Baudin and the Early Days of Albany.

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There were several European explorer visits to the Albany shores prior to British settlement.
The Dutchman François Thijssen in 1627 is the earliest recorded visitor.
On the 19th October 1800, the Baudin Expedition set sail from Le Havre in Normandy, France with two ships.
Separated by storms, the two ships charted the Western Australian coast independently from Cape Leeuwin in the south west corner to Joseph Bonaparte Gulf near Wyndham in the north.
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With 23 scientists in the party, over 200,000 specimens of flora and fauna were collected.
The Expedition was responsible for hundreds of French place names in Australia, of which around 240 are still in use in Western Australia.
Baudin charted nearly two thirds of the Australian coastline.
via Albany – History of the first settlement in Western Australia @ ExplorOz Blogs.

The Ten Pound Poms Scheme 1947.

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The “Ten Pound Pom” scheme is the colloquial name for an assisted migration scheme that operated in Australia after World War II.
In spite of its name, this scheme was not limited to those from the United Kingdom but was open to citizens of all Commonwealth countries.
Adult migrants were charged ₤10 for their fare and children traveled for free. They were drawn by promises of employment and housing, a more relaxed lifestyle and a better climate.
“Ten Pound Poms” needed to be in sound health and under the age of 45 years.
There were initially no skill restrictions, although under the “White Australia” policy those from mixed race backgrounds found it very difficult to take advantage of the scheme.
At one point in 1947, more than 400,000 Brits were registered at Australia House in London for the scheme.
The aim of the scheme was to substantially increase Australia’s population in response to fears of a Japanese invasion, and a new awareness of Australia’s vulnerability and unrealised economic potential as an under-populated country.
The “Populate or Perish” policy was developed by the Curtin Government before the end of World War II.
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By late 1944 the Australian Government had begun negotiations with Britain for assisted immigration programs in the post-war years.
Since all Australian political parties supported the “White Australia” policy they looked to Britain and northern European countries for immigrants in the belief that people from these countries would more easily assimilate with the Australian community.
After the war, Australia gradually extended assisted passage schemes to immigrants from other countries such as the Netherlands and Italy to maintain high levels of immigration. It also welcomed refugees from war-torn Europe.
Many migrants faced lengthy stays in migrant hostels, failed to get ideal employment or missed their old communities.
Around one quarter of the “Ten Pound Poms” left Australia within a few years of their arrival.
Now read on via Ten Pound Poms: Immigration Museum.

The Time Coca-Cola released a New Soda just to Spite Pepsi

Few companies have a rivalry as fierce and longstanding as PepsiCo and Coca-Cola and in their never ending battle for the soda market dominance, each company has gone to some spectacular lengths to screw over the other.
Arguably the most fiendishly genius move of all was one made by Coca-Cola in the early 1990s- a move that basically involved intentionally releasing a terrible product purely to try to screw over by association a similar product released by Pepsi.
The genesis for this tale began in the early 1990s during what is referred to in the marketing world as the “Clear Craze”. In a nutshell, for whatever reason, many companies began releasing clear versions of their products, using marketing buzzwords like “pure” and “clean” to advertise them to the public.
A company recognised as the industry leader in this regard was the soap giant, Ivory, who, among other things, released a clear version of their dish soap in the early 1990s. Ivory Clear was advertised with rather questionably accurate slogans like “Ivory attacks the grease, not the natural oils in your skin”.The idea of clear products was quickly used in diverse and eclectic range of products including Zima Clearmalt (a clear citrus beer), Mennen Crystal Clean deodorant, and, perhaps most bizarre of all, Amoco Crystal Clear gasoline.
As you might have guessed given the lack of ubiquitous see-through products on your local super market shelves, most of these products either failed miserably or quietly faded into obscurity when the Clear Craze went full meta and disappeared.
This brings us to Crystal Pepsi, which was devised by then COO of PepsiCo, David Novak, in 1992. The soda was virtually identical in composition to their flagship product, sans the caramel coloring used to give so many sodas their distinctive brown hue.
Novak’s idea was to market the soda like other products released during the Clear Craze and hope consumers would equate it being clear with “purity” and, thus, assume that it was a healthier alternative to regular Pepsi.
Of course, as sodas are wont to be, Crystal Pepsi was still terrible for you. For example, a single 20 oz bottle of Crystal Pepsi still contained around 69 grams of sugar, or about 16 teaspoons worth- the same as normal Pepsi.Taste wise, Crystal Pepsi is extremely similar to regular Pepsi, however, fans of the product claimed they could still tell the difference, though how much of this was just in their heads isn’t clear.
Nevertheless, the slight taste difference was brought up during the product’s design phase, with one bottler at a Pepsi plant telling Novak: “David, it’s a great idea, and we think we can make it great, but it needs to taste more like Pepsi.
If you call it Pepsi, people will expect it to taste like Pepsi. ”Novak decided to ignore these concerns, and presumably also ignored the fact that by saying Crystal Pepsi was better because it wasn’t brown they were literally advertising that all their brown drinks weren’t good for you.
Despite all this, Crystal Pepsi was rushed into production.I nitially it seemed that Novak’s gut feeling was correct and trials in cities like Denver and Dallas in early 1992 garnered positive feedback from customers. Encouraged by this, PepsiCo eventually began rolling out the product nationwide in early 1993.
Now read on for Coca Cola’s reaction via Source: That Time Coca-Cola Released a New Soda Just to Spite Pepsi

