Life at the Turn of the Century - Australia

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Life in Australia at the turn of the century was certainly different from the Australia of today. People lived a much simpler (but necessarily easier) life and from this, we have developed and advanced. The main discussion points which will make up the content of this essay are gender roles and how it affected both men and women; fashion and how it affected status and profession; and transport & technology and how it impacted daily lives.

At the turn of the century, transport & technology were very limited. There were around five categories of transport available: “Trams, bicycles, animal power, rail transport and sea transport”.

Trams were a cheaper and much comfortable alternative to animal drawn carts/carriages. They were only in their early stages of development at the turn of the century and as such, weren’t yet electric and were instead pulled by a cable or even by horses.

Bicycles, on the other hand, advanced faster than trams and already had proper tires and brakes. They were “comfortable and safer” to ride and were very popular.

Animal power was another common way to travel. People used mainly horses and bullocks (bulls) to move goods and people. Though due to the invention of rail networks, country people were the most dependent on animal power as they lived in rural areas.

Industrial needs made new forms of public transport necessary – thus, the steam powered engine (e.g. steam trains etc). This source of transportation encouraged railway tracks and lines to be laid and also, the development of the electrical railway; which was better compared to the steam railway, as it did not produce soot and made less noise.

Steam ships also replaced sailing ships as they could sail through long distances without being dependent on wind. Steam ships could also get to the destination in a shorter time compared to sailing ships. Before air travel, the only way to cross the sea was by ship....
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