National Library of Australia

Snippets from the archive: 1906

December 1906


An ingenious trick, practised in Paris by a woman known as the “human cash box”, has been stopped for the present.  In a café at Montmartre she picked up a 20f. piece, belonging to a customer who was paying his bill, and asked to be allowed to bite it “for luck.”  He consented, and she promptly swallowed the large coin.  The customer had seen the trick before, and had the woman arrested.  She is said to have made a comfortable income for some time past by this trick.

The Age,  8 Dec. 1906,  p.6



ADVERTISER, with decent income, wishes correspond with healthy young woman, view to matrimony.  Box F29 this office.

The Brisbane Courier,  3 Dec. 1906,  p.3



“I am a teetotaller, but have tasted beer,” a constable said giving evidence in a public house case today.  Long, long ago, no doubt.  Quite a different case is that of a man whose friend observing him drinking whisky, exclaimed, “I thought you were a teetotaller.” “So I am,” was the reply, “but I’m not a bigot.”

The Melbourne Herald,  15 Dec. 1906,    p.1


O. – ‘TIS  CHRISTMAS  TIME, hearty good wishes to all under our American Rent Purchase System.  Howden and Co., 341 Collins street, and 70 Chapel street, Prahran.


But kindly wishes speed through space,
And so from our hearts we say,
Adopt our system this Christmas Day.

Howden and Co.,341 Collins st., and 70 Chapel st., Prahran.


And Texture manifold:
Be wise and don’t refuse,
Our system saves you gold.

Howden and Co., 341 Collins st.


O. – SINCERE WISHES for your prosperity awaits you by starting the New Year with a home of your own under our American Rent Purchase System.  Get our booklet, posted gratis.  Howden and Co., 341 Collins st.


So we’re sure to meet new faces;
Don’t fail to see us this coming year,
We’ll sell you all new places.

Howden and Co., 341 Collins st.



HOWDEN and Co., 341 Collins st., and 70 Chapel st., Prahran.

The Melbourne Herald,  15 Dec. 1906,  p.3



Motor ‘Bus Fire. – Yesterday evening the oil in the largest motor ‘bus of the Launceston Motor ‘Bus Company, burst into flames at the garage shed, Brisbane-street.  The efforts of the employees proved unavailing in quenching the fire, so a message was despatched to the Central Fire Brigade Station, when about half a dozen firemen beat the flames out with bags.  No damage was done to the property of the company.

The Launceston Examiner,  8 Dec. 1906,  p.6


November 1906


Mr W. G. Spence, the Socialist candidate for The Darling electorate, delivered a long dreary address for over two hours on Thursday night in Tobin’s Hall.  About 120 people were present.  A brief report of his speech will appear in next issue.  From what he said, and his anxious manner, it was very clear that Mr. Spence recognises that he has a rough row to hoe on this occasion.

The Western Herald and Darling River Advocate (Bourke), 10 November 1906, p. 2


From  Editorial  Column


J. J. Chapman announces that he has an abundant supply of Ice Cream every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.  Iced drinks always on hand, and don’t forget it.

The Western Herald and Darling River Advocate (Bourke), 14 November 1906, p. 2



The Western Herald’s Enterprise

Up to a very late hour on Tuesday evening, owing to the deplorable condition of New South Wales telegraph lines, especially the western service, our usual telegraphic messages had not come to hand.  The only satisfaction we could get from the local authorities was “Lines Interrupted!”  This is the usual cry, but no explanation is ever given.

The Western Herald, to show its contempt, got Macroni’s [sic] representative to work, and managed to get the following message through:- “The telegraph lines have been interrupted all day through some lines being damaged by rain and by pressure of business.  Owing to the importance of The Western Herald’s messages, an extra staff was employed for the day, but with no avail.  The whole department apologises for its inability to keep the far back country supplied with news, because if they did so, some of the favored inside towns would have to wait.  They hope rain will not fall for some time, then The Western Herald will probably be able to get its wires through to time.”  The Department had better get a new lock, stock and barrel.

