Female Factories – New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land

Main Building

The factories were called factories because each was a site of production. The women produced spun wool and flax in all the factories. There were 13 female factories – Parramatta (2), Bathurst, Newcastle, Port Macquarie, Moreton Bay (2), Hobart Town, Georgetown, Cascades, Launceston and Ross. The experience in the factories varied according to when the women were in the factory and which factory they were in.

In the larger factories, Cascades and the second Parramatta factory, the women were involved in a wider a range of work: spinning, straw plaiting, factory duties (housekeeping and working in the hospital), sewing, laundry and weaving in the 1830s and 1840s. The third class also broke rocks and picked oakum.


Ordinary Women Extraordinary Lives