The Happy Eyes of the Telephone Wife, 1925.

Image: Telephone-wife [Source: The Illustrated London News, February 21, 1925.]
I’m sure that there’s a song in this, somewhere, if only we had the power to return to 1925 to write the thing.
This advertisement spoke to the married couples of the United Kingdom, an appeal from the Telephone Development Association (TDA, of London), reminding people what the telephone was good for.
Not the least of the reasons for installing a ‘phone in the house to help reduce worries to insignificance, and rid her of “that womanly feeling of loneliness.”
via JF Ptak Science Books: Women, History of.

Harry ‘The Breaker’ Morant.

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Harry ‘Breaker’ Morant (above) was born in the United Kingdom – in 1865 by his own account but in 1864 according to later research, possibly under the name Edwin Henry Murrant.
He left England in April 1883 bound for Queensland where he married Daisy May O’Dwyer (later known more famously as Daisy Bates) – and quickly divorced – and took to droving and horse-breaking; hence the nickname.
In the late 1890s he enlisted with the South Australian Mounted Rifles to fight in the Boer War in South Africa.
Along with P.J. Handcock, Morant was court-martialled for executing several Boer prisoners and a German missionary.
He and Handcock were found guilty and executed by firing squad on February 27th 1902.
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The Firing Squad Scene in “Breaker Morant” with Bryan Brown as Handcock and Edward Woodward as Morant.
The story of his trial and execution was told in the 1979 film “Breaker Morant” with Edward Woodward as Morant, Bryan Brown as Handcock, along with Jack Thompson as the defending counsel, – the film was directed by Bruce Beresford.
Morant was one of the ‘back-block’ bards of the 1890s and published the bulk of his work in The Bulletin magazine.
Bibliography
Poetry Collections
The Poetry of ‘Breaker’ Morant: from the Bulletin 1891-1903 1980, foreword by David McNicoll.
via Australian Authors – Harry ‘Breaker’ Morant (1864-1902).

The Quintinshill Railway Disaster, 1915.

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The worst railroad disaster in history occurred on 22 May, 1915 near Gretna Green, Dumfriesshire, Scotland.
It is commonly known as the Quintinshill Disaster, having been named for the location of a nearby intermediate signal box with passing loops on each side on the Caledonian Railway Main Line linking Glasgow and Carlisle.
The crash, which involved five trains, killed a probable 226 people and injured 246 others. Those killed were mainly territorial soldiers from the Royal Scots heading for Gallipoli front in the First World War.
The precise number of dead was never established with certainty as the roll list of the regiment was destroyed by the fire. The crash occurred when a troop train travelling from Larbert, Stirlingshire to Liverpool, Lancashire collided with a local passenger train that had been shunted on to the main line, to then be hit by an express train to Glasgow which crashed into the wreckage a minute later.
Gas from the lighting system of the old wooden carriages of the troop train ignited, starting a fire which soon engulfed the three passenger trains and also two goods trains standing on nearby passing loops.
A number of bodies were never recovered, having been wholly consumed by the fire. The bodies that were recovered were buried together in a mass grave in Edinburgh’s Rosebank Cemetery.
Such was the scope of the disaster that many of the rescuers wrongly assumed the trains had been targets of German saboteurs. Four bodies, believed to be of children, were never identified or claimed and are buried in the Western Necropolis, Glasgow.
The cause of the accident was poor working practices on the part of the two signalmen involved. It was discovered that the two men often colluded to falsify their records of when they relieved each other, routinely did not follow regulations properly, and engaged in other unsafe practices.
The results of the official inquiry into the disaster led to their imprisonment for culpable homicide after legal proceedings in both Scotland and England.
A memorial to the dead soldiers was erected soon after the accident. There are a number of more recent memorials at various locations.
An annual remembrance service is held at Rosebank Cemetery.
via YouRememberThat.Com – Taking You Back In Time… – 1915 Scottish Railroad Disaster.