Story: Childhood

Child milking a cow, 1903 (1st of 3)

Child milking a cow, 1903

Rural children used to play an important part in the family economy. They were expected to help from a young age, and their labour was essential in making the family farm financially viable. This boy is milking a cow by hand in 1903. Children often had to get up very early to do chores before school, and were tired pupils as a result.

Using this item

Tairawhiti Museum, Te Whare Taonga O Te Tairawhiti
Photograph by William Crawford

Permission of Tairawhiti Museum, PO Box 716, Gisborne, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Kerryn Pollock, 'Childhood - Family, school and work responsibilities', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 22 May 2022)

Story by Kerryn Pollock, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 12 Dec 2018