Age of Consent

The Age of Consent came out on both sides of the Atlantic in the same year,  1938. At the time most books were published overseas and imported into Australia, which made Customs Department, with their total control over what came into the country, our main censor. It was a role they carried out with diligence … Read more

The Cautious Amorist

The Cautious Amorist was banned in Australia from May 1933 to October 1953, with the authorities citing both indecency and blasphemy. A story of three men and a young woman cast away on a Pacific island, it explored “the effects of shipwreck on maidenly modesty, ministerial morals, and masculine rivalry” and the battle of the sexes which ensued – a battle … Read more

The Gum Leaf Letter

In 1910, a newly married couple honeymooning in Yetman, New South Wales, took it upon themselves to mail a gum leaf up to Brisbane to a Mrs F. Humfress at the Commercial Union Chambers, Eagle Street. The large gum leaf was written on directly, wasn’t placed in an envelope, and was even postmarked, before making … Read more

Queensland Places – Torres Strait – Wreck of the Conqueror

The Conqueror - an artist's depiction, John Oxley Library Neg. No. 66921

The vessel Conqueror was a wooden, three masted barque weighing around 340 tons, which was mainly engaged in the transport of cargoes of various kinds between Australian ports and various locations to the north and elsewhere, becoming well known along these shipping routes.  In July 1866, the Conqueror sailed from Adelaide, calling at Newcastle for … Read more

The Baby Killer – Mrs Winslow’s Soothing Syrup (Patent medicine in Queensland)

Trade card from the collection of Miami University Libraries

Browse through Queensland newspapers from the mid-1880s until the early part of the 20th century, you will discover they are filled with advertisements for elixirs, tonics, ointments and powders curing everything from rheumatism to baldness to cancer. Many of these so-called “cures” were either ineffective and/or contained dangerous chemicals. In the era of patent medicines, manufacturers … Read more