27 April 2020

Wages and working conditions

So many stories of ancestors and relatives are mentioned in the newspapers of the past. During April 2020 for the A - Z blog challenge, I am listing the types of stories or information I have found in newspapers with examples for each letter of the alphabet. My clippings include a variety of articles about relatives of my children's ancestors.

Wages in 1933

An ongoing inquiry into the cost of living saw William Francis Galvin, brother to my children's paternal gt grandfather giving evidence about his fortnightly expenditure and ongoing costs. By 1933 his older brother John Michael Galvin was the federal secretary for the union, so it was highly likely that he encouraged his brother to provide this evidence.

Cost of living

1933 'DROP IN RENTS', The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954),
8 March, p. 17.

Francis William Galvin, railway employee, of Gladys street, Edwardstown, said that he received £3 6/ a week. After deducting 3/5 a week superannuation, he was left a net income of £3 2/6. Some weeks he might receive a shilling or two more. He had a wife and two children, aged five and three years. He was endeavoring to purchase a house, the full purchase price of which seven years ago was £995. He had a first mortgage of £750 and a second mortgage of £200. and the freehold of the land was valued at £150. He had a liability of £13 5/ a quarter for interest, but he had not paid anything off the principal for two years. The total paid off was about £100.
A statement put in showed that his household expenditure for one fortnight was £6 12/9. and for 10 days, £6 9/5. He was in arrears with water and council rates, but had made arrangements for payment to be postponed.
Francis William Galvin had married Clarice Rosina Tonkin in 1927 and sons Colin Francis and Kevin Lawrence had been born in 1928 and 1930.

 This post first appeared on earlieryears.blogspot.com by CRGalvin


  1. Interesting to observe newspaper items of persons connected to your family members.

  2. You wonder how they managed when they were on low wages. Money can reveal a lot about a family’s story. Great find.

    1. It is always interesting to compare house prices/rent to wages too, depression years.


Thanks for visiting, I welcome your comments. All comments are moderated before publication.

From Shanks's Pony to Airy Heights

Some Vehicles of Yesteryear “ he has ridden in a bullock dray, spring cart, the old Mass shandrydan , and the motor car; and daily witnessed...