Five things about winter

by Dr Andi
Publish date
29 June 2011
Comments (3)

The Google doodle on June 22nd celebrated the southern hemisphere winter solstice. Earlier that morning the pop-up tag read ‘the start of winter’ but later that morning it mysteriously changed to ‘winter solstice’. It prompted me to think about the various cultural and scientific criteria that mean the start of winter. So I came up with five of my own criteria (with the help of the MV collection of course).

1. Winter means taking soup more seriously. So I ventured into the collection store to look at this publication, ready to jot down the odd recipe for you but let’s just say 1933 was probably a better year for wine. It contained 1933 classics like Sheep’s Head Broth, Kidney Soup and Egg Soup. There was also a section on Soups for Invalids which consisted of Mutton Broth, Invalid Broth (which was mutton broth with egg yolk and milk) and Beef Tea.

    Recipe Book - 'Winter Dishes', published by Home Beautiful magazine, August 1, 1933 Recipe Book - 'Winter Dishes', published by Home Beautiful magazine, August 1, 1933 (SH 900857)
Source: Museum Victoria

2. Winter means little heaters with lots of personality. I used to have one; it became my little warm friend on dark nights until it could puff no heat no more. Today, heater designs are very bland. The designs of the 1920s and 1930s had character and attitude, and they had great names like ‘Jupiter’, ‘Century’ and my favourite... ‘Don’. 

  Photograph - Hecla Electrics Pty Ltd, Heater with Sydney Harbour Bridge, circa 1930s A black and white photograph of a Hecla heater circa 1932 with an embossed image of the Sydney Harbour Bridge on the front panel (MM 106793). Also check out its brother with an embossed image of a Roman chariot.
Source: Museum Victoria

Flyer - Lawrence & Hanson Electrical Co Ltd, Hecla Appliances, Melbourne, 1924 Check out the names of heaters from this flyer issued by Lawrence & Hanson Electrical Co Ltd, promoting Hecla appliances, Melbourne, for the season of 1924. We actually have the ‘Century’ in the MV collection. TL52046.jpg
Source: Museum Victoria

3. Winter means getting the first waft of your winter coat with slightly musty cupboard smell.  At school, the winter uniform also marked the season.

Digital Photograph - Two Women in Winter Coats, Sitting at Alicante Restaurant, Melbourne, 1964 This photograph shows two sisters, Bernadette and Helen Herbert at the Alicante Restaurant, Melbourne, 8 July 1964. Helen remembers that she was wearing a purple coat she made herself. (MM 110815).
Source: Museum Victoria


Socks - Prue Acton, Uniform, Wesley College, 1995-1996 Pair of white cotton sports socks, part of the 1996 winter uniform for Wesley College, Melbourne. Designed by the famous Prue Acton (SH 950641).
Source: Museum Victoria

4. Winter means my work colleague went cross country skiing ... again.

Whilst everyone else in the office shudders as they look the inclement weather out the window, she is jumping for joy at the thought of powdered snow and wombat sightings. I think of soup, heaters and curling up like a wombat.


Victorian Railways booklet promoting Victorian winter holiday packages
Victorian Railways booklet promoting Victorian winter holiday packages, published in April 1939. Victorian Railways played an important role in State tourism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, even operating the Mt Buffalo Chalet from 1924 to 1983 (HT 6107).
Source: Museum Victoria

5. Winter means Tunna or Gagulong (depending on where you are in Australia). Indigenous knowledge divides the seasons much more sensibly; depending on where you are in Australia there are more than four seasons. The Bureau of Meteorology has more info.

Knitted wool red and white beanie (1954-1957) Knitted wool red and white beanie (1954-1957) (SH 900300).
Source: Museum Victoria

One last thing about winter – I love beanies.

Stay comfy, Dr Andi

Comments (3)

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Alex Chubaty 30 June, 2011 14:39
I love this post! To me, winter also means I get to wear my favourite footwear - boots.
Lucy 1 July, 2011 10:15
Sheeps head broth! Designer school socks! A heater named "Renown"! I love it!!
Denise 5 July, 2011 20:18
I love the winter food. When I was young, my mum made beautiful vegetable soup which we had with hot buttered toast. I remember going to the Alicante Restaurant in the 1960's when I started working. It was the place to go for young ladies, and was affordable. Those gorgeous little heaters were of the Art Deco Period, a time of such elegance. "Buy Hecla, they're good!" (Evie Hayes on IMT)
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