The Birth of Modern Times: 1890-1940
Between 1890 and 1940 some 90,000
people lived in Dunedin's southern suburbs. Spreading
out over 'The Flat' they occupied distinctive
suburban areas including Caversham - New Zealand's
oldest and most densely populated working class
These fifty years were a critical period in the
country's history, a time of rapid industrialisation
and urbanisation. Dunedin led the way as New Zealand's
first major industrial centre. 'Modern' ways of
organising work and society were pioneered here.
The experience of the city's southern suburbs
is a microcosm of what was happening across the
It was a period of massive change.
New technologies transformed the world of work,
revolutionised domestic routines and altered the
patterns of daily life. Average family size declined,
from six children in 1890 to just two by 1940.
Secondary education became the norm rather than
the privilege of an elite few. The state played
an increasing role in shaping society and dealing
with the casualties of poverty and ill health.
New generations of New Zealand-born adults grew
to maturity with higher expectations and different
points of comparison to those of their migrant
forbears. Theirs was 'The Birth of Modern Times'.
|A contemporary view of the
Esplanade at St Clair beach. (Caversham Project
||'Gentleman's Residences' in
Ings Avenue St Clair. (Caversham Project Archives)
||View towards St Clair Beach
from Kew heights. (Caversham Project Archives)
||View over Hillside Workshops.
(Caversham Project Archives)
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