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Farm wagon used by Benjamin James Stocks and Sons

1996.0014.0001

Farm wagon used by Benjamin James Stocks and Sons

Object information

Physical description

Farm wagon built of wood and steel. It has four wheels and is painted blue. The back wheels are fitted with brakes that are made from wood shaped to the curvature of the wheel. The wagon has railing around the tray. The words "[...?] STOCKS [...?] CUNNINGHAM" are painted on the side of the wagon.

Statement of significance

Of wood and steel construction, the blue-painted box wagon in this collection was built around1900 for Benjamin James Stocks by J Byrne, a wagon-builder at Gawler in South Australia.

Son of a storekeeper, and pioneering resident of Harden, NSW, Benjamin Stocks was born at Willochra in South Australia, about 1872. Following the death of his father, Mr Stocks left school at the age of fourteen. After working as a butcher, drover and station manager, he moved to a wheat farm at Laura and eventually purchased "Linden Hills" near Harden, where he settled his family between1906 and 1907. Mr Stocks and his family used the wagon to carry their possessions to their new home. Drawn by either a bullock-team or team of six to eight (sometimes, ten) horses, the wagon was used for carting timber, hay and bags of wheat until Mr Stocks acquired his first tractor in the 1930s. According to his obituary in the Harden-Murrumburrah Express in 1964, Mr Stocks quickly developed ?Linden Hills? into a ?model farm? of wide renown by leading the way in establishing cereal, pasture grasses and fat lamb production and becoming an early innovator in soil erosion prevention. The box wagon in this collection symbolizes the spirit, determination and courage of early pioneers, such as Benjamin Stocks, to take risks, to embrace new technologies in response to particular environmental conditions and to develop sustainable agricultural practices to ensure the continuing prosperity of future generations.

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