History in a Box

Boxes featuring items of yesteryear may be borrowed from Logan City Council Libraries by community members. Schools are eligible for registration as community members.

Campfire or bush kitchen

Many occupations in Australia required people to travel and camp out including drovers, shearers, and other rural workers. Camping has always been a popular way of holidaying as well. The items in this box are just a few that you would expect to find around a campfire or bush kitchen. Items in the box:

  • Billies, with and without a lid
  • Campfire cooker
  • Canvas water bag
  • Cooking fork
  • Enamel mug
  • Enamel saucepan
  • Folding grater
  • Kerosene hurricane lamp

Download Sample Activity Sheet (PDF 20 KB) which accompanies box.

Dad's farm shed

These are just a few items that would have been found in Dad's Farm Shed. Students may have a relative or neighbour with an interesting collection of tools in their shed. Are the items found there very different from what is in Dad's Farm Shed? Items in the box:

  • Boot last
  • Brass torch
  • Cigarette lighter
  • Fishing line
  • Fishing tackle box
  • Gas burner
  • Horseshoes
  • Kerosene hurricane lamp (painted gold for decorative purposes)
  • Metal polish
  • Plumb bob
  • Sinker mould
  • Soldering iron
  • Spring balance (scales)
  • Tobacco tin

Kitchen (box 1)

The kitchen is the nerve centre of the home. This is where the food is prepared and meals are eaten. Children often do their homework in the kitchen so that an adult can answer all of those tricky questions. The items in this box are just some of the things you would expect to find in Granny's kitchen and many of the things are much the same as you would have at home today. Items in the box:

  • Aluminium measuring jug
  • Bread knife
  • Cake storage tin
  • Charcoal iron
  • Enamel bowl
  • Grater
  • Juicer
  • Mincer/food chopper
  • Oats canister
  • Pie dish
  • Rice cooker
  • Rotary beater
  • Sifter
  • Table knife
  • Tea canister

Kitchen (box 2)

Items in the box:

  • 2lb oats bag
  • Biscuit cutters
  • Charcoal iron
  • Enamel bowl with lid
  • Enamel mug
  • Enamel pie dish
  • Juicer
  • MacRobertson's French nougat tin
  • Mincer
  • Rolling pin
  • Strainer
  • Sifter
  • Table knife
  • Tea canister
  • Toasting fork

The kitchen after electricity

One of the most important improvements to everyday life in Australia in the 20th century was the introduction of electricity into the home. Electricity meant that new electrical appliances could be purchased. Electric stoves gradually replaced the old wood fired stoves, which meant the family no longer had to chop wood continually to keep the stove alight. Refrigerators were an expensive purchase, but they eventually replaced the ice box. Items in the box:

  • Electric iron
  • Electric mix master
  • Electric toaster
  • Ice cream tray
  • Ice cube tray
  • Insecticide sprayer
  • Milk bottle and holder

Laundry and toilet

In early Australian homes, toilets were generally down the backyard and laundries were either under the house or in a separate wash shed. Items in the box:

  • Chamber pot
  • Charcoal iron
  • Corset
  • Enamel dish
  • Flat iron
  • Pressure lantern
  • Wringer

Leisure and technology

The items in this box demonstrate the evolution of home entertainment and communication. Items in the box:

  • 78 RPM records
  • Box camera
  • Dominoes
  • Edison records
  • Pianola rolls
  • Radio
  • Telephone