Literacy is Power

The laptop of its day, this portable writing desk allowed the writer freedom to move around. Perfect for use next to an open fire or beneath a shady tree in one’s garden, its lower compartments tidily held ink, paper and pens. This late nineteenth-century example belonged to Alexander (1837-1915) and Ann Hanlon (nee Boyd) (1839-1929). […]

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Fancy Pants

When packing to travel to the other side of the world, what does an Edwardian woman put in her trunk? Knickers, of course. This machine-made pair, with their fancy cutwork embroidery and handmade torchon lace seem to have a very full front. Were they made to be worn by a pregnant woman? Was that why […]

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Sewn at Sea

What was thirteen-year-old Irish girl Ann Boyd thinking about as she stood on the deck of the emigrant ship Australia on 8 June 1853, as it sailed into Sydney Harbour and approached Dawes Point to lower its anchor? Accompanied by her parents Mary and Adam, and her eight siblings, Mary might have been impressed by […]

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