Home of Joseph Stillman Badger ('Arlington')

Stage Number: MBNH.07.02.80

Group: Western

Local Study Area: Toowong-St Lucia-Indooroopilly

Epoch: Late 19th Century

Street Address: 28 Woodstock Road, Toowong

Latitude & Longitude: -27.48388889,152.98463889

Time Link: 1896

Map Link: 1904

Image Time Point: 1904

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Badger began work in the ‘telephone business’ in 1882, joined the Edison Company’s railroad department in 1890 and in 1894 was transferred to the factory at Schenectady, New York. He came to Queensland during May 1896 on behalf of the General Electric Co. to electrify the Brisbane Tramway Co.’s system. He joined the latter, became its chief electrical engineer in 1897 and by 1899 was general manager. As managing director from about 1914, he visited the United States frequently, including 1914, 1919 and 1922. He returned to America in 1923. Badger would stretch the law to its uttermost limits when the interests of his firm were at stake. When the new electric cars were delayed he converted worn-out horse-cars; in the first seven years he added over thirty-three miles (53 km) of suburban track to the system. He refused to accept trade unionism, decreed that union badges could not be worn on duty, and suspended the many employees who refused to submit. Over-confident leaders of the militant Australian Labour Federation saw an issue of principle and called a general strike which paralysed Brisbane from 18 January to 5 February 1912, then collapsed. None of the tramway strikers was ever re-employed by the company.


Toowong History Group Inc.; Leigh Chamberlain and Lindy Salter, Toowong; A tram ride from the past, Toowong and District Historical Society Inc., 2018, p.124.; David Burke, One American too many. Boss Badger and the Brisbane Trams, Queensland Museum, 2012.

Image Citations

Map References

QSA. QSA Series ID 2043 City of Brisbane and Suburbs Maps – A1A Series. 4 chains to the inch. Brisbane and suburbs. Sheet 1. 4 chains to the inch. Brisbane, Survey Office. 634532