Hardy Family Story (by Perce Hardy, grandson of Embling Hardy)
3. Farmer Embling Hardy and Dairying in Clyde

At Clyde Embling Hardy engaged in dairying. He also for a time conducted a small grocery store there.

His dairy herd consisted of "Short Horn" cows. They were large framed cows and heavy producers. In the early days most of the dairy cows were descended from dairy stock imported from England and comprised mainly of Short Horn and Ayrshire.

All milk was "set" in milk dishes placed upon shelves in a dairy made of "Wattle and Daub'. The same material was used to build their houses. This type of building was very cool.The cream was "skimmed" from the milk set in the dishes, and churned into butter which was salted and packed into small wooden barrels. These were collected at regular intervals by a carrier who took them to Prahran to be sold.
His return load consisted of goods ordered by the farmers, such as flour, groceries etc.

The prices by today's standards were very low, 4 pence and 5 pence per pound for butter was about the common price. Eggs were low in price also.

4. Dairying at Clyde
Dairying at Clyde, as elsewhere, in the 1890-1900 period was not a job for faint-hearted people. Production of whole milk for Melbourne gradually became the main industry.

Milk had to be produced all the year round, and prices were low. Five pence per gallon was quite common and freight had to be paid. Milking had to be finished, and milk at Berwick Railway station by 7:30am. Five miles of bad road had to be traversed to get there.

Milk Products Prices 1895 to early 1900s
A comparison of prices at that time as compared with today's prices (1972) is interesting. To illustrate this, one has only to look at some of the old account books from years back.

In 1895 the price of whole milk, freight paid to Melbourne, ranged from 5 pence to 6 pence per gallon. This continued except for short seasonal adjustments until 1900.

By 1902, 8 pence per gallon was being paid for autumn and winter production with lower rate for spring.
The prices of butter in 1895 was 5 pence per pound and with slight seasonable variations remained about the same until well into the 1900's.

Prices and Wages
Livestock prices were likewise low. A few typical entries were :-
Fat cows
4-5 pounds
1 pound to l pound 10 shillings and as low as 15 shillings.
Dairy cows
4 pounds
Fat lambs
8 shillings and sixpence
fat sheep
5 shilling to 8 shillings
6 pence per week for cows.


Wages were also low being 7 shillings and sixpence to 10 shillings per week and keep, as late as 1900. Very occasionally fifteen shillings.
Cothing requirements were much as follows-
Watertight working boots
8 shilling and sixpence per pair.
-four shillings
Light boots
-four shillings
Lady's shoes
-five shillings
Lady's hat
-10 shilling to fifteen shillings
Moleskin trousers
-five shillings
-two shillings
A plug of tobacco
-10 pence
-9 pence
A pipe
-one and a halfpenny
-3 shilling per dozen boxes.
Hair cut
-six pence.
25 Cartridges
-two and sixpence
-one penny.

Introduction of Farm Machinery

Cultivation and harvesting were slow and heavy jobs.
Oats and maize were the main crops. Seed and fertiliser (usually bone dust) were sown by hand. Crops first were cut by scythe and tied into sheaves by hand. Later mowers were introduced but tying by hand still had to be done.

William Hardy and William Cadd purchased between them, the first reaper and binder to come into the district. The machine was a Deering (International Harvester). They also purchased the first seed drill, as far as I know.
William Hardy also had the first power driven separator. This was driven by a "horse works".The horse works were also used to drive a chaff-cutter.

The Gates family bought a steam driven separator. This was very effective but could be heard working two miles away. It used to be said that more work was entailed cutting wood, to raise steam than to turn the separator by hand.

In 1908 my father purchased an oil engine to replace the horse works, and in 1910 purchased a L.K.G milking plant. This milked each cow into an enclosed heavy bucket. These have for many years been replaced by the present very efficient milkers.

The Railway Made a Difference

After the South Gippsland Railway was built transport problems were greatly reduced. Practically all produce and stock were carried by rail, and the railway station became busier as the years advanced.

At one period there was a staff of Station Master, assistant Station Master, Operating Porter and Porter.

The main produce was, of course, whole milk and cream, also potatoes, onions, oaten chaff, building sand and live stock.
Road transport has now replaced the railway and outward freight is now almost non-existent.

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