The Western Herald and Darling River Advocate (Bourke), 14 November 1906, p.2


October 1906


From  Editorial  Columns

Little  Girls’  Dancing.

What is the difference between fancy dancing and high kicking?  This is a question which has troubled the A.N.A. [Australian Natives’ Association – a patriotic friendly society] lately.  At the forthcoming exhibition and fete, fancy dancing is to form part of the programme, but high-kicking has been tabooed.  Let us try to define terms.  Strictly speaking, high-kicking is fancy dancing, a highly developed species originally discovered in the café chantant of Paris, thence transported to London, and ultimately borne to Australia – like the fruit-fly, the rabbit, and the starling.  Social reformers, orchardists, and graziers will differ as to the good or evil wrought by these…

The Melbourne Herald, 15 October 1906, p.2




James Duggan was charged at the Richmond Court today with having behaved improperly in Church street on the 13th inst.

Plain-clothes Constable Kotesveld deposed that the offence took place at 10 o’clock on Saturday night, when a number of persons were on their way home from shopping.  Defendant was carrying a swag.

Duggan stated that he was unwell on the date in question.  He had just come down from Ballarat and was on his way to Gippsland when arrested.

Sergeant Ryan:  He is a “suburban swagman,” your Worship.  His prior convictions are 11 times larceny, once housebreaking, once assault, once for being a rogue and vagabond, and twice for drunkenness.

A fine of 40s was imposed, in default one month’s imprisonment.

The Melbourne Herald, 15 October 1906, p.3


Under  “Businesses,  Partnerships”  Classifieds

WANTED, a Lady or Gentleman with 20 to join advertiser in good spec.;  incoming partner stands to make 50 in four days;  references given.  Apply, at once, “Concerto,” this office.

The Adelaide Advertiser, 3 October 1906, p.2


Under  “Miscellaneous”  Classifieds

ADVISABLENESS  (Madame De Possell).- Lifetime’s mysteries marvellously unfolded;  marriage, fate, character, courtship, speculation, undertakings, travellings, disappointments;  questions immediately answered satisfactorily.  Handwriting, 12 stamps, stamped envelope;  ladies advised upon everything free;  all matters undertaken;  satisfaction guaranteed;  ladies consult immediately.-Box 284, Adelaide;  confidential.

The Adelaide Advertiser, 3 October 1906, p.12


September 1906



The Wagin Road Board has decided that all applications for the closure of roads must be advertised three times before they will be dealt with.  Members of that particular Board are evidently cognisant of the fact that they have a newspaper in their midst, and that it has to live.

The Narrogin Observer, 1 September 1906, p.2


The new rate for penny postage throughout the Commonwealth will come in force on October 1:-

This craze for penny postage
Is a foolish kind of thing.
For it is not always pleasure
That our friends the postmen bring!

On the first of the month, for instance,
When tradesmen’s bills come round,
There are some of us who’d sooner
That the postage cost a pound!

The Narrogin Observer, 1 September 1906, p.2


From  Classified  Advertisements

T.  P.  O’CONNOR, Pioneer  Blacksmith,  Wheel-wright, and  Undertaker,
It  will  pay  you  to  give  him  a  call.
Satisfaction  Guaranteed.
Agent  for  Messrs.  Harris,  Scarfe  and  Co.,  Fremantle.

The Narrogin Observer,  8 September 1906, p.1


In his interesting lecture on Tuesday night, on the Majesty of Creation, Mr. Wragge paid a graceful compliment to his “scientific friend,” Mr. W. B. Christie, Government lecturer, who, he said, had used the fossils of Fossil Hill, near Geraldton, in deducing the travel of the heat zone of the world northward about 5 degrees of latitude under the Precession of the Equinoxes, and shewing that Australia was approaching a period of cold which might culminate in an ice age or glacial period, of which there were no traces in Australia at the present time.

