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Registration Number: H18349

Name or Title: Prickly Pear Poison Container

Classification: CH classification RURAL INDUSTRY Pest Control poison injector

Brief Description: Steel cylinder, valve and outlet pipe at the top and two metal brackets mounted on the reverse. Copper plaque affixed to the front.

Collection: Social History

Production Place: Dulacca/Queensland/Australia

Materials: Steel, copper.

Measurement : H459 x D160mm 2.6kg

Signature/Marks: PRICKLY PEAR PRODUCTS PTY / DULACCA. Q / DESIGNERS AND PATENTEES OF THE / DEMON LANCSPRAY / PRESSURE TANKS. ACCESSORIES. FITMENTS / TYPE D L PRESSURE 60 LBS / TANK NO 221 / ALL PARTS THIS TYPE INTERCHANGEABLE

History and Use: The prickly pear was introduced into Australian gardens from South America in the 1830s. It grew quickly and farmers used it as an effective hedge to fence in farmland. The plant's tolerance to drought and the lack of any predators allowed it to spread rapidly. By 1900 it covered over 4 million hectares in Queensland and New South Wales and by 1925, over 24 million hectares were affected. This resulted in the land being useless for agricultural purposes and led to the eventual abandonment of the farms.

Various methods were used in an attempt to control the plant, including the injecting of poisons such as arsenic, common salt and caustic soda. This container is a form of ‘pressure tank’ to hold such poisons. It would have been attached to a poison injecting device. In 1925 the Cactoblastis cactorum insect was introduced into a property at Chinchilla, Qld., and by 1932 the Prickly Pear Land Commission reported that the prickly pear problem had been solved.

Uploaded to the Web 27 May 2011.

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