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Australia in the 1910s

Drinking laws

In 1915, pubs and hotels had to close at 6 pm as part of a war austerity measure. The change to this law was partly a response to popular feeling that pastimes and amusements (sport, cinema, theatre, circuses, music halls among others) should be curtailed while so many Australians were fighting overseas. The early closing time for hotels and pubs was also a response to a long-running temperance movement, which had been campaigning since the mid-19th century for the elimination of alcohol from public life.

A 1906 postcard depicting a humorous view of the temperance movement

A snapshot of 1918

  • January
    • The Australia Corps formed out of five separate Australian divisions fighting in France during the First World War.

  • April
    • A factory opened in Caulfield, Victoria, to manufacture artificial limbs for returned soldiers.

  • September
    • The first direct wireless message was transmitted from Britain to Australia.

  • November
    • On the '11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour', the Armistice between the Allies and Germany flagged the cessation of fighting on the Western Front.
    • Preferential voting was introduced for the first time in elections for the House of Representatives.
    • Two significant children's books were published: The Magic Pudding by Norman Lindsay and Tales of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie: Their Wonderful Adventures by May Gibbs.


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