Close at Hand

From the 1920s, this medicine chest was kept and used by the Gall family on their dairy farm near Berry. It remained in the family until the property sold, around 2007. It is a simple but captivating artefact that offers an insight into basic medical care on a family-run farm in twentieth century Australia. In […]

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Keeping His Cool

Dairyman Leslie Crawford knew that the cooler he could make the cream after separating the milk, the finer the butter would be. Fortunately, he had this useful device to help. Cool water entered via the pipe on one side, flowed through the interior, and out through the pipe on the other side, cooling the metal […]

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The Lost Art of Whitework

Parents of newborn babies today know that zipper onesies are very practical, especially those in bold colours and printed patterns that hide the inevitable spills and stains. But spare a thought for previous generations, when it was expected that babies be dressed in multiple fancy garments like those in this layette set, which were traditionally […]

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A Fancy Frame

Born and raised at Kangaroo Valley near Nowra, Elsie Campbell (1883-1962) was twenty-seven when she set her mind and hands to making this picture frame in 1910. She crafted it using a technique known as ornamental leather work, also considered a type of ‘fancy work’. Unlike her three older sisters who preferred to embroider floral […]

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Eighteen Blocks of Gold

The first butter factory in Australia was established at Kiama, on the NSW South Coast, in the early 1880s. Until then the trade of dairy products occurred directly between the farmer and buyer. Butter was made in small quantities using centuries-old techniques to separate the cream from cow’s milk and churn it into butter.  It […]

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Love of the Soil

In 1886 John Stewart of the farm Mananga, Broughton Creek,  carefully arranged and pressed buttercups, lilacs, daisies, grasses and ferns  in these bound books to create a herbarium. Then he dipped his pen in an inkwell and inscribed his name inside the front covers and recorded the botanical names of the specimens on each page. […]

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Something Blue

In the 1930s Gwen Wiley of Berry patiently cut out the silk fabric, sewed the seams and chain-stitched and embroidered these handkerchief sachets. And it may not have been an accident that she made them in blue. Gwendoline ‘Gwen’ Wiley (1914-1991) was the third daughter of John and Pearl Wiley. She gained her intermediate certificate […]

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A Useful Heirloom

Doris Hogan of Berry must have known this blue and white earthenware dish was old and quite rare, when she generously donated it to the Berry Historical Society in 1979. But what else did she know? Was it just one of those family household objects that is passed on, found left in the kitchen cupboard […]

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Patience and Skill

In the 1870s, when Berry schoolgirl Helena Kinneally stitched the buttonholes, fancy borders and darning to create this needlework sampler, she probably didn’t know how useful those skills would later be, when she became the mother of ten children. Helena Kinneally (c. 1868-1904) was born in Victoria about 1868. She was the daughter of William […]

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Signing Up for the Quiet Life

Mollymook’s fresh, salty breezes and relaxed atmosphere must have constantly reminded Joy Crewes why she and her husband John had moved there in the early 1950s. These keen amateur golfers had left Sydney behind to manage the Molly Moke Country Club, with its guesthouse and golf course overlooking the town’s popular beach. So, it must […]

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