Times Past: The Biggest Change


Ch Ch Ch Changes

Baby Boomer: Australia Suburban

It is hard to pick just one thing that as the biggest change in my lifetime. About the only thing that hasn’t changed is that we still have the same Queen.

One very big change that has occurred in my lifetime is that here in Australia we no longer manufacture goods the way we did when I was a child.

When I was growing up there were numerous factories. In Elizabeth where I lived for several years there were factories making jeans, sewing machines, white goods and of course cars at the Holden plant. I can remember when I was a child that at around four o’clock our normally quiet suburban street would suddenly be full of cars as workers returned home after their shifts at the factory.

An ad from an old Woman’s Day from 1976.

In other suburbs around Adelaide there were more factories, Chrysler, later Mitsubishi with two plants and other factories who supplied them with parts, Actil  made towels and bed linen, Golden Breed made T-shirts and sweatshirts, Perry Engineering, Castalloy, Hills Industries, Simpson, Pope, Kelvinator, Sabco and Clipsal were all names that South Australians knew.

Ford had their factory in Geelong, Victoria and there was another Holden plant at Fisherman’s Bend.  We even had our own toy manufacturers, Cyclops, Metti, Verna to mention a few.

Frigidaire advertisement from an old magazine 1948 so a bit before my day.

Today many of those companies are gone. Cars are no longer manufactured or even assembled in Australia. You can’t buy an Australian made fridge and many other products formerly made here are now made in other countries where labour is cheaper. Even here in Tassie our Blundstone boots are now made overseas.

I think it is very sad. We were proud of our Australian brands and those factories provided employment and a decent wage for many.

Below you can read an article on the closing of the last Holden factory, the one in Elizabeth not far from where I used to live.

Holden made in Australia 1948 – 2017

 

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/motoring/australian-car-manufacturing-reaches-the-end-of-the-line-today-as-holden-closes-elizabeth-factory/news-story/4cf69f8466a9750c690d3775f6487d97

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-12-11/timeline-holden-history/5150240

Author: Taswegian1957

Born in England in 1957 my family came to Australia in 1966. I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where I met and married my husband David. We came together over a mutual love of trains. Both of us worked for the railways for many years, his job was with Australian National Railways, while I spent 12 years working for the STA, later TransAdelaide the Adelaide city transit system. After leaving that job I worked in hospitality until 2008. We moved to Tasmania in 2002 to live in the beautiful Huon Valley. David passed away in 2015 and I'm here on my own now but I have Cindy the dog and Polly the cat to keep me company. I currently co-write two Wordpress blogswith my sister Naomi. Our doll blog "Dolls, Dolls, Dolls", and a "Our Other Blog" which is about everything else but with a focus on photographs and places in Tasmania.

3 thoughts on “Times Past: The Biggest Change”

  1. This is the big problem ALL the “advanced” powers face. We’ve raised our incomes. We’ve tried to make our workers lives better, but there are plenty of cheaper places to make stuff and corporations do NOT care about their workers. They do not hang around to keep their “people” employed. They realize they can make the product cheaper and they bug out.

    There’s no happy solution to the problem, either. However stupid and rude Trump is, he IS right that the U.S. has often been shortchanged by trading partners and we let it happen because we were trying to somehow make everything work out, even when it couldn’t be done.

    I don’t think we’re going to see any happy endings here. Trade wars make everything worse. NOTHING any country does is going to keep corporations from going where people work cheaper and often, the goods are also cheaper. The only answer would be for those places to raise wages in their countries. They won’t do that because they know that at least this way, people are working. In bad conditions, but nonetheless, working. Before our corporations went there, those people were starving.

    So what’s the answer?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are quite right and there are no easy solutions. There will be fewer blue collar jobs and even white collar jobs in future as more things are sent offshore. We can’t put the genie back in the bottle. It is quite interesting the way the manufacture of toys almost charts the economic growth of some countries. Barbie started out being made in Japan and as time went on manufacturing shifted to Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and now China.

      Like

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