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National Museum of Australia

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Collection Explorer

4

Writing slate

Object information

Description

This writing slate belonged to a member of the Rutledge family from Gidleigh station near Bungendore in New South Wales.

Gidleigh was purchased by grazier Thomas Rutledge in 1875. It was one of a number of landholdings that Rutledge owned in the district. In 1874 Gidleigh was handed over to Rutledge's son, William Forster Rutledge. In 1882 when WF Rutledge registered Gidleigh as a merino stud, Australia's wool industry was booming. The property remained in the Rutledge family until 2005.

Physical description

A rectangular, wooden framed black slate writing board. The frame has a v-shaped notch in each corner and is held in place by a wire band in a groove that runs around the centre edge. A fine layer of soil residue is visible on the surface of the slate and there are a few very small paint spots in the corner of one side.

Statement of significance

This collection comprises over two hundred objects belonging to the Rutledge family of 'Gidleigh', a pastoralist property first established near Bungendore, NSW, in 1855. The collection includes tools used for agricultural practices, animal and household management, and equipment used for fly-fishing and horse-riding. Collectively, these objects illustrate aspects of rural life and domestic activities undertaken most notably by Jane (Jean) Ruth Morphy Forster Rutledge (1853-1932) and her son Thomas Lloyd Forster Rutledge (1889-1958) during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

This collection is illustrative of broad areas of Australian social history including pastoralism, medicine and veterinary science, and domestic and recreational lives. The land at 'Gidleigh' was first granted to Admiral Philip Parker King (1791-1856) in 1834, and was subsequently purchased in 1855 by Irish settler Thomas Rutledge (1817-1904) to run sheep and cattle. The family owned and managed the property for 150 years until 2005. This collection offers significant research potential into both rural self-sufficiency, and agricultural and veterinary technologies.

Object information

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