Prickly Pear Poison Injector

Production date
Circa 1923
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Object Detail


Description
Brass cylinder with timber and metal handle. Sharp, hollow tip for injection. Screw caps on side for filling chamber with poison. Pump at handle end for releasing poison.
Classification
CH classification RURAL INDUSTRY Pest Control poison injector
Maker
Measurements
L1035 x W115 x H30 mm
Media/Materials description
Brass, wood, metal.
Signature/Marks
THOMAS' PRICKLY PEAR \ No.13486 \ PATENTED JULY 1923 \ INOCULATOR
History and use
The prickly pear was introduced into Australian gardens from South America in the 1830s. It grew quickly and farmers used it as an effective hedge to fence in farmland. The plant's tolerance to drought and the lack of any predators allowed it to spread rapidly, and by 1925 it covered over 24 million hectares. This resulted in the land being useless for agricultural purposes and led to the eventual abandonment of the farms. Various methods were used in an attempt to control the plant, including the injecting of poisons such as arsenic, common salt & caustic soda. This object was used to inject the poison into the plant. In 1925 the Cactoblastis cactorum insect was introduced into a property at Chinchilla, Qld., and by 1932 the Prickly Pear Land Commission reported that the prickly pear problem had been solved.

Uploaded to the Web 27 May 2011.
Registration number
H18342

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