The Wodonga Historical Society Haeusler Collection provides invaluable insight into life in late nineteenth and early twentieth century north east Victoria. The collection comprises manuscripts, personal artefacts used by the Haeusler family on their farm in Wodonga, and a set of glass negatives which offer a unique visual snapshot of the domestic and social lives of the Haeusler family and local Wodonga community.
The Haeusler family migrated from Prussia (Germany) to South Australia in the 1840s and 1850s, before purchasing 100 acres of Crown Land made available under the Victorian Lands Act 1862 (also known as ‘Duffy’s Land Act’) in 1866 in what is now Wodonga West. The Haeusler family were one of several German families to migrate from South Australia to Wodonga in the 1860s.
This tobacco tin is one of the many objects in the Haeusler Collection that provides insight into life in early to mid-twentieth century Wodonga, and Australia more broadly. Smoking in the first half of the twentieth century was incredibly common in Australia and other western countries. In 1945, more than three out of every four men and one in every four women were regular smokers. While rates of smoking decreased over the next two decades due to observations and research regarding the links between smoking and illness, an increase in tobacco use was documented after the advent of television as people were bombarded with advertisements for cigarettes. These advertisements, much like the image on the Haeusler Collection 'Miranda's Dream Cigarettes' Tobacco Tin, depicted smoking as sophisticated and glamorous, distracting consumers from the serious health risks associated with smoking. Orientalist depictions of Middle East were common in tobacco advertising in the West in the first half of the twentieth century, an attempt to associate cigarettes with the supposed sensuality and mystery of the Orient.
There have been significant changes in both legislation and popular perceptions of smoking in Australian society since the manufacture and consumption of 'Miranda's Dream Cigarettes'. In 1992 the Tobacco Advertising Prohibition Act was introduced, making it illegal in Australia to publish or broadcast messages that encourage people to start or continue smoking. In 2011 the Australian government also introduced plain packaging laws to reduce the appeal and promotion of tobacco products, and make health warnings more effective.
This item has well documented provenance and a known owner. It forms part of a significant and representative historical collection which reflects the local history of Wodonga. It contributes to our understanding of domestic and family life in early twentieth century Wodonga, as well as providing interpretative capacity for themes including local history and social history.
A tobacco tin with a coloured illustration of a woman in stylish 1920s-1930s dress sitting in an armchair smoking a cigarette, while watching an Orientalist scene featuring a belly dancer and a snake charmer wearing a turban.
Inscriptions & markings
Branding on the lid of tin: "Miranda's Dream Cigarettes"