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VISIONS OF EARLY AUSTRALIA: POSTCARDS, COVERS & MEMORABILIA

This paper provides me with the opportunity to highlight items, many of which have been  already used in several other papers that have intrigued me. The aim is to make this a ‘living’ picture for it will provide me with an avenue to add individual scans which would not warrant the production of a separate paper. This paper will be a veritable melange of items, which fits the category of Miscellaneous.  Let’s start at the beginning, Tuesday January 1, 1901 when Lord Hopetoun was sworn in as the first Governor-General of the Australian Commonwealth. This auspicious event occurred at Centennial Park, Sydney (Figure 1).

The ‘hot ticket’ for the event was this blue Commonwealth of Australia Swearing-in Ceremony ‘Ticket For Reserve’ which assured one person to a seat (Figure 2).

An undated map of Australia has a clue as to the date for the Railway Under Construction from Port Augusta, South Australia to Kalgoorlie, Western Australia (Trans-Australian Railway) was not completed until 1917, and the postcard was mailed in 1915. The population at the time was 14,921,823 in an area of 2,974,581 square miles (Figure 3).

New South Wales was not the largest State with an area of 310,367 square miles and the population on September 30, 1914 was low at 1,863,200 (Figure 4).

The indigenous Aborigines were, and still are, poorly treated as shown in this camp at Victor Harbor, South Australia (Figure 5).

The Australian population of sheep exceeded the population of humans, and they are off to the dip, as seen in this Kerry postcard (Figure 6).

Just in case you don’t believe the magnitude of the sheep population in Australia, perhaps this second Kerry postcard might be more convincing (Figure 7).

This Eucalyptus gum leaf stitched to a map of Australia was an example of the importance of Eucalyptus oil production in Australia (Figure 8).

Australian troops were fiercely involved in World War I in Europe, Asia and Africa and this Paris produced postcard shows the men at rest around a cannon (Figure 9).

This was how Australia and Australians were seen in advertising postcards produced for Arbuckle Bros Coffee Company, New York City (Figure 10).

This Victorian postcard is dated less than 6 years prior to the formation of the Commonwealth, but it could have been written to-day. The ‘Beer & Baccy’ postcard of 1895 was issued on 1 November 1895 led to a furious response from the Australian conservative elements and was withdrawn from sale the day that the message was written.

It was addressed to Mr. A. Wertheimer, C/- P. Phillipson & Co, 391 Bourke Street, near Melbourne Post Office, Melbourne and the blue ‘One Penny printed stamp was cancelled

MELBOURNE/ NO 19/ 95 (Figure 11).

The message on the reverse was quite unique and it read as follows:

November 19th 1895

Dear Friend

I pen these few lines to thank you for your kindness during my recent illness. That chicken altho it required great deal of time to boil, was very acceptable. The doctor says I am now out of danger but reccomends (sic) me plenty of chicken broth, but unless I have a few sent me I shall not be able to get it. I hope that you will not think I mention this to again impose on your benevolence. I am sure you will be feeling a great blessing in doing good to others. My coal is almost done and I am afraid I shall have to do without fires and I don’t know how I shall be able to pay my next week’s rent unless some good hearted person sends the money along. I trust that you will not think this is a begging letter for there is nothing I hate worse than begging. Trusting you will think of me and my trouble. I am sincerely yours, Jane Sarah (Figure 12).

 

Could anything be more Australian than this Kerry postcard, Pioneer Life Series showing Double Banking of cattle over a billabong? (Figure 13).

This remarkable three-panel mural was found after this paper was completed, and is thus out of dated order.  It depicts the flag-raising ceremony held at Sydney Cove on 26 Jauaary 1788.  Postage stamps are stuck to the wooden backing to form the picture (Figure 14).

 

 
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