This item was inherited from the donor's father, René Dupuche.
John Dupuche, writes:
This magnifying glass was used to remove the burrs and thorns that wool-buyers tended to get in their fingers when examining bales of wool. The open end was placed on the finger since the thorn was sometimes buried under the skin. The buyer looked through the magnifying glass and with tweezers or a pin removed the thorn which had rendered the finger inoperative.
The wool-buyers needed the sensitivity of their fingers to appraise the suitability of the wool, as buyers had for centuries past, measuring the length of the staple, feeling and counting the crimps in the fibre, its finesse, softness, elasticity and strength, assessing the colour, watching for extraneous matter such as dust or seeds which would not be welcome by manufacturers half-way across the world. Their skills took years to acquire. Knowledgeable buyers were invaluable to their employers, since they were able to evaluate to the last percentage the yield of a bale.
My father, René Dupuche, was the ‘principal buyer’ from 1927-1966 in Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania for the international wool company ‘Masurel Fils’ which was one of the largest wool businesses in Europe. It was based in the north of France, in Tourcoing, one of the major wool centres of the world.
He was sent to Australia as a young man at the age of 23 and took part in the ‘golden era’ of wool in Australia, and the eventual replacement of hands-on appraisal by ‘core-testing’.
Masurel Fils was one of the dozens of French and Belgian firms operating in Australia. These men from Flanders enjoyed a cosmopolitan society augmented by diplomats, European bankers and shipping-line executives for various countries and a handful of scientists and academics.
Small black metal magnifying lens with three fold design and two hinges. One panel contains a circular glass lens, the centre panel has a circular hole, and the third panel has a square hole with three lines on each side.
wool buyer, magnifying glass, magnifying lens, burrs, rené dupuche, john dupuche, migrants, masurel fils, french, belgian, flanders, working life, sheep industry, wool industry, agriculture