library and museum blogs – finds worth the browse

Trove Australia provides access to thousands of articles, pictures, photographs, book references, maps, diaries and more.  The digitised newspaper collection was the inspiration for establishing this blog.

If you ever doubted the value of libraries (and I sincerely hope that none of this blog’s readers fall into this category), take a stroll through the internet for the wealth of material that gets shared via the blogs of libraries, museums and galleries across Australia.

A  quick browse this morning unearthed these treasure troves.

Who were the first retailers in Fortitude Valley in Brisbane?    The John Oxley Library blog.


What was the first state funeral ever held in Australia?    State Library of Victoria – Such Was Life blog.


Why a duck, Michael Leunig?    State Library of Victoria – Arts blog.


What was the meaning of embroidered floral postcards sent back from the front in World War I?   Australian War Memorial blog.

Australian War Memorial RC06231

What sort of toys did children play with in the 1940s in country Australia? – Powerhouse Museum, Sydney – Inside the Collection blog.


billy carts

Image: Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum

The billy-goat cart, shortened to billy cart, was one of Australia’s favourite make-yourself-amusements.  Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum has a billycart in its collection and a comprehensive historical background is available in the object’s Statement of Significance.  A couple of articles from the 1930s appear below.  I can’t help feeling less than warm towards the ‘socially important resident’ whose influence on Parliament might put a stop to some fun in the streets of Elizabeth Bay.  Australian Women’s Weekly – 10 February 1934.  I love that the police were foiled from solving billy cart crime because the kids weren’t moving the stolen goods on.  Sydney Morning Herald – 26 May 1932

Unfortunately though, many newspaper reports about billy carts are of injuries and fatalities that occurred as a result of collisions with motor vehicles or falls off fast moving carts.

Sydney Morning Herald 26 May 1934

Australian Women’s Weekly – 10 Feb 1934

Taking the housework with you on holidays

Caravan traveling as a recreational pursuit in Australia is documented in this post from the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney.

The Australian Women’s Weekly – 1 May 1937 – do you think that’s a special holiday apron?