Historic Brisbane Newspaper shows a very different time.

Revolution Law

August 1

An eclectic collection of the Brisbane Courier Mail newspapers all dated from 1932 have some wonderful news stories and advertisements which capture this period beautifully.

One quirky article told of seven-year-old Doris riding her horse to school – as you do in 1932.  On her way, she was thrown from the horse and broke her arm. Despite such a horrific accident the little girl captured the horse and then proceeded to walk the quarter of a mile back to her home.  It astonished me that this little girl could keep her wits, put her pain aside and understand the value of capturing the horse.  Tough times like the Great Depression bred even tougher children.

‘The Law Courts’ segment of the Newspaper must of be a very popular column in the 1930’s. One article that stood out due to the stark contrast to how the matter would be handled today told the incident of a young girl named Beryl who was injured in a car accident.  The article outlines how Beryl whom was aged 5 years by her mother  was crossing the road Flinders-parade at Sandgate when she knocked down by a car driven by Mr. Keith Brown. This car accident saw Beryl sustain a fracture to her left leg and suffer severe shock. Her medical expenses had already amounted to 11 pound and she would continue to incur further medical expenses in the future.

Berly’s mother Mrs. Mount was a widow who would have had minimal support if any from the government,  and I imagine that the further scarcity of money at the time she must of feel exceptionally overwhelmed by all these medical expenses. Mrs Mount brought forward and action of 500 pound in compensation damages with allegations that the defendant had been negligent in failing to keep a proper look out and not giving proper warning of his approach.  Unfortunately the story ends here, which is highly disappointing because it would be interesting to have found out how the car accident compensation claim in the 1930’s played out. Was Mrs. Mount able to obtain a solicitor that worked on a No Win No Fee basis to state her case? Was she awarded the 500 pounds for her daughters medical expenses? What happened to Beryl?

This advertisement speaks for itself. Although it was the 1950’s that really led to an aggressive campaign on breastfeeding being dirty and evaporated milk being a doctor’s choice for infant feeding we can see how easily mums would have been convinced by this particularly when such advertisements in the thirties was already normalising milk alternatives for infants.

The Grey Street Bridge was renamed the William Jolly Bridge of July 5 1955 in memory of the first Lord Mayor of Greater Brisbane.It is a beautiful bridge over the Brisbane river that Connects the North Quay in Brisbane CBD and Gray Street in South Brisbane. The William Jolly Bridge is heritage listed bridge and it has been said that some 40, 000 cars pass over it during peak times. This bridge has really stood the test of time.

The William Jolly Bridge was built between 1928 and 1932. In testament to the fact that the Great Depression was a significantly difficult time the article outlines how the Brisbane City Council determined that the bridge was too be opened without great expense or ceremony. Rather the Brisbane City Council believed the occasion presented an opportunity for funds to be collected for charity. This is a Council that anyone could be proud of.

It seems very few people in this generation are aware that the iconic trams seen in Melbourne, were once to a staple form of transport in Brisbane as clarified by this very newsworthy article regarding tram tires and a big tyre order. Electric Trams had over 70 years of transporting folks around and across Brisbane between the years 1897 to 1969. Trams were discontinued as buses had become a more favourable option particularly with the view that Brisbane would in the foreseeable future only continue to develop its road network and build highways and expressways.

What fools we are indeed even in 2017. How often are we longing for the weekend, longing for our next holiday, always waiting for something exciting or special to happen instead of just enjoying the present.  Human nature doesn’t change no matter the era and this little article is a beautiful reminder of that.


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