Friday, 1 August 2014

Field Trip to Sovereign Hill

When I first started blogging one of my goals was to share with family and friends both near and far our field trip adventures, home education en devours and photo journals of what we get up to as a family.  Over the years that has shifted dramatically and I have been missing that creative aspect of recording the things we do together for fun.  Over the next few months I want to share a few of our field trips again.  A few of them will be Throw-Back style as it's been such a long time since I shared and a few of them are recent.

A couple of weeks back we joined two other home education families and we explored and enjoyed a day together at Sovereign Hill. It's such a wonderful place to spend the day together. This is our second trip here and we still have not seen the whole place. We are looking forward to returning again.

It's Christmas in July up at Sovereign Hill and all the buildings are decked out.  It's so pretty. I loved seeing the traditional Christmas decorations.

We spent some time in the Printing Press building.  It was so interesting.  In the photo second from the bottom on the left you can see the word place.  This is how the typesetter reads as he places the letters to make the words for the page for printing.
  • When typesetting a they were always told to 'Mind your p's and q's " which could easily be muddled up.
  • The photo on the bottom right shows two cases.  All the letters for type setting are stored in these draws/cases.  When type setting the capital letter case was placed at the top and the lower letter case was placed on the bottom.  So capital letters were in the upper case and small letters in the lower case and that is why we call it upper and lower case.
  • They book bind all the news papers here for all the news papers.  Each week these papers are sent here.  They are put into a press for up to five days to expel the air from in between the pages.  Once they are ready a wood saw is used to nick the edges to make a tiny hole.  The papers are then hand sewn together in order to bind them.  Once sewn the book is given a cover and sent to the archives.   

This lady has a bucket of wood shavings which she has mixed with a little bit of linseed oil.  Every morning on rainy days she takes this mixture and sprinkles it over the shop floor.  It has two purposes.  The linseed has a beautiful smell and cleans the air.  While it rests on the floor it feeds the wooden floor oil.  The wood shavings stick to the mud on peoples boots and shoes thus keeping the floor clean.  At the end of the day she sweeps up the shavings and her floor stays clean.

Her other job is to keep the local town's folk informed of all the current news, gossip and keep the people informed of any sickness, death etc.

We stopped by the Post Office and had a look through the post masters house.  He was quite affluent and his home reflects this social status.  At the post office we were given our pass out for the day so we were able to exit and return at our leisure.

As it was Christmas in July it would not be complete without snow.  We enjoyed a two snowfalls with the towns folk.  As you see Santa came for a visit and Mary handed out lollies to the children. I think I would really like to attend this one evening next year.

We went up to the gold museum to watch a gold pouring demonstration.  The top left shows the bullion we witnessed being melted and poured.  It was a really interesting talk in which a few characteristics of gold were shared with us.

The old buildings are so interesting up at Soverign Hill.  Here are a few of the business buildings we saw.

We took some time to peep into a mining shanty home.  It contained a bed and the kitchen basics.

I loved seeing the beautiful things in this store.  The old clocks, Christmas decorations and jewellery.

In the afternoon the local police showed up and showed us a rifle demonstration.

We took some time to go up to the hard boiled sweet demonstration.  This was so interesting.  They have been contracted to make boiled lollies for a few different companies in Australia as there has been a shift in the market wanting these as they only contain three ingredients.
  • Sugar, water and glucose is boiled till the correct hard boiled lollie heat is obtained. To test if it is ready to make hard boiled lollies it is poured into a cup and cooled.  If it cracks with a loud crack when broken it is ready.
  • It is poured onto the table where it begins to cool. The herbal flavouring is added.  The lolly is rolled in on itself to prevent the flavour evaporating and disappearing.
  • Today white lollies were being made.  No colour is added.  The white colour is created by incorporating air into the lollie.  You can see the more he folds it the more air is caught and this makes it become white.
  • Once it is white enough and cool enough it is cut into blocks and then placed through the lollie forming template.
  • Corn powder is sprinkled over the lollies to stop them absorbing moisture from the air and becoming sticky.

We finished off our day at the candle making demonstration.
  • Candles were hung on racks to stop the rats eating them over night.  (They love to consume Tallow)
  • The loom rack was the responsibility of the apprentice who had to thread it in under a minute.  
  • Once threaded it was put onto the wheel.  Three to a bracket.  
  • This bracket was then dipped into the warm wax.
  • In winter a candle needs around 60 drippings to grow to the correct thickness and in summer up 160 drippings are needed to form the same size candle.
  • The counter weight on the dipping arm helped them to know when the candles were ready as it would balance perfectly.
  • Once ready the candle base is lowered a cm into the warm wax for 25 minutes in order to melt the excess wax off the bracket and make the base of the candle straight.
  • The metal base was cut off at the strings leaving a pair of candles which were hung from a beam from the ceiling.
  • Candles were sold at what is the equivalent of $50 each in today's currency.
  • Due to this steep cost of candles a special tallow pan was used in homes so that when cooking the evening meal the tallow could be collected and you could make your own candles.
  • The only candles that were coloured were the ones belonging to the mine owner to prevent them being stolen as they were so expensive.
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