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Ball of knitting wool used by child migrant Lily Knapton

Date: c 1909
Overall: 48 x 45 x 51 mm, 0.002 kg
Medium: Wool
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Gary McPherson
Object Name: Knitting Wool
Object No: 00028041

User Terms

    This ball of brown wool was brought to Australia by eight-year-old British child migrant Lily Knapton on SS RUNIC in 1909. She used it to knit during the long eight week voyage to Australia.
    SignificanceThe ball of wool is part of a collection of personal possessions brought to Australia by British child migrant Lily Knapton in 1909. It provides a rare insight into the nature of childhood and children's journeys from Britain in the early 1900s.
    HistoryThe Immigration Restriction Act 1901 was the first major piece of legislation passed by Australia's new federal parliament. The Act placed certain restrictions on immigration and reflected the government's desire to build a white Australia.

    The government's preference was for immigrants from Britain and it offered cheap fares to attract them to Australia. Many Britons saw emigration as a chance to find work and establish a new life.

    In 1909 eight-year-old Lily Knapton and her mother departed Liverpool on the White Star liner SS RUNIC. They were migrating to Australia to join Lily's father, who was working as a tailor in Melbourne, Victoria. From 1901 to 1930 RUNIC operated a regular migrant service from Liverpool to Sydney.

    Lily brought her favourite toys, clothes and school books with her. She kept them all her life as souvenirs of her former life in Britain and her childhood voyage on SS RUNIC.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Ball of brown wool

    Primary title: Ball of knitting wool used by child migrant Lily Knapton

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