This photo is of a little bit of history preserved from Sydney’s industrial past. Located in Pyrmont, on the Eastern side of the ANZAC bridge, these steel balls were salvaged from the Colonial Sugar Refinery (CSR) that operated at the location from the 1870s to 1990s.
CSR was founded in 1855 by a Danish gentleman named Sir Edward Knox. Its first refineries were located in the city and at Canterbury before moving to this site at Pyrmont where they commenced operations in 1877.
CSR was not only a sugar refinery, it was also a distillery which at one stage supplied half of Australia’s industrial alcohol needs. It also supplied a third of Australia’s rum.
In 1936 it expanded its operations to produce caneite and particle board which are both building materials. The pictured spheres are left over from the caneite factory. In the 1960s, CSR had started mining in the area which included mining for aluminium, petroleum and other minerals.
In 1995 the refinery closed as the company had begun relocating their operations to other locations. The site was then sold to the development company, Lend Lease in 1996 and is now filled with waterfront residential complexes, some occupying the buildings used by CSR.
CSR still operates today and is one of the major producers of building materials in Australia.
Note: I try to be as accurate as possible but make no guarantees. Please use this information at your own risk.