General stores were a vital part of the regional communities that developed throughout Australia in the 19th century. They were the link between their communities and the metropolis and to overseas markets. Chinese immigrants were a dominant part of this retail trade across the country. By 1901 there were 800 people of Chinese descent working in NSW shops - a statistic that suggests the existence of several hundred ‘Chinese stores’ in the state.
The significance of this Billy Tea tin derives fr...
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