For the moving visual addition to the Duck Trousers, Straw Bonnets, and Bluey exhibition now showing in the State Library Reading Room, we were able to find a few gems from the late Tasmanian Film Corporation. The Tasmanian Film Corporation was the last incarnation of the Tasmanian Government film unit, which was established in 1946 by the Lands and Surveys Department. It would evolve into the Department of Film Production in 1960 to oversee the full range of film production in the state before being transformed into the government owned commercial business model in the guise of The Tasmanian Film Corporation in 1977. If it moves, we’ll shoot it was a witty commercial made in 1968 by the Department of Film Production about their services.Continue reading “Tasmanian Textiles and Clothing in Film”
The Conservation team was recently tasked with the treatment of a silver cup that belonged to a prominent Tasmanian, with links to a historic French fraternity. Read on to find out more about this unusual item and how it has been conserved.Continue reading “Conservation of a tastevin”
Duck trousers, straw bonnets, and bluey: the history of Tasmanian textiles and clothing is filled with colourful and unique garments, characters, and stories. Stories like that of Joseph Bidencope, a skilful tailor and milliner from Poland, whose popular hats made in Battery Point were exhibited to great success at the Philadelphia International Exhibition in 1876. Or the many stories of the female convicts housed in the factories at Cascades and Ross – some of whom were imprisoned for stealing aprons, bonnets, and jackets – who made, embroidered, and laundered clothing.
These stories- and many more- are at the heart of a new free exhibition Duck Trousers, straw bonnets, and Bluey: Stories of Fabrics and Clothing in Tasmania currently on display in the State Library of Tasmania and Tasmanian Archives Reading Room in Hobart. The exhibition has original records and heritage books from the Tasmanian Archive and State Library collection on display, along with information and images in our new exhibition space.Continue reading “Introducing our new exhibition: Duck Trousers, Straw Bonnets, and Bluey: Stories of Fabrics and Clothing in Tasmania”
In the 1930s and 40s cricket bats were a precious thing. Around the world, bats were in short supply, largely due to an increase in demand for English willow (Salix alba var. caerulea) for use in a range of items both during and after the Second World War. As was noted in correspondence between J. M. Crockett and The Commissioner of the Australian Council of Agriculture in July 1940:
every available tree of this type has been taken over in Gt Britain for War Purposes, the chief item being aircraft construction, the timber being the best substitute for spruce, which is all tied up now in countries occupied by the enemy … The other uses for this willow is artificial limbs for which no other timber is suitable, and recently has [been found to have] the quickest, and most powerful detonation as a component in high explosive fuses for shells … So you can see that none of the tree is not of high commercial value.
As a cricket bat manufacturer, J. M. Crockett (Jim) had obvious motives in writing to the Commissioner and highlighting both the current global willow shortages and the value of willow timber more broadly; he wanted to propose the planting of willow trees as a viable and profitable agricultural activity in Australia. As Jim Crockett continues in his letter, ‘in normal times Australia’s requirements alone is 100,000 cricket bats annually, for which 4,500 mature trees would be required to produce the same.’ Kashmiri willow, which today is a major source of cricket bat willow, had not yet been fully developed as an industry outside of India, and so the bat-making industry was having to look further afield to other sources of willow. Australia, and most particularly the cooler and wetter climate of Tasmania, was certainly a strong option worth exploring. Over the next few years Jim Crockett made several visits to Tasmania, noting the ‘climatic conditions ideal’ for willow bat propagation. Indeed, he went so far as to state that ‘not only could Tasmania make Australia self-sufficient, but an export trade to the empire’s cricketing Dominions was extremely likely.’Continue reading “Isn’t it good, Taswegian Wood: Experiments in Growing Cricket Bat Willow Trees and a Wooden Cricket Pitch”
The Bream Creek Show Society recently donated a collection of its posters from the 1930s to the 1950s to Libraries Tasmania. Whilst we already held some samples of Bream Creek posters, the donation by the Show committee means that we now have a solid and substantial record of this iconic rural event. With the 2020 Show one of the many public events cancelled in this particular historical moment, we are publishing this blog as a celebration of the Show’s long history – and look forward to its re-emergence in 2021.Continue reading “The History of the Bream Creek Show: 1896 – the Present”
The Soldier Land Settlement Scheme was created to help settle returned soldiers on the land after the First and Second World Wars.
“The Returned Soldiers’ Settlement Act, 1916,” and the amending Acts of 1917 and 1918, make provision for the Settlement on land in the State of Tasmania of any returned soldiers with satisfactory discharges, and who have had previous farming experience, desirous of following this occupation. – Government Printer 1919Continue reading “Soldier Land Settlement Scheme”