Registrations of designs of lacework , balustrade panels and other cast iron pieces of architecture began in 1870. However many designs were made earlier than this period and used on many buildings. The commonwealth designs act became effective after federation in early 1907.
Design registrations were incorporated into the commonwealth register, these were from all the states and territories of Australia. These are now lodged in Canberra and can be viewed at the department of Science and Technology.
Approximately 350 designs were registered from 77 foundries, the majority from NSW & Victoria however some registrations were received from Queensland and South Australia.
Many foundries registered the same or very similar patterns, this was possible as these products were being manufactured up to fifty years prior to registration, and patterns were copied and altered.
Many products manufactured today in lacework and balustrades were never registered. They have been manufactured in recent times and have little reflection on original Victorian architecture.
Registrations continued to lapse, foundries closed and some registrations still current were sold. It was evident that very few designs would be available, and most of these were manufactured by a number of foundries around Australia. There were however many designs that could be manufactured if the demand warranted its reproduction.