Sydney backyard, c 1900 (Click on photograph to enlarge).
Some points to note:
- Barefoot was commonplace for kids, even when at the shops or in public streets. Many vintage photos show kids barefoot in those circumstances.
- In the days before sewers, toilets were outside with large cans (“pans”) which were emptied weekly. The waste was known as “night soil” and the removalists thereof as “night soil carriers”. However, the more common terminology was “dunny” for the toilet, “dunny man” for the removalists and “dunny cart” for the truck. The toilets had the rear wall on the rear boundary with a small door at the back allowing removal of the full pan and insertion of an empty one, hence the numerous lanes at the rear of properties in the older suburbs. These lanes, known officially as “night soil lanes” and more commonly as “dunny lanes”, no longer serve a purpose, so that local Councils are allowing owners to purchase their piece of the adjoining lane.
- The wash tubs hanging on the fence.
- The timber poles at the front of the pic, which may be props to raise the clothes line.