The Narrogin Observer, 22 September 1906, p.2


May 1906


[From Classified Adverts]

DRUNKENNESS  Permanently  Cured by Dr. SHAW’S Anti-Alcohol, Registered by Government, a guaranteed cure for home use; can be given secretly, and does not interfere with drinker’s occupation but makes him healthier and homes happy.  Rev. V. Knightly and Dr. Rutledge highly recommend it.  Confidential advice free.  Write or call, Dr. Shaw’s Est., 300 Collins-street.  Destitute treated free.

The Age, 3 May 1906, p. 3


[From  Classified  MATRIMONIAL  NOTICES]

A – MARRIAGES  CELEBRATED by Clergymen, with due solemnity, in strictest privacy, at HOLT’S  MATRIMONIAL  CHAMBERS, 443 Queen-Street, Melbourne, opposite Old Cemetery, or elsewhere, from 10a.m. to 10p.m., daily (Saturdays included):  no notice required.  Marriage fee, 5/6;  or marriage, with guaranteed gold wedding ring, and necessary witnesses provided, 10/6;  or marriage, with massive guaranteed gold wedding ring and necessary witnesses provided, 1 1/-.  Marriage certificates are same as supplied by leading clergymen of Victoria.  P.S. – 15,300 marriages celebrated at Holt’s during last 14 years by ordained clergymen, undermentioned denominations:- Presbyterian, Church of England, Congregational, Baptist.

The Age, 12 May 1906, p. 5



The  Door  Mat  Case - Acquittal  of  Accused

Frank Sautter, cab driver and proprietor, of Nicholson-street was charged with having attempted to steal a door mat from the porch of the house of Dr. Thomas Hewlett, Nicholson-street, Fitzroy.  Accused was defended by Mr. Mann.

Constable William Baker said that he was on duty in Nicholson-street on the early morning of 16th April.  When he heard footsteps approaching he withdrew into the porch of Dr. Hewlett’s house.  Accused came along and attempted to pull the door mat out on to the footpath, when witness stopped him.  Accused told witness that he was not going to steal the mat.  He had made a mistake, and thought it was a “rat’s tail which he saw.” (Laughter.)  Witness said, “That tale will not do for me,” and took him to the lock-up.

Accused gave evidence on oath.  He said that he was going home in the early hours of the morning … and was passing Dr. Hewlett’s house.  He saw something move, and aimed a kick at it.  He discovered to his sorrow that he had struck a constable’s foot.  Constable Baker jumped up, and accused said, “I am very sorry I disturbed you having a smoke.  The constable replied, “Oh, that will not do for me;  you were after this mat.”  Accused said, “How could I be after the mat when you were sitting upon it.”  The constable then took him to the station and accused him of having mistaken a door mat for a rat’s tail …

The Age, 3 May 1906, p. 6

[Well, which one would you believe?] 


[From  the  Paper’s  REGIONAL  REPORTS]

Fowler’s Bay, April 29.

M. C. Donegan and family left here per the Australian regretted by the people.

Dingoes numerous. Rabbits scarce. Water ditto. Feed ditto. Rain badly wanted. Jetty out of repair.  Dangerous to the public. Roads out of repair.  Bad for bikes. Good country locked up for want of roads. What about new Hundred of Wakita?

Port Lincoln, Tumby and West Coast Recorder,  9 May 1906, p. 3


April 1906



Among the election yarns going the rounds is one about two sets of lady canvassers who were particularly keen on getting hold of one of the newly-enfranchised.  Both called and solicited her vote, and made sure that they would get it.  But the one was more worldly-wise than the other, and it was demonstrated later in the day, when the one party called with a cab, and on going to the house found the canvasser for the opposition in possession of the fort and industriously feeding the baby, whilst the mother had gone down to record her vote.  That is one of the things which the useless male tout would never think of doing.

The Launceston Examiner, 5 April 1906, p.7



[From entry classes for the forthcoming Bourke Show]

First Prize, Singer Sewing Machine, value 15, the gift of the Singer Manufacturing Company.

Conditions – Printed ticket to be supplied on the payment of One Shilling, and the competitor, after writing his or her name and address and the guess at the cold dressed weight in pounds of the beast thereon, shall place the ticket in the box provided for the purpose.  Non-fulfilment of these conditions will disqualify.

