Sir Henry Parkes was one of Australia's more significant politicians and journalists. He is often referred to as the 'father of federation' due to his efforts advocating for the federation of the six individual colonies of Australia (New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, and Western Australia).
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'In these degenerate days of postcards and typewriters letter writing has become for many almost a lost art and Lord Chesterfield’s ‘Letters to His Son’ would probably nowadays be dictated to a shorthand writer transcribed on a billboard and sent through the post …' The Sydney Morning Herald, 30 January 1895.
Like many early scientific instruments that made their way to Australia this particular sextant is doubly significant. For while it played an important role in Australia's early colonial history it was also manufactured by one of the foremost instrument makers of the early 19th century.