Star Extended


Great alpine road

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries stamp batteries played an integral role in releasing gold from quartz ore.  The ‘music of the stamps’ was a common sound throughout the mountains for many decades.  Despite our modern perceptions, the noise of the stamps was considered the sound of industry, employment, and a strong economy, an economy that saw the development of the Great Alpine Road into what it is today.

To the battery attendants and all who lived on the goldfields the rhythmic falling of the stamps was the background music of their daily lives.  Many residents felt at unease with the quiet that fell over the valley when the machines ceased for the Sabbath on Saturday evening.

Star Extended Battery, c1920s.  Illustrated Andrew Swift

Many of the stamp battery utilised the natural abundance of water from the mountain streams.  The Star Extended, like numerous other later plants in the area, used Pelton turbine wheels to drive their machinery.  

Stamp Battery.  Illustrated Andrew Swift

Stamp batteries where the principal machines used to separate gold from ore during the 19th and early 20th Centuries, and were basically a large mortar and pestle, the number of stamps (or heads) being the acting like pestles.