The bullock will be slaughtered and weighed the day after the Show in the presence of the stewards.  In the event of two or more competitors tieing, a ballot will be taken to decide which takes the prize.

The Western Herald, Bourke, 4 April 1906, p.3



The woman who wears corsets, tight collars, high-heeled shoes, or tight clothing of any kind, does so at her own risk.  The results are red noses, pimples, falling hair, muddy complexions, and many other beauty blemishes, to say nothing of the more important physical ills that surely befall her.

If you are hoarse, lemon-juice squeezed …

The Launceston Examiner, 21 April 1906, p.3



Closer Settlement is receiving a new testimonial for its efficiency from Mr Bent.  He points out that out of 25 young men who recently acquired holdings on an estate, 23 of them had married since they took up the land.  He even held out hopes for the fate of the other two.  He declares that this instance is only one out of many, and indeed the experience of everyone is that the bachelor on the land is much rarer than the bachelor man-about-town.

The Western Herald, Bourke, 7 April 1906, p.7


March 1906


Cowra, Tuesday. - "Johnny" Vane, the last of the notorious Ben Hall's gang of bushrangers, died in the Cowra Hospital today, after a short illness, aged 64.

The members of the gang operated in this and neighbouring districts, and were well known to many old residents. Vane was regarded as the most humane among the gang. He served long sentences in Bathurst Gaol, and learned the trade of stonemason, which occupation he followed for some time afterwards in the Cowra district. For years afterwards he led a quiet, respectable life, following farming pursuits. Death was due to the effects of the hot weather.

Goulburn Evening Penny Post, 1 February 1906, p.4

Submissions for March 2006-02-07



The time has almost arrived when women will be able to entirely dispense with the presence on this earth of mere man, but it is not yet. At Melbourne the ladies of the Brighton Ladies’ Swimming Club have always persistently held the opposite sex aloof from their Saturday afternoon carnivals. It has been necessary in connection with their afternoon’s enjoyment, however, that music should be provided, and, in order that everything should be decidedly proper, a band of blind instrumentalists has usually furnished this part of the programme … it was recently discovered that one of the number – probably the man who played the big drum – was by no means blind. The blind band plays there no more, and on Saturday last a Brighton combination performed in its stead. The ladies took no chances, however. It performed outside the enclosure.££

Hobart Mercury, 2 March 1906, p.6



Some cricket players have carried Cotter’s [evidently a noted Australian fast bowler] marks for a considerable time, but the best compliment to his wonderful pace was paid to him in Edinburgh, where he opened the bowling for Australia in the match against Fifteen of Scotland. The Scotsmen were not great batsmen, and the engagement was only arranged to fill in time before the test match on the Old Trafford ground, Manchester. The first ball sent down by Cotter to Edinburgh had a lot more than the ordinary force behind it. It whizzed past the wicket, beating the wicket-keeper, Newland, and ran to the fence for four byes, loosening a paling. The cautious batsman gravely turned, and was moving off in the direction of the pavilion, when the umpire said: “You are not out.” The canniness of the Scot was shown in his reply: “Out or not, I’m going just the same.”

Hobart Mercury, 3 March 1906, p.11



Pigeon Shooting – The Goldfields Gun Club will hold a Monster Shoot on the Boulder Racecourse on next Friday, the 16th inst. A good programme is provided, and shooters are well catered for. A £30 Handicap will be shot off, also several Sweepstakes. The Novice Shoot will be a special feature. Five hundred strong birds have been secured. T. Holt, secretary. G. Rennie, handicapper.

The Kalgoorlie Miner, 13 March 1906, p.8



COBB’S COACHES for YERILLA, YARRI, and EDJUDINA leave the Grand Hotel Wednesdays and Saturdays; Pin Gin on Wednesdays. Full particulars from the Agent, M.J. O’KEEFE, Grand Hotel.

