Historical information

During the Victorian goldrushes of the 1850s thousands of Chinese migrants arrived to seek their fortunes. At that time many came to the lucrative gold fields of Northeast Victoria. After the Gold rush, many Chinese migrants returned home. However, a number settled in the area as merchants, hawkers and market gardeners in surrounding towns including Wodonga, the Ovens, King, Buffalo River and Kiewa Valleys. They also rented lands and established themselves in the hops and tobacco farming industries.
Items of Chinese origin made their way into many households. Importation of Chinese mass produced items such as this lantern continued well into the 20th century and were common domestic items across Australia before households were connected to electricity.


This item is representation of kerosene / paraffin lamps used throughout Australia to provide lighting inside and outdoors prior to the widespread availability of electricity.

Physical description

A small hurricane lamp with a rounded tank and small carry handle attached to the top. A larger handle is also attached at the top of the frame. It has a lever to open the glass tank. It has a metal base which is filled with kerosene. It has a screw knob to open the kerosene receptacle. The metal hood also has vents. The Chinese characters around the base translate to "Shanghai Guanghuaheng".

Inscriptions & markings

Around base : Chinese characters.
On top : "Made in China KWANG HWA"