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Smoking on wharves and in wharf sheds, Ect.

Date: 1914
Overall: 433 x 280 mm, 1.2 kg
Medium: Metal, enamel
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Sign
Object No: 00006012
Place Manufactured:Sydney

User Terms

    This 'Smoking' sign was designed to regulate the activities of workers on wharves and sheds. It imposed a 100 pound fine for a breach of the regulations by workers who smoked on the wharves or near the sheds. It was produced in Sydney in 1914 by the Sydney Harbour Trust Commissioners.
    SignificanceThis regulatory sign is typical of those displayed on the waterfront throughout the early twentieth century.
    HistoryWaterfront workers hold a strategic place in the economy because the movement of exports and imports depended on their work. During the 1930s waterfront workers or wharfies received poor pay and irregular work. They were divided between two rival unions: the Waterside Workers Federation (WWF) and the Permanent and Casuals. Jim Healy, the secretary of the WWF absorbed the Permanent and Casuals after a campaign that crossed traditional enmities. The move gave the WWF a new strength and led to big gains in pay and conditions for wharfies. In 1993 the WWF joined the Seaman's Union to form the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA).

    The introduction of the container was revolutionary in making possible the totally mechanised handling seen today. This new technology however reduced wharfie numbers from 20,000 in the 1960s to less than 10,000 in 1993.
    Additional Titles

    Primary title: Smoking on wharves and in wharf sheds, Ect.

    Web title: Sign regulating the activity of waterfront workers

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