Sunday, July 19, 2009

It's a Brickfielder, cobber

Whilst looking for information on red brick dust, I came across a reference to a Brickfielder. Quoted in the Encyclopaedia Britannica 1911, it is:
... a term used in Australia for a hot scorching wind blowing from the interior, where the sandy wastes, bare of vegetation in summer, are intensely heated by the sun. This hot wind blows strongly, often for several days at a time, defying all attempts to keep the dust down, and parching all vegetation ... illuminates further:
The hot northerly wind [in Australia] blew across the Brickfields, formerly so called, a district of Sydney and carried clouds of reddish dust from the brickworks over the nascent city - thus the name: Brickfielder. However, another - agricultural - explanation comes from the hot and dry character of the northerly wind itself, turning the surface of the already dry soil hard as bricks. Therefore, by confusion, every dry, hot wind from the north might be called a Brickfielder today. The Brickfielder is related to the Argentinian Zonda wind.

And just for good measure, a picture of some preserved brickwork buildings in Sydney!:

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