I need a few good women, or bad ones.

The purpose of this blog is to document women who had an occupation other than “wife”, or were involved in activities outside of the house. Once I started looking, I found them in all sort of places. Unfortunately, most of them are Tasmanian and most of those waiting to be done are too. I’m sure…

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Fern Sellers – Christmas Eve

THE FERN SELLER—CHRISTMAS EVE. This is an original and characteristic sketch, in which perhaps our artist has sacrificed a little fidelity to nature. In this instance the object seems to have been to embody an idea thoroughly and faithfully rather than exhibit skill in the delineation of female beauty. What the holly is to the…

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Two women & their shops

This is just an excuse to share these two photos. Not your usual shops! (Gulgong & Hill End both started as gold towns, hence the rough & ready nature of the buildings.) Above: Woman and shop-house, Hill End (NSW) American & Australasian Photographic Company 1870-1875 From the Mitchell Library,State Library of NSW Below: Woman with…

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Feather Curlers & Cleaners

Sydney Gazette, 11 August 1825 Not an occupation I can find out much about. Feather curlers were used by milliners to produce suitable feathers for their hats. However, if you read down through these advertisements you’ll see they’re offering a different, if related, service. Bearing in mind here, hats were necessary fashion accessory, and if…

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Miss Beeton

This necklace of king maireener shells on two-stranded linen thread was probably given to James Peppiatt, the proprietor of the Old Brisbane Hotel in Launceston, by its maker Lucy Beeton. She was the daughter of Thomas (John) Beeton and Emmerenna (Tralwoolway Clan) Necklace & caption from The First Tasmanians: Our story gallery at the Queen…

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Whereas My Husband… Or, What’s Good For Gander

Sydney Gazette, 28 July 1821 This is sequel to 100 Years of Disappointed, Disgruntled, Discredited Husbands. I have transcribed the longer advertisements/letters where the text might be too small to read and included the image, except where it’s an ongoing debate wherein I have just included the text. TO THE PUBLIC.— WHEREAS Mr. Thomas Arkell…

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Governess or Lady Help?

GOVERNESS OR LADY HELP ? TO THE EDITOR OF THE ARGUS. Sir,–I belong to that unhappy class of persons known as governesses, where every accomplishment is required, and the salary is, with few exceptions, what a good cook would decline to take. If a lady can teach English, music, singing, French, Latin, Italian, German, &c.,…

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On the trail of the lady detective

Lady detectives seem to have come late to Australia. The concept of them was known throughmost of the Victorian era, as they were subject of some popular novels, including Revelations of a Lady Detective  (1864) which was advertised, widely, for many, many, many years in regional Australian newspapers. (It made searching… fun.) Tracing them was also…

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100 Years of Disappointed, Disgruntled, Discredited Husbands

Sydney Gazette, 16 October 1803 Sydney Gazette, 19 June 1808 Sydney Gazette, 12 February 1810 Hobart Town Gazette, 19 October 1816 Hobart Town Gazette, 12 August 1820 Sydney Gazette, 16 October 1823 Sydney Gazette, 23 October 1823 Sydney Gazette, 9 January 1826 The Australian, 10 September 1828 Sydney Monitor, 20 September 1828 Sydney Gazette, 21…

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Charlotte

I found this one on the wall of the tea room at Franklin House, a spinster and governess!* Charlotte’s brother ran a boys school at Franklin Village, but she “was forced to gain employment. This she found at the Archer family house of Northbury near Longford” (pictured above). At first she worked as “a governess…

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