Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Did you know that Manly once had the world's biggest golf ball? If you travelled down Balgowlah Road in the 1960s, you would have seen it towering over the houses nearby. As far as we know, there were no giants playing golf back then so what was the golf ball doing there? 

Well, it wasn't really a golf ball. It was actually a large gasometer erected in 1931 and was owned by the Manly Gas Light and Coke Company. It was one of the first gas holders to be built in a round shape as they were traditionally a cylindrical shape.  

The gasometer dominated the view and because of its shape, it was known by locals as the 'golf ball'. In the 1960s, the company embraced the nickname and painted it to resemble a golf ball. This came in handy for Dunlop as they used it to advertise their sporting equipment. 

As the paint began to wear off in the late 1970s, the gasometer began to resemble a large soccer ball and was eventually demolished in 1985. 

To see more images from Northern Beaches' past, head over to our Local History Image Search webpage.