State Library of South Australia logo Yorke Peninsula
SA Memory. South Australia past and present, for the future

Oswald Pryor
Title : Oswald Pryor Oswald Pryor View More Images
Add To My SA Memory
Format : Cartoon
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
Catalogue record
The State Library of South Australia is keen to find out more about SA Memory items. We encourage you to contact the Library if you have additional information about any of these items.
Donated by : Oswald Pryor
Copyright :

This item is reproduced courtesy of the Pryor family. It may be printed or saved for personal research or study. Use for any other purpose requires written permission from the Pryor family and the State Library of South Australia. To request approval, complete the Permission to publish form.

Description :
Oswald Pryor was born at Moonta Mines on the 15th of February 1881 and began working for the Wallaroo and Moonta Mining and Smelting Company at 13 years of age. In 1911 he became chief draughtsman and then manager at the Moonta Mines cementation works. About 1920, with the mines in decline, he moved to Adelaide where he worked as a staff artist for The News newspaper as well as freelancing.

Early in his artistic career he used the pseudonym 'Cipher', with his first cartoon published in Quiz in 1901. He also had work published by the Gadfly, including this caricature of himself with a cherub's wings published December 18th 1907. The editor of the Gadfly, CJ Dennis, encouraged him to use the characters of the Cornish immigrants with whom he had grown up and worked with as subjects for his cartoons. Mostly published in The Bulletin, these have become his most enduring and loved works not just in Australia but in other parts of the world including Cornwall where he visited in 1937.

Pryor was also very interested in the mining and social history of the Moonta, Wallaroo and Kadina area and in 1962 Rigby published his book Australia's Little Cornwall. The book's title has come into general use to describe the region. A manuscript was donated by the author to the State Library and by clicking on the view more images link above you can read the final chapter entitled Scatt'n the bal, about the closure of the Moonta Mines.

Oswald Pryor's last cartoon was published only five years before his death on the 13th of June 1971
Region : Adelaide city,Yorke Peninsula
Further reading :
Pryor, Oswald. Australia's little Cornwall, Adelaide, S. Aust.: Rigby, 1962
Pryor, Oswald. Cornish pasty : a selection of cartoons, Adelaide : Rigby, 1976
Pryor, Oswald. Personal papers, 1913-1954, PRG 96
Internet links :



About SA Memory

Explore SA Memory

SA Memory Themes


My SA Memory


What's on