Living and working conditions in Australia in the 1900s were harsh, dangerous and unsanitary compared with today's standards. Australia, however, had a reputation throughout the 20th century as the ‘working man's paradise'. The working men, women and children were and the word of the higher social class which affected their ways of living, including what they ate, how they lived, their education and their jobs.
The living conditions were very unsanitary. The working class (lowest social class) lived in houses of corroded corrugated iron and rickety wooden houses. The middle class (class between the poor and the rich) had stable wooden or brick homes. The upper class (highest social class) lived in mansions and luxury.
In the 1900s, food had to be freshly prepared as there were no fridges. The food was cooked on a coal fired cooking range. The upper class could eat well-cooked meals, including: meat, vegetables and pies for desert. The middle had had similar foods, but didn’t always have enough food for the whole family. The working class had to survive on small pieces of bread and cooked vegetables. Meat or cheese might be included when affordable.
The upper class took education seriously. Children were sent to private schools. They were divided by their sex; girls were taught French, literature and how to run a household while boys were taught more academic subjects to have well-paid occupations. Middle class children were expected to attend a public school until parents couldn’t pay the fees and children had to look for jobs. The working class didn’t have the money to pay the fees, so children-once aged six-were sent to work in factories....