The first coal loading in Newcastle was done by convict miners who waded out with baskets of coal that they loaded on to sailing ships. Wheelbarrows replaced baskets when Watt Street wharf was built. By 1861 coal was being loaded by steam cranes. Coal loading on the city side of the harbour ceased in 1921. By 1878 coal loading had progressed as far as Dyke Point, Carrington. In that year hydraulic cranes were commissioned for the site. The last cranes at Dyke Point were dismantled in 1967. The Port Waratah Coal Loader was built by Gollin & Co. in 1974. Port Waratah Coal Services upgraded the facility in 1982. The Kooragang Coal Loader was built by Kooragang Coal Loader Ltd (KCL) in 1984. From the 1990s up until 2009 Port Waratah Coal Services progressively expanded its coal loading facilities.

Unidentified wharf. From the Bert Lovett Collection, University of Newcastle, Cultural Collections. 

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