||Technology in Australia 1788-1988
Table of Contents
I Groping In A Strange Environment: 1788-1851
II Farmers Take The Initiative: 1851-1888
i Setting the scene for change
ii A transplanted community; a transplanted technology
iii The development of appropriate technology
iv Importation, adaptation and innovation in cropping
v Introduction and innovation in livestock husbandry
III Enter Education And Science: 1888-1927
IV Agricultural Science Pays Dividends: 1927-1987
V Examples Of Research And Development 1928-1988
VI International Aspects Of Agricultural Research
VII Future Prospects
A transplanted community; a transplanted technology (continued)Vines, cotton and tobacco were grown in the Australian colonies from the earliest years of settlement but the extent of the cultivation of these crops owed little to the popular sentiment and legislation of the 1850s-1870s. Vines were grown and wine produced by those who took the trouble to learn about and import the vine stocks, knowledge and technology of viticulture from France, Switzerland and Germany. Indeed, the most successful growers tended to be nationals of those countries -Swiss and Germans in Victoria, Germans in South Australia -or those who received assistance from such people. Nevertheless, throughout the nineteenth century the problem of finding a market for the wine produced, good quality though some of it was, proved to be almost insurmountable.
Cotton was first grown successfully in the Moreton Bay district in the 1840s and in 1852 lint was shipped to England from Brisbane. The success of this shipment prompted immigration from England to Queensland for cotton growing based on American technology. During the American Civil War, when supplies of American cotton were interrupted, the industry prospered but, when the war was over and prices returned to a lower level, the Queensland producers could not compete with the cheaper American product and cotton production more or less ceased. The industry was re-established again for a short period in the 1890s and thereafter fluctuated at a low level in response to changing prices.
Tobacco was first grown mainly by graziers who used it in their sheep washes to control scab in sheep, a control measure imported from England along with the scab. A few growers continued to produce a poor quality product, mainly for local insecticidal use, until the depression of 1929-30 when the government, in order to replace imports, encouraged local production for human use by increasing tariff protection, lowering the excise duty and encouraging research into production and processing.
© 1988 Print Edition pages 9 - 10, Online Edition 2000
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher