Thursday 22 February 2024

Working life in the 1890's Australia


Hello everyone, time for a bit more on the working life of Aussie's in the 1890's.

This week we will touch other jobs city workers had starting with the good old office worker. Until the invention of the typewriter in 1864 office workers were mostly male.

However by around 1890 more and more middle-class young women were being employed to work the new office machines. Business colleges were teaching the skills of typing and shorthand to more and more females, although these skill were still studied by males.

Despite the advent of typewriters the careful “public service” copperplate hand-writing was still paramount until the twentieth century for work in registers and ledger books.

Then there is the job of a telephonist with the invention of the telephone came new opportunities for young females for employment as a growing number of manual exchanges started to appear. From this time many middle-classes as well as offices had a telephone. Some home even had a special room just for the telephone.


  1. A special room for the telephone? Really? Who would have thought!
    Blessings, Jo-Anne!

  2. I like to think how amazed people were when new technology (i.e., telephone) was introduced. Fast forward to 2024: "Whaddya mean, their phones didn't fit into their pockets?"

    1. I know can't imagine how the youth of today would cope with no phone in their pocket

  3. I never heard of a special room for the telephone or copperplate handwriting called public service handwriting. Interesting! :)

  4. Amazing how the "gender specific" roles flip over time...


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