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Murray River Steamers
Title : Murray River Steamers Murray River Steamers
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Source : B 13524, Murray River Collection
Date of creation : ca. 1920
Format : Photograph
Contributor : State Library catalogue
Catalogue record
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Description :

River Steamers Decoy, Murrumbidgee, with barges Moorara, Empress & Mallara carrying the largest consignment of dried fruit every carried on the river system. (500 tons).

River steamers Decoy and Murrumbidgee, with barges Moorara, Empress and Mallara carrying the largest consignment of dried fruit (500 tons) ever carried on the river system. All vessels were at this time owned by Murray Shipping Ltd. Several events, including the disruption to trade caused by drought and World War I induced several large River Murray shipowners to combine their resources into one company: Murray Shipping Ltd. was formed in 1919 and included the fleet of Permewan, Wright and Co. Ltd. and AH Landseer Ltd of Milang and Knox and Downs of Wilcannia.

Irrigation was established on the River Murray in the late 19th century; bust and boom years followed as droughts, heatwaves and severe frosts played havoc in the orchards. The tenacity of the pioneers, the development of more appropriate crops and frost protection techniques saw the Murray Valley eventually become established as a major fruit-growing region. Much of the land was developed after the First and Second World Wars with the Soldier Settlement Schemes opening up new tracts of land to irrigation.

Dried fruit was a staple for many years and the river boats carried it downstream: a railway at Morgan connected the river trade with Port Adelaide and overseas shipping and there were railway lines to Loxton, Paringa and Waikerie by 1914.

Coverage year : 1920
Period : 1919-1927
Place : River Murray
Region : Riverland and Murraylands
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Exhibitions and events :

State Library of South Australia: Mortlock Wing exhibitions. Wooden Walls and Iron Sides August 2004-



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