Marcus Albert Wilhelm Von Steiger

M, #6167, b. 1854, d. 23 Mar 1916
Marcus Von STEIGER
Birth*1854 Cannes, France.1 
Immigration*4 Jan 1880 To Melbourne, VIC, Australia..
Marriage*1885 Spouse: Anna Marguerite Loosli. VIC, Australia, #M5226R.1
Land-UBeac*b 1889Marcus Albert Wilhelm Von Steiger selected land from the Crown. GEM--141A. 34a 2r 30p - Land File 5890/32
Crown Grant to M. VON STEIGER (no date). written off 1910, arrears for the last few years.3 
Land-UBeac*b 1909 GEM--141A. Transfer from Marcus Albert Wilhelm Von Steiger to Lars Otto Roll Grundt. Lars Otto Grundt took over lease early 1900s.4 
Land-Note*1910 GEM--141A: written off in 1910. 
Noteb 1916 President and member of Swiss Club. 
Death*23 Mar 1916 Camberwell, VIC, Australia, #D751 (Age 62) [par Johann Wilhelm Von STEIGER & Fanny Henrietta PIGOTT].5 
Death-Notice*24 Mar 1916VON STEIGER.—On the 23rd March, at his residence, East Camberwell, Marcus Albert, of Berne, Switzerland, aged 63 years.
VON STEIGER.—The Friends of the late Mr. MARCUS ALBERT VON STEIGER are respectfully invited to follow his remains to the place of interment in the St. Kilda Cemetery.
The funeral will leave his late residence. No. 32 Brinsley road, East Camberwell, THIS DAY (Friday, 24th March, 1916), at half-past 2 o'clock.
VON STEIGER.—The member of the Swiss Society are invited to attend the Funeral of our late esteemed member and ex-president, MARCUS ALBERT VON STEIGER.
The funeral will leave his late residence, No. 32 Brinsley road, East Camberwell, THIS DAY (Friday, 24th March, 1916), at 2.30 p.m., arriving at St. Kilda Cemetery at 3.30p.m.
E. T. GAY, President.
LE PINE and SON, Funeral Directors.6 
Probate (Will)*13 Jun 1916 144/677. Engineer. No real estate at the time of his death.7 
Note* Children changed their names to DE STEIGER after WW I.8 
Note Dudley St Carriage Sheds Tank.
Location: Victorian Railways Carriage Sheds, cnr Dudley and Adderley Sts, North Melbourne. Fate: Demolished. Firm: RCMPC. Designer: John Monash. Assistant Designer: P. T. Fairway. Draughtsman: J. A. Laing. Client: Victorian Railways. Client's Engineer: M. von Steiger. General Contractor: Wormald Bros & Wears. Initial Design: March 1908. Definitive Design: September 1908. Construction: June to December? 1908.
The initiative for this project came from Wormald Bros & Wears who were supplying the fire protection system for the Victorian Railways carriage sheds in North Melbourne. In March 1908 Monash prepared a rough estimate and a drawing; but did not finalise design of the superstructure until June. He told Lynch he had simplified the proposed architectural mouldings as he wanted no more ornamentation than specified by the Railways Department. On the other hand, he desired a high quality finish "as we want this tank to be an object lesson to the Railway Department."
Department engineers were to prepare the foundations for the stand, but the ground proved insufficiently strong for the individual footings which had been proposed. Despite a change in the location of the tank it was found necessary to drive piles. Monash had Fairway investigate the possibility of using a raft foundation, but this proposal was not carried through.
While work was temporarily abandoned, the Department demanded details of the RCMPC design. Monash told Marcus von Steiger "We do not usually submit details of designs of such work, but we have no objection to this course in the case of a Public Department provided it is understood that the particulars are furnished confidentially and solely for the purpose of enabling the Department to satisfy itself as to the propriety of the design and that the same is not to be made use of otherwise". He pointed out the design was in accordance with the Imperial German Regulations as adopted by the RIBA and the City of Melbourne. It appears that the Department produced a drawing showing reductions in the size of the concrete members of the stand. Monash agreed to reduce the columns from 12" square to 10" (305mm to 254mm), but maintained the horizontal and diagonal members at 9" (229mm) square rather than the 6" shown by the Department.
Work recommenced at the end of September. On Christmas Eve, Monash prepared the following cost summary:
Original quote to Wears     £220-00-00
Labour wasted in foundation     12-10-00
[sub-total]     232-10-00
Actual cost     272-17-08
Loss     £40-07-08
(Estimated cost of Dept. additions to design: £22-10-00.)     
This experience may have played a part in convincing Monash and his assistants that a plain cylindrical shaft was a less expensive means of supporting an elevated tank than a complex of columns joined by horizontal beams and (in some cases) diagonals. In January 1911, Jenkinson, then engineer in charge of the SARC office, was debating whether to tender for construction of a similar, though larger, tank at Mile End, South Australia. He wrote to Monash: "we would have to put in a pretty fat price for any such work, judging by the results of the tank at North Melbourne" - adding that Mile End was a small job, but involved complex work. It is most likely he was referring to experience gained from the Dudley Street tank.
Technical Description.
The tank was cylindrical, 8 feet (2.44m) deep and 16 feet in internal diameter. There were five columns, about 43 feet (13.1m) high. Four formed a square with the fifth in the centre. The columns were 10" square (254mm) with four 7/8" (22mm) bars. The cross-bracing was in the planes defined by the four corner columns of the stand. The horizontal and diagonal members had four 5/8" (16mm) bars. To support the tank, four major beams connected the tops of the outer columns, while two minor beams bisected the square in both directions, cantilevering beyond the major beams. The tank wall was thus supported at eight points: the corners of the square and the ends of the minor beams. The columns were founded on piles.9 


  • 15 Jul 1893: THE EQUITABLE BUILDING FATALITY. - An inquiry was held at the coroner's court to-day into the circumstances surrounding the deaths of the men Frank Pecaud, Joseph Delamert and John Masson who were killed by the collapse of a jib crane at the Equitable Assurance Company's buildings at the corner of Collins and Elizabeth streets on Tuesday afternoon. After evidence of identification had been given, Mr. Marcus Von Steiger, an engineer in the Railway department, gave expert evidence on the state of the machinery. He stated that the material which was being lifted when the smash took place weighed 8,500lb, and he estimated that this weight would cause a compressive strain in the jib of about 24,000 lb. He was of opinion that under the circumstances the jib would not have a large margin of safety. Where the jib broke there were several knots in the wood. Any shock caused by the slipping of the rope would cause the accident. Other evidence was given that the jib had repeatedly lifted four tons. The jury returned a verdict of accidental death, and added a rider that more margin of lifting power should allowed in jib cranes.10


  1. [S1] Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages Pioneer Index Victoria 1836-1888.
  2. [S65] Ancestry - various indices, Passenger lists.
  3. [S81] Land Records & Parish Maps ; PROV (Public Records Office Victoria). Land File 5890/32.
  4. [S66] Berwick Shire Rates, 1870-1965 1911/12 rated to R. J. Grundt 34 ac Lot 141A Gembrook NAV 15.
  5. [S4] Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages Great War Index Victoria 1914-1920.
  6. [S11] Newspaper - The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.), 24 Mar 1916, p1.
  7. [S35] Probate Records, PROV (Public Records Office Victoria),
  8. [S101] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1903 - 1980.
  9. [S50] Miscellaneous Source,…
  10. [S14] Newspaper - Bendigo Advertiser (Vic.), 15 Jul 1893, p5.
Last Edited7 Mar 2016


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