Pest exterminators, Sydney, 1937

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When: 09 July 1937

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Houghton & Byrne, pest exterminators, with collection of dead rats from a ship and holding a packet of Calcid poison briquettes, Sydney, 9 July, 1937, Sam Hood, 35mm copy print from original nitrate negative, State Library of New South Wales, Home and Away - 8455/NCY28/731


Owner: State Library of NSW
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 14924
pests exterminators rats sydney shipping cleansing fumigation poison statelibraryofnewsouthwales

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    Blue Mountains Library, Local Studies

    • 26/Oct/2022 02:35:44

    Calcid contained hydrocyanic acid HCN. See - Instructions or Dealing with Rabbits (1937), which informs us that cyanide fumigation is extremely humane. - The cyanide was released from the briquettes through a dust when they were placed in a grinder and pump, which appears to be the apparatus the chap on the left is holding. One will be relieved to know, from the above booklet, that the carcasses of rabbits killed with HCN are not poisonous and may be safely eaten by human beings and dogs; rats are not specifically mentioned.

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    State Library of NSW

    • 26/Oct/2022 02:58:24 😮 have to say given this - those safety masks seem a little light-on by today's standards.

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    Blue Mountains Library, Local Studies

    • 26/Oct/2022 03:01:32 The nose clamps may help somewhat, if that's what they are. Then of course we have the white overalls with the neckties to avoid skin contact - a nice touch.

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    JC Merriman

    • 26/Oct/2022 03:13:36

    Unfortunately many native water rats, Rakali (Hydromys chrysogaster) were often caught up in these extermination exercises but we are unable to identify any in this display. Rakali appear in some of the 1900 Sydney plague photos by John Degotardi, the larger webbed feet and the furred tail with a white tip is the giveaway, see the larger animal in right foreground above the ruler here - Identification -

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    • 27/Oct/2022 04:15:21

    Congrats on Explore! ⭐ October 26, 2022

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    • 27/Oct/2022 04:26:54

    Glückwunsch zu Explore !

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    Blue Mountains Library, Local Studies

    • 27/Oct/2022 04:36:47

    Here they are again with the same rats by the look of it, some might have moved! I guess that would be Houghton on the left and Byrne on the right - The guys had a good run until 1968 when they were delisted and taken over by Powells Pest Control Pty Limited - They even had their own gas treatment tank for treating termite and borer infested furniture -

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    Sigurd Krieger

    • 27/Oct/2022 06:12:02

    Congrats on Xplore!!

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    • 27/Oct/2022 06:29:02

    Nice Capture! Congratulations On Explore!

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    Marut Rata (on-off)

    • 27/Oct/2022 09:15:42

    Congratulations 🎉🎊🎈