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Page 22                SOUVENIR-CHARTERS TOWERS, 1872 to JULY, 1950


I think that one might say-Give me the good old days; often referred to as the "Bad old days." Things could not have been too bad, at least the value of the Pound Note was much better than it is to-day, as the following quotations from the newspapers in the year 1899 indicates.

Who wouldn't go on a bender occasionally with liquor at these prices ("Eagle", 1st April, 1899) : Hennessy's 3 Star Brandy, 8/- per bottle; Bendigo 3 Star Brandy, 6/6 per bottle; Rum 4/6 and English Ale and Lager 7/6 per half dozen.

Glad rags, and who wouldn't be able to afford to have a big wardrobe. Just read a few of these specials advertised in November, 1899.
    Men's Cotton Socks 2d., 3d., 5d., 6d. and     1/- a pair.
    Men's Cotton Singlets 9d., 1/-, 1/3, 2/- to   4/6.
    Tailor-made Men's Coats-Tweed, 7/6 to 25/-.
    Men's Tailored Suits, 50/- to 55/-.
   Linen Handkerchiefs. 2/- to 4/- per dozen.
   Ladies' Blouses, 1/6, 2/-, 3/-- to 4/11 each.
   Ladies' Stays. 2/11 per pair.
  Men's Ready-made Suits     17/11, 19/11.

    Of course wages compared favourable with the cost of living as the minimum rates of pay as set out in the "Eagle", 22/10/1899, shows:
  Carpenters 8/- a ,day, Masons 8/-, Bricklayer 8/-, Plasterers 8/-, Blacksmith 8/-, Boiler-makers 10/-, Plumber 8/-, Engine Drivers 10/-, Tinsmiths 9/- and Tool Dressers 7/-.

With the present meat prices and shortage of supplies existing in North Queensland, perhaps the contents of a letter, written in the "Eagle", 1875, would be of interest.

This letter was in the form of a complaint and signed by an aggrieved citizen.
"To the Editor.-Isn't it about time that the proper authorities went into the ridiculous prices being charged for meat in Charters Towers. (Rump at 5d. per lb. and other cuts which were mentioned ranging from 4d. downwards.)
In view of the fact that the grazier is only receiving from 30/- to 50/- per head for their bullocks, and the fact that the meatworks are so handy to Charters Towers, it should be possible to retail beef to the residents of this town at much lower prices than is being charged at the present time."

(I think you will all agree that Mr. "Citizen," if living to-day, would be astounded at the present day prices of meat. Not forgetting the fact that bullocks to-day have been sold up to £20 and over per head.)

    1899. Wanted.-Applications for position of Editor to the Charters Towers "Eagle" (straight-out-Labor-paper) at a salary of £4/10/- per week.

The "Eagle". 21/10/1899.-Some people have a queer sense of humour. At the Theatre Royal on Sunday night one of the items was "Where is my wandering boy to-night." In reply to the question one grim humourist had the tenacity to yell out "In Stuart Creek." As it was a sacred concern the audience could not do more than smile.

"Eagle," 3/9/1899.-The Charters Towers people often refer to Millchester as the seaport of the Towers. The writer has visited the watering place the other day for the first time and found no other evidence of a seaport than five pubs within a radius of 40 yards, a hall where the Women's Christian Temperance Union hold their meetings and a few old cyanide tanks.

"Northern Miner," 12/11/1890.-The Managers of the Bank of Australasia informs us that he shipped from Charters Towers on the 10th instant 16,043ozs. gold bullion valued at £54,790.

Northern Miner;" 14/1111890.-A consignment of gold consisting of 21,437ozs. was forwarded to Brisbane via Townsville yesterday by the Queensland National Bank.

"Towers Herald", 16/7/1885.-Doctors Mohr and Horan were appointed surgeons to local hospital at £150 per annum each.

"Towers Herald," 25/7/1885.- Towers Jockey Club held its 12th Annual Meeting with three days racing. The average daily attendance was 3,000.

"Eagle,"    29/7/1899.-Messrs. James  Smith and Sons are to be congratulated for their action in meeting a long felt public want, viz., a high class bicycle at a reasonable price. The firm are now offering the Stearns their most improved and highest grade machine at the low figure of £24, being a reduction of £4 on the old price.

"Eagle," 5/8/1899.-Went in for a swim in the Towers river the other day. Finished and crawled in a nude state up the bank as I thought.    When I arrived opposite the Post Office I was surprised. The mistake was natural. Gill Street on a mucky day resembles the oozy bank of a creek let.

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