On The Ossie

Author(s): Nic Haygarth

* Tasmaniana



Tasmanian osmiridium and the fountain pen industry


Millions of words flowed from the serpentine hills of western Tasmania. The Waratah and Adamsfield