Irish born Robert Savage arrived in Melbourne in the 1850s, having previously worked as Clerk of Petty Sessions in Portland. He took up the position as agricultural writer for the Argus newspaper.
In 1869 he left his job to take up farming in Northcote. Savage was a keen inventor and developed such implements as a reaping machine, stone breaking equipment, new paint mixtures, new cement mixtures, a torpedo (to sell to the Italian government) and a sewing machine.
Savage’s farming exploits in Northcote ended in 1872 when he lost his money in a mining venture.
He later moved to Echuca, before returning to Melbourne. He died in South Melbourne in 1888.
Australian Dictionary of Biography, 1851 – 1890. (1981). Carlton, Vic: Melbourne University Press.