History in a box

Schools and community groups may borrow boxes featuring items from the past, available from our libraries.

Campfire or bush kitchen history box

Many jobs in Australia required people to travel and camp out – including drovers, shearers, and other rural workers. Camping has also always been a popular way of holidaying. This box includes items you would expect to find around a campfire or bush kitchen, including:

  • billies, with and without a lid
  • campfire cooker
  • canvas water bag
  • cooking fork
  • enamel mug
  • enamel saucepan
  • folding grater
  • kerosene hurricane lamp

Please download the Sample activity sheet (PDF 20 KB) which accompanies the box.

Dad's farm shed history box

In past times, Dad’s farm shed contained all sorts of interesting and useful things. Students of today may have a relative or neighbour with an interesting collection of tools in their shed. Are the items in today’s sheds different from what might have been in Dad's farm shed in days gone by? In this box, you’ll find:

  • 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 history box – Box 1

The kitchen was always the centre of the home. It's where people prepared food and ate their meals. It’s where children did their homework, so an adult could help with tricky questions. It’s where people had important conversations. This history box includes some of the things you might find in Granny's kitchen, which might not be so different to the things children would find in their kitchens 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 history box – Box 2

Our second kitchen history box includes more things from Granny’s kitchen, including:

  • 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 history box

In the early 20th century, electricity started to be connected to homes in Logan. Electricity brought great changes and improvements to everyday life at home. Electric stoves replaced wood-fired stoves. Refrigerators replaced ice boxes. Even though electrical equipment was expensive, it made home life much easier. 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 history box

In the old days, toilets were generally down in the backyard, and they didn’t flush! 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 history box

This box shows how home entertainment and communication has changed in recent years. Items in the box:

  • 78 RPM records
  • box camera
  • dominoes
  • Edison records
  • pianola rolls
  • radio
  • telephone
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