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National Museum of Australia

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Nomad brand 'walking' lawn sprinkler


Nomad brand 'walking' lawn sprinkler

Nomad brand 'walking' lawn sprinkler

Object information

Physical description

Tractor-like 'walking' lawn sprinkler with a green painted cast metal chassis and a pair of faded orange cast metal wheels on the back axle. A rotating copper tube sprinkler arm, which is missing a spray nozzle from one end, is attached horizontally to the top of the body at a brass T-piece. A rearward and upward facing arm is attached to an axle that extends from both sides of the body. The arms link the water-driven gearbox inside the body to ratchets on the rims of the back wheels, to propel the tractor. "Nomad" is cast in relief on the proper right side of the body. The steering front wheel is in two parts, which create an inverted U-shaped channel between them so that the wheel can follow the hose to which the sprinkler is attached. An unoriginal grey plastic hose attachment is screwed onto the back inlet of the tractor.

Statement of significance

The David and Margaret Ride collection consists of a Nomad tractor sprinkler used from 1959 until 2005. It belonged to David and Margaret Ride who arrived in Australia from England in 1957 so David could take up the position of Director of the West Australian Museum. The sprinkler is a cast iron 'walking' sprinkler which uses the hose as a guide.

In the immediate post-war years Australian immigration policies underwent significant changes. One aspect of this was the concerted effort to attract British migrants to Australia through the £10 Assisted Migration scheme. Between 1945 and 1982 approximately 1.5 million migrants from the UK and Ireland migrated to Australia. The tractor sprinkler allows the exploration of post-war British migration to Australia through the way British migrants adjusted to a new environment as reflected through certain gardening practices.

Object information

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