Google
 

Aardvark Daily

New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 25th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

Content copyright © 1995 - 2019 to Bruce Simpson (aka Aardvark), the logo was kindly created for Aardvark Daily by the folks at aardvark.co.uk



Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

They did what?

25 November 2021

Oh no, I've been at it again!

I should never be left alone with a computer, an internet connection and the URL for YouTube because bad things can happen.

During the last week or so I've been wasting far too much time on YouTube because, once again, I've been trawling the New Zealand film archives but the things I've found have been astounding.

As a nation, New Zealand is so very lucky to have this magnificent film archive now available online. These short films (about 8-10 minutes each) do a remarkable job of documenting the history, culture and people of the nation since before WW2.

Today I'm going to highlight a few of the amazing things I found during my hours of viewing.

I should add that I've only seen a very small percentage of the videos posted to the Archives New Zealand YouTube channel so if you find this stuff interesting I urge you to do some browsing of your own.

The first video is a cracker. It reveals that there was once a mercury mine in North Auckland. Apparently the raw ore was mined and then converted to liquid mercury in a process that would have given today's health & safety officials a huge heart attack. Watch this and prepare to be shocked, as workers allow liquid mercury to trickle through their fingers and break up mercury-laden rocks with sledgehammers.

Not a pair of gloves, a facemask or a hi-viz jacket in sight. Wow!

Next up... does anyone remember the RNZAF?

There was once a time when this tiny island nation had a credible air force that had bombers and fighters, rather than just craft suited primarily to training and humanitarian missions.

Check out this video for some fascinating footage of the NZRAF at a time when they were about to receive a squadron of 80 Mosquito fighter/bomber aircraft from the UK. Yes, that's right EIGHTY aircraft! My, how times have changed!

Finally, for today, as we move towards the era of electric-powered vehicles and advanced battery technology it might be worth a look back at how we used to make batteries here in New Zealand.

The EverReady company apparently had a factory right here in NZ and it was filled with people making old-fashioned zinc/carbon dry-cell batteries. Once again I see that health and safety took a back seat and plenty of lead-based solder was on-hand to dull the senses of those involved.

Now, of course, thanks to globalisation, we no longer engage in such manufacturing tasks and instead we have become 100 percent reliant on imported battery technology for our portable devices.

I hope you've found these glimpses of times-past to be as fascinating as I did. Next time you've got a few minutes to spare, take a look through this trove of history and prepare to be astonished at just how much New Zealand has changed since those amazing days of the mid 20th century.

Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

Have your say in the Aardvark Forums.

PERMALINK to this column


Rank This Aardvark Page

 

Change Font

Sci-Tech headlines

 


Features:

The EZ Battery Reconditioning scam

Beware The Alternative Energy Scammers

The Great "Run Your Car On Water" Scam

 

Recent Columns

Where is the Omicron strategy?
Everyone agrees that, sooner or later, the omicron variant of Covid 19 will slip through MIQ (if it hasn't already) and enter a stage of community transmission...

Volcanoes versus the Net
A couple of days ago I got an email from a long-time regular Aardvark reader...

Why 5G is upsetting airlines
We were told that 5G would revolutionise the communications game....

Ransomware hackers conscripted in Russia?
Ransomware has become a real problem for many Western businesses and organisations...

People do not learn
Is this a scam or just another case of people not doing their research and honestly believing in what they're trying to sell?...

A changing tech paradigm
It used to be that manufacturers guarded their secrets closely...

Could it really be this simple?
As regular readers will know, I've had issues with tremors that were diagnosed as Parkinson's a few years back...

Is ownership outdated?
We have all heard of "the pride of ownership"...

The world is waking up
I'm not a conspiracy theorist... well not much of one...

Welcome to the new year
Welcome to 2022...

The coming year of uncertainty
On the eve of Christmas Eve we might contemplate exactly what the year ahead holds for us...