Birth of an Urban Nation
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Size 550mm x 550mm
Uncoloured size 600mm x 600mm approx
Perth in 1859 is seen as a small compact town laid out in a neat modern grid pattern with little evidence of its mediaeval roots. New wealth in the area is evident from the proliferation of substantial houses set in their own grounds on the east bank of the river. This wealth has come from the industrial revolution bringing industry and, most of all, the recently constructed railway and its imposing station. Perth is also developing as an important administrative and judicial centre With two large prisons, a barracks and evocatively named lunatic asylum. The map has the distinction of being the only official map the author has seen recording the site of the burning of witches (1623). Overall the town now gives out a peaceful and settled air of Victorian stability but inevitably it is riddled with the social division, poverty and well documented contradictions of the age. The building with the most prominent labelling is…. the Poorhouse.
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