Monday 16 April 2012

Mentions of Carnamah in Australian Newspapers

The above graph shows the number of mentions of the word 'Carnamah' in the selection of Australian Newspapers that are available through the National Library of Australia's Trove service. Trove contains a fair representation of the leading newspapers from each Australian state and territory up until 1954 (the reason why the graph plummets out towards the end!).

It reveals some interesting points. The steepest increase occurred from mentions in 114 articles in the year 1908 to mentions in 697 articles in 1909 (that's an increase of 611%). It most certainly raises the question of why, and after taking a look we've discovered the answer lies in horse racing! It was during this time that the racehorse named Carnamah was competing widely at race meetings throughout Perth and the goldfields. The horse was one of many owned by the Macpherson Family of Carnamah.

The years with the highest number of articles mentioning Carnamah were 1929 and 1932 with 961 and 896 articles. These two years were definitely when the Carnamah townsite and district was booming and at its peak. With the start of the Second World War in 1939 the articles mentioning Carnamah plummet downwards until 1943 when it was as low as 145 - probably as global news of the war took precedence. The number then rose upwards to 681 in 1950 before once again declining.

Map courtesy of Tim Sherratt's QueryPic: Exploring digitised newspapers from Australia & New Zealand, retrieved on 16 April 2012.

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