From the provocatively desperate to the positively inspirational, charities have long used images in their fundraising. The Benevolent Society of New South Wales, in the interwar period, used photographs of young children in named cots to advertise one of their major sources of fundraising in that period: cot endowments. Organisations or auxiliaries could have a cot (or a bed or a bassinette) named after them in return for an annual endowment.
Patricia Curthoys details this aspect of the Society's fundraising by exploring the story behind one particular cot - the Ardlethan cot, endowed by the Ardlethan branch of the Benevolent Society from 1917 to 1933. It places the story of the branch's fundraising efforts in Ardlethan, in south-western New South Wales, within the larger story of the Benevolent Society's fundraising efforts in this period. In so doing it brings to life just one of the stories behind these photographs of cots.
This is a shortened version of a talk presented during History Week 2013 as part of the Speaker Connect program, a partnership between the History Council of NSW and the Royal Australian Historical Society.
Supported by Your Community Heritage.
Filmed and produced by Absorb.