Souvenir, novelty miniature parasol for Armistice celebrations, 1918

Souvenir, novelty miniature parasol for Armistice celebrations, 1918
Historical note: 

On 8 November 1918, one of Sydney’s prominent newspapers published an erroneous report that Germany had capitulated from the fighting on the Western Front. The Great War was seemingly ended, and Sydney erupted in celebration.

Though the nature of the report was quickly and widely disseminated, the people of Sydney could not be deterred. Armistice celebrations raged continuously from the 8th until the 12th of November. This event was unique to Sydney, as neither Melbourne nor Canberra, nor any major city in Australia, celebrated in this fashion.

The novelty parasol, made in the colours and patterns of the allies' flags (in this case, American), is significant for its positioning within that five-day-long frenzy of celebrations in Sydney’s CBD. It speaks to the willingness of the people to abandon themselves, as well as to their collective preparation for and anticipation of an imminent end to the war.

It is extremely rare for such an ephemeral object at the time to have survived to the present day.

Cotton; plant fibres; metal
Souvenirs and ephemera
First World War (1914-18)
Production Date: 

On this day

On this day
3 April

1885 — Battle of TAMAI. 770 men of the New South Wales Contingent were involved in this most significant battle of the war in the SUDAN

1942 — 23 survivors from HMAS PERTH surrendered to the Japanese in Sumatra. This group was part of the 307 who survived the sinking of their ship on the 1st. March in which 375 of their shipmates died. Their efforts to reach Australia failed due to winds, currents, and lack of food and water. Despite their lifeboat being fired upon by Japanese ships, they reached Sumatra where they surrendered and were imprisoned for the remainder of the war.