Australian Country Houses of Yesteryear - water tanks, etc

Every home had at least one water tank constructed from limestone with an inner coating of about 1" (25 mm) thick of strong cement mix to keep the tank watertight, while larger homes had two or three of these tanks, all of which were roofed. Some tanks even had a gutter fitted, with the collected runoff channeled back into the tank. Initially the water was lifted out of these tanks using a wooden bucket on a rope, or sometimes with a hand-made winch set-up. Later as several forms of early-type hand-pumps became more readily available (one being a simple up and down lever-action pump, another being a circular semi-rotary back and forth lever-action pump), the water then could be pumped directly into the bucket or tub.

In later years they could also be used to pump water into an overhead storage tank, on a heavy timber or stonework tank stand, which became fairly common practice from about 1900. First with the use of a small version of the square cast iron railway tanks, then utilizing the circular corrugated-iron tanks which are still used in this manner through-out Australia today. Nowadays the pumping is done by a windmill or a mechanical pump.

The toilet was simply an outhouse in the backyard, the toilet itself being the old long-drop arrangement. No septics and modern plumbing those days!

Every house had its own woodheap also in the backyard. The clothesline was simply a suitable length of heavy fencing wire or light sisal rope stretched between two suitable trees at the most appropriate height, or securely attached to a couple of roughly-hewn native timber posts.