the water, the molten lead would have cooled into spheres of lead shot, which were then shovelled into rolling machine dryers (each punched with holes for auto-sizing) on its way to being packed into bags, ready for despatch and use in shotguns, on scales, in pin ball machines and puzzle games—and even as ships’ ballast.

Some 25 million individual shot pellets could be produced every hour, but the Coop family didn’t just make shot here. They made all manner of lead products—from old-fashioned weights to nails and solder, as well as the stair grips for Melbourne’s trams and all of the lead pipe that was used to encase the city’s first electricity system.

The Shot Tower Museum is located on the second level inside the tower and you need to walk through the R M Williams shop to get to it. The museum explains how lead shot was made and has photos of Melbourne from the early days.

Opening Hours:


10am - 6pm Monday -Thursday and Saturday
10am-9pm Friday
10am-5pm Sunday

Cost:


Free



Address | Contact


211 La Trobe Street,  Melbourne 3000, Victoria, Australia. View Map Map opens in new browser window
Telephone: 
Map: 2F Ref: E2

Web Links


Link Coops Shot Tower (Melbourne Central)



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