Sheep at Sheep Station; Houses and Woods in Background, Australia


This photograph, taken in Australia some time in the first quarter of the 20th century, is from the Frank and Frances Carpenter Collection at the Library of Congress. Frank G. Carpenter (1855-1924) was an American writer of books on travel and world geography whose works helped to popularize cultural anthropology and geography in the United States in the early years of the 20th century. Consisting of photographs taken and gathered by Carpenter and his daughter Frances (1890-1972) to illustrate his writings, the collection includes an estimated 16,800 photographs and 7,000 glass and film negatives. It depicts sheep at a sheep “station,” the term used in Australia and New Zealand equivalent to “ranch” in other parts of the world. The British introduced sheep husbandry at their earliest settlement in Australia, the penal colony at Sydney Cove in 1788. By 1895, Australia had some 106 million sheep, raised for both meat and wool. Numbers fell to 53 million in 1903 following a severe drought, but recovered over the next several decades.

Last updated: January 8, 2018