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Australia - News from Home

Date: 1853
Dimensions:
Overall: 553 x 620 mm, 3.2 kg
Medium: Ink on paper mounted in a rosewood frame
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Classification:Art
Object Name: Lithograph
Object No: 00008756
Place Manufactured:Deutschland

User Terms

    Description
    This hand coloured lithograph depicts a scene of five men of mixed nationalities reading letters from home in a miner's hut. The title has been printed in English, French, German and Spanish. Miners on the gold diggings were eager to hear news from their family with letters providing comfort in their daily routine of life. Often on Sunday during the designated day of rest miners would walk several kilometers to check if mail had arrived.
    SignificanceThis lithograph offers a glimpse into what life was like on the Australian gold fields and camps. It highlights the mix of miners from many nations and the importance of receiving communication from home.
    HistoryDuring the 1800s the discovery of gold in California and Australia instigated the migration and movement of many people. During the 1850s and 1860s tens of thousands of miners criss-crossed the Pacific Ocean between Australia and America in search of gold. A $20 one-way ticket bought the traveller a bunk and a space for one trunk. The trip between Sydney and San Francisco took about six weeks.

    During the gold rush post offices increasingly emerged around gold digging sites as mining camps grew into permanent settlements. The 1850s was a busy period for the Australian postal system which was under heavy strain from the increasing influx of people and growth of the Australian economy. Letters and news from home was an important way for miners to stay in contact with their family and the outside world.

    Additional Titles

    Web title: Australia - News from Home

    Primary title: Australia - News from Home

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