Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Livestock Brands of Western Australia

A number of volunteers assisting the Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and the North Midlands Project recently concluded the huge task of transcribing and indexing lists of registered livestock brands for Western Australia.

The information was extracted from The Brands Directory, which was published within a number of WA's Government Gazettes. All up, a total of 49,136 entries were extracted for the registered brands that existed in 1912, 1924 and 1962 as well as those that were added to the list between 1925 and 1928.


The new index is now freely available online.
It can be browsed or searched by surname or keyword at:


Each entry includes the person's surname, given names, property address, the letters/numbers of their livestock brand and the year of the directory that the information comes from. 1912 through to 1928 are horse and cattle firebrands while 1962 includes firebrands/brands and earmarks used on sheep, cattle, goats and/or pigs.

You may be surprised to find more than farmers with a registered livestock brand, as a lot of people who lived in country towns and even suburban areas had a registered brand to mark horses and cows kept for domestic use. For example, Carnamah grazier Donald Macpherson had the brand OSS, which we expected, but more surprisingly his sisters Margaret and Elizabeth also had a brand of their own, which was 1ME.

Many people registering a brand in earlier years managed to get their initials as part of their brand, such as Three Springs farmer George Watson with 0GW or Coorow farmer Philip Farley with P3F.

Registration Certificate for Carnamah butchers Martin Bros, courtesy of Steve Martin

Eventually the range of possible brands with two letters and one number was exhausted and in 1926 brand registrations began to be issued reusing the same combinations but with one of the letters oriented on its side, like in the firebrand shown toward the top of this post (so please be aware that some of those listed between 1926 and 1962 may have included a sideways letter).


For those not in the know, livestock branding is a technique for marking livestock so as to identify the owner. Firebrands are created by putting a metal branding iron into a fire until it is burning hot. The branding iron is then used to burn the brand onto cattle or horses. The main purposes of branding are to prevent the theft of livestock and to be able to identify the owner when stock strays away from its owner and onto another property.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Carnamah-Perenjori meets Andy Warhol

Pop Art artist Andy Warhol once said 'Art is anything you can get away with.'

Items in our Virtual Museum recently received some Pop Art treatment by the Room One students at Perenjori Primary School. As part of their art studies, students selected images from our virtual exhibitions and gave them a whole new look by modifying them with the Photo Funia app.   


To quote their teacher Miss Herbert: "Your virtual exhibitions are just like an online gallery space, so the kids selected the image that caught their eye the most, like what occurs when visiting a physical museum, and then they changed the image to become a work of Pop Art. The class will be repeating the process later in the year when they visit the local museum in Perenjori and digitally photograph items on display that catch their eye."


Below are the students' creations along with a short line on why they chose that particular image. Big thanks to the students at Perenjori for sharing their creations and to Alex White who helped get them to us by email.


"I chose this virtual exhibition image because I want to know how it works and what it was used for" - Tyler, from the Before Electricity exhibition.

"I chose this virtual exhibition image because it has the signatures and is very interesting" - Justice, from the Schools exhibition.

"I chose this virtual exhibition image because the picture is in Egypt and because it has the Sphinx and a pyramid" - Lachlan, from the First World War exhibition.


"I chose this image because we have been learning about Frank Thomas and because it looks very interesting" - Georgia, from the Bushranger page.

"I chose this virtual exhibition image because all the other things I didn't really like. I also like it because I think the colours go well together" - Aimee, from the Business Houses exhibition.

"I chose this virtual exhibition image because it looks fascinating and it was how diaries were in the olden days" - Chloe, from the Books exhibition.

"I chose this virtual exhibition image because it has cool patterns. It also has a height difference which makes it look like mixed marbles" - Hiraani. This image comes from the TOYS! exhibition.

"I chose this virtual exhibition image because Andy Warhol painted soup cans and she looks like she is making soup. I like the fancy colours that the picture has provided and how they are so POPish" - Ariel, from the Books exhibition.

"I chose this virtual exhibition image because it's dark, mysterious and creepy like the doll. There are different images that show cool different patterns" - Lehyia, from the TOYS! exhibition.

"I chose this virtual exhibition image because it looks like the rabbit proof fence and its colours are pretty awesome" - Sarai, from the Ready-Made Farms exhibition.


"I chose this virtual exhibition image because Frank Thomas was really interesting to learn about and I loved the colours that this pop art treatment used" - Tahlia, from the Midland Railway exhibition.

"I chose this virtual exhibition image because of the collaborative art piece we did of The Bank. I also like the old double doors and the stone carving above the doors" - Alex, from the Business Houses exhibition.

"I chose this virtual exhibition image because I like woodwork and I want to know how it works" - Jake, from the TOYS! exhibition.


"I chose this virtual exhibition image because I like the plants and I also like the colours" - Orlanda, from the Post Office exhibition.

"I just love the thought of a tiny little train ticket being displayed in a much grander fashion in a gallery" - Miss Herbert, from the MRWA Stations & Sidings page of the Midland Railway exhibition.

You can see all of the original images online at Virtual Museum: to be known and distinguished as Carnamah.