Letters and photographs, suggestions to improve workplace design and safety in electricity substations, Ronald Ball and Sydney County Council, paper, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1934-1956
Dated 1934, photograph of Ronald George Ball, in suit and tie, with his wife and baby son outside a house.
Dated 10 December 1937, and addressed to Mr R G Ball at 35 Arthur Street, Carlton, letter of appointment to the position of electrical fitter with the Sydney County Council Electricity Undertaking (SCC), signed by General Manager H R Forbes Mackay and typed on letterhead that includes a drawing of the Queen Victoria Building, at 457 George Street, where the SCC had its offices. The rate of pay was to be six pounds per week, and conditions of appointment included provision of a birth certificate, to ensure that the employee would 'cease to be a member of the Council's service upon reaching the age of sixty-five years'. The letter instructed Mr Ball to present himself to the Medical Officer on 14 December for a medical examination; a hand-written annotation in the margin notes 'fit' followed by the date 14.12.37 and initials, presumably of the Medical Officer.
Dated 8 May 1950, handwritten letter from R Ball at West AC Sub Depot, Canterbury, addressed in formal style to the Chairman of the SCC Suggestions Board. The suggestion in the letter was designed to address the problem of emergency hand-operated winding gear in substations being compromised on occasion by theft of a chain that was necessary to its operation. The substations affected were part of the 33 kV distribution system containing 'F&P switchgear', which probably refers to equipment made by Ferguson and Pailin. The fix Ball suggested was to replace the chain with gears.
Letters dated 18 March 1941, 2 April 1942, 15 December 1942, 22 August 1944, 10 April 1946, 17 October 1947, 13 November 1953, 4 August 1954, 24 May 1955 and 29 February 1956, addressed to Mr Ball. All letters are typed on letterhead, most bearing the SCC badge, which consists of the words THE SYDNEY COUNTY COUNCIL around a circle containing representations of the Sun (with the word HEAT), a fuel torch (with the word LIGHT) and a rearing horse (with the word POWER) and the words PERACTIS POSTERA PRAESTENT (which can be translated as 'Let the future excel the past') on a ribbon. Most are signed by General Managers: R Vine-Hall (1941 and 1942), DJ Nolan (1944 and 1946), GS Boyd (1947) and CE Ranger (1953, 1954 and 1956). One is signed by Deputy General Manager JCA Fraser (1955). They thank Mr Ball for a total of 11 suggestions, 10 of which were accepted. They commend him for his interest in his work, and refer to monetary rewards varying from two to ten pounds and totalling 46 pounds. The suggestions were assigned numbers from 737 (for one made in 1940 regarding electrostatic reconditioning of transformer oil, which led to in-house experiments and seeking of advice from overseas before it was rejected in 1942) to 2152 for the one accepted in 1956 (screening of low voltage switchboards in substations).
Letter dated 19 June 1950, typed on plain paper and signed by substation engineer L V Molloy, thanking Mr Ball for his 'ingenuity and enthusiasm' in instigating a new approach to the application of end caps to busbars.
Dated 1951, photograph of Ronald Ball, dressed in casual clothes, with his grand-daughter.
Letter dated 29 February 1956, typed on letterhead paper, addressed to Mr Ball and signed by R Hahn, Secretary of the Suggestions Board. This letter acknowledges receipt of a suggestion for improved safety of apparatus earthing.
Undated small SCC envelope, neither stamped nor franked, addressed to Mr R Ball, Maintenance Fitter, Substation Branch. This may have contained the February 1956 letter, which has the same form of address. The white envelope bears, in green: the word ELECTRICITY written vertically the full length of the left hand edge; return address for SCC at bottom left; and at top left a sketch of the head and hand of an elderly bespectacled woman with a finger on the switch of a power point.