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Sheds, Shears and Strikes: the Golden Age of Wool 1860-1890

Saturday 21 April 2018 • 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

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Hear about the demise of blades shearing and the introduction of the sheep shearing machine in Australia. Exhibiting a collection of blades, shears and historic machines, Dr Donaldson will trace their history and development against the introduction of the Unions in 1888 into shearing sheds, fighting for better conditions for its bush factory workers.

The romance of Australian sheep shearing, with its remote woolsheds, pastoral wool–kings, huge sheep stations, immense flocks of sheep and tough bush shearers, has always featured strongly in the bush lore and traditional remembrances of our rural past.

It can be truly said that in 1892, in spite of droughts, Australia rode fair and squarely on the sheep’s back. In NSW sheep numbers rose from approximately 6.2 million in 1862 to approximately 55.5 million in 1892. In Victoria sheep numbers grew from 6.2 million to 12.9 million in the same period, and Queensland from 4.3 million to 20.9 million sheep. By 1892 sheep numbers had increased nearly five-fold, and quickly brought Australia into the situation of becoming the acknowledged premier producer of sheep and wool in the world.

Join Dr James Donaldson, author of ‘Shears, Sheds and Strikes’ and ‘Sheep Shearing Handpieces in Australia’ to hear more about this fascinating industry.

This event is run as part of the National Trust’s Australian Heritage Festival.

Cost: Gold Coin Donation

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Saturday 21 April 2018
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
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PMI Victorian History Library
39 St. Edmonds Road
Prahran, Victoria 3181
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9510 3393


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