The Kalgoorlie Miner, 10 March 1906, p.9


February 1906


Melbourne, February 12
A judicial deadlock has been reported from Omeo. The Width of Tires Act was brought into operation a few days ago, and a day afterwards the inspector appointed under it proceeded against the shire councillors, several local Justices of the Peace, and 34 less influential residents for alleged breaches of the law. Now it is feared that none of the local Justices is exempt, so that there will be no means of dealing with the cases until the Police Magistrate pays his periodical visit.

The West Australian, 13 February 1906, p.5



Melbourne, Thursday. - Samuel Clay Williams, of Wombwell's Circus, hypnotic subject, was, at Ballarat, to-day, fined for furious driving under peculiar circumstances. It appeared that a knife had been hidden in a distant part of the town, and Williams, who had been hypnotised, drove a drag, containing the Mayor and a number of councillors, at a furious pace through the town, in search of the hidden knife. For the defence, it was pleaded that Williams was not responsible for his actions, as he was hypnotised, but the Bench decided to fine him 20s.

Goulburn Evening Penny Post, 17 February 1906, p.4

[Like the sub-editor of this article, Williams was evidently in a comma-tose state.]


January 1906


The Australian post-leaners – so common in many towns – are, so far as Albury is concerned, to be wiped off the face of the earth.  The P.M., Mr Oslear, has given it out from the Bench for the edification of the police that while in Albury he would not stand these men, whom he called the “gutter crowd”, hanging about street corners, swearing and spitting.  This class of Australian citizen is generally found to be the typical post-leaner  - they preserve their equilibrium with the aid of sundry verandah posts, and with the aid of cigarettes and “tall talk” sprinkle the footpaths with a shower of spit.  When a few more magistrates like Mr Oslear appear on the scene the ancient Australian post-leaner will be a curiosity.

The Braidwood Dispatch, 6 January 1906, p.2



The postal authorities are long-suffering.  But their patience threatens to give out.  Pictorial post cards are the cause of it all.  They have to be sorted so carefully.  If vigilance is relaxed, some wrathful citizen wants an explanation how he comes to be insulted or scandalised when he examines his private mail.  It seems that vicious people are making post cards the vehicle for spite, ridicule, and gross indecency. 

“It is not that we have many of them”, a responsible G.P.O. official stated to a reporter on Wednesday.  “We probably have not destroyed more than fifty objectionable post cards altogether.  But you can see what an examination of them all entails – how it retards sorting … What they do is to toss the doubtful cards aside, and the dead letter clerk destroys what are flagrantly offensive …”

The official, continuing, said that a post card that had been stopped had drawn on it a lyre.  Above the instrument was printed, “You are a beautiful.”  His comment upon it was, “Anybody knows what that is meant to convey”…

The Braidwood Dispatch, 6 January 1906, p.2



At the Richmond Court today, a respectable-looking man was charged with having been drunk and disorderly on the 2nd instant.

Sergeant Ryan stated that yesterday defendant entered the police station.  He was under the influence of liquor.  He carried a high-smelling leg of mutton and expressed a desire to institute a prosecution against the butcher who sold him the meat.  Witness advised defendant to interview the Inspector of  Nuisances, and after leaving the station he returned with the information that the officer mentioned was not at his office.  Defendant then said that he did not believe in being done out of his dinner in such a way, and that it was witness’s business to attend to the matter.  As Nicholson refused to leave the premises, witness locked him up with his leg of mutton.

Defendant stated that he was sorry for his action.

A fine of 5s, in default 24 hours imprisonment, was imposed.

Melbourne Herald, 3 January 1906, p.1



You know your memory fails you,
As you search, with troubled frown,
For the glasses on your forehead;
While you search your poor bald crown.

You look upon the mantelpiece,
You expect to find them there;
When the glass reveals their presence
Where they least expected were.

Now, try our “Memory System”,
Write, or call if you’re in town,
At two-thirteen-a Swanston Street,
Kindly ask for Mr Brown.

Advert. The Braidwood Dispatch, 10 January 1906, p.2


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