Council is remembering the 109 convict women and 71 children that were transferred from their living spaces above the town gaol to the new Parramatta Female Factory on 21 February 1821. This Female Factory operated as an assignment depot, prison, place of industry and medical facility for approximately 5,000 women and children until its closure in 1848.
Work inside the female factory for all classes largely revolved around the making of cloth and linen (Salt 1984, pp. 102 –109). Other women worked on the operation of the factory itself, including cooking and washing, some of these services were extended to the public, including washing. In addition, women worked as needleworkers or hat-makers. The workers of the female factory were susceptible to the supply and demand of labour in the fledging colony and often went without work when the production costs were too high or their labour not in demand.
The Research and Collections Services Team have compiled our stories and interviews into an epub - view it online here
Neera Sahni, Research Services Leader, Parramatta Heritage Centre, City of Parramatta, 2021