What happened to all the non-motoring objects at the Birdwood Mill?
The Birdwood Mill Museum, now the National Motor Museum, was established by private owners and collectors in 1964 and featured curios, collectibles, local arts and crafts, and an aircraft, alongside a motoring collection. Many of our visitors fondly remember some of the more curious objects, such as a double-headed calf or the aircraft housed on the top floor of the old mill.
In 1976 the South Australian Government purchased the Museum from a consortium of private owners and in 1982 management of the Birdwood Mill Museum was transferred to the History Trust of SA (now History SA). In 1988 it formally became the National Motor Museum (Australia) and the collection focus has since concentrated exclusively on Australian motoring history. Some of the non-motoring collection was returned to private lenders, or loaned/transferred to other state collections and museums, such as the aircraft which now resides at the South Australian Aviation Museum at Port Adelaide. The majority of the horse-drawn vehicle collection has been transferred to the National Trust Museum at Millicent. Many items are currently in storage and possibly available on request, though we cannot always guarantee access.