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National Museum of Australia

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4

Little Grey Fergie toy tractor handcrafted from salvaged box timber and wire by 10 year old Brian Burns in 1943.

2007.0012.0001

Little Grey Fergie toy tractor handcrafted from salvaged box timber and wire by 10 year old Brian Burns in 1943.

Object information

Physical description

A grey-green painted wooden toy tractor modelled on a Ford-Ferguson 9N, which was constructed from timber salvaged from banana boxes and wire. The tractor has two large wheels at the rear and two small wheels at the front. The front wheels are connected to a wire steering wheel at the rear of the tractor by a length of twisted wire along the underside of the body. A twine pull-cord is tied to a loop of wire that protrudes from the front of the tractor.

Statement of significance

The John McNally collection comprises a homemade toy tractor constructed during World War II in south-east New South Wales.

The toy tractor made by Brian Burns is illustrative of a "make-do" response to wartime conditions and offers us an insight into what life might have been like for a young boy living on a farm in 1943. World War II was a time of enormous change for primary producers and their families, at work and at home. The official message promulgated by government was that military victory would inevitably be linked to civilian deprivation and self sacrifice. Rural families like the Burns' would have experienced this aspect of the war directly through supply shortages and rationing.

Object information

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