Bicentenary of Parramatta Female Factory postage paid envelope
This postage paid envelope marks the 200th anniversary of Governor Macquarie laying the foundation stone for Australia’s first purpose-built “female factory” on 9 July 1818.Read more
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This envelope marks the 200th anniversary of Governor Macquarie laying the foundation stone for Australia’s first purpose-built “female factory” on 9 July 1818. Francis Greenway designed the building, based on bridewells (workhouses) and prisons in Britain and Europe.
Some 24,960 women were transported to the Australian colonies, with around 9,000 of them experiencing the female factory system between 1804 and 1856. More than half of these women were held at Parramatta Female Factory. As the earliest surviving convict women’s site in Australia, it was also the first women’s health service, the site of Australia’s first industrial action and one of the earliest manufacturing sites producing wool, linen and linsey-woolsey. Women’s work included weaving, spinning, straw plaiting, knitting, sewing, washing, oakum picking and rock breaking. The female factory was also a penitentiary, a barracks, an assignment depot and a marriage bureau. With around one in seven Australians related to a female factory woman, this place is of significance to all Australians.
- Issue date: 5 July 2015
- Envelope design: John White
- Size: 110mm x 220mm
Cover images: Augustus Earle, Female Penitentiary … Parramatta, c. 1826 National Library of Australia, NK 12/47; portraits (L to R) Anne Dunne, Emma Mayner and daughters, and Susannah Watson, courtesy of Parramatta Female Factory Friends and descendants of the women