The South Australian Maritime Museum preserves the oldest nautical collection in Australia. In 1872 the Port Adelaide Institute began a museum collection to complement its library and its educational and social programs. That collection grew over the following century reflecting the seafarers and the ships that visited Port Adelaide. It is now held in trust at the South Australian Maritime Museum.

The Maritime Museum’s collections ranges from the Port Adelaide Lighthouse that was first lit in 1869 to a plaque that explorer Matthew Flinders left at Memory Cove in 1802 to mark the loss of eight seafarers. It includes figureheads, nautical instruments, bathing costumes, shipwreck artefacts, paintings, models and vessels.

Our scope is the maritime heritage of South Australia from the coast to inland waters. The collection of over almost 20,000 objects and over 20,000 images is at once a window to the heritage of the local community and to the ships of the world.

Chutney and whisky bottles buried in the walls of South Neptune Island lighthouse

Chutney and whisky bottles found within the walls of the South Neptune Island lighthouse when it was dismantled in 1985. They were placed there as part of a time capsule by the men who erected the lighthouse in 1901.

The bottles were part of a time capsule inserted in the walls of the lighthouse when it was resurrected on South Neptune Island in 1901. They contained two English pennies, one English halfpenny and a sealed scroll. Other items in the time capsule included a copy of the Advertiser from 14 September 1901, a poem entitled 'Our Lighthouse', and a toast in rhyme to the boilermakers signed by each worker. A team of over twenty carpenters, engineers and tradesmen from Port Adelaide arrived on South Neptune Island in 1900 aboard the Governor Musgrave to begin erecting the Lighthouse. These men lived in makeshift housing on the island for close to twelve months while the structure and cottages were built. The lighthouse was officially lit again on 1 November 1901.

Associated locations: South Neptune Island, South Australia, Port Adelaide 

Caption: lighthouse bottle

AccessionNo: HT 1986.0233


Physical Description:
lighthouse bottle (chutney)

lighthouse bottle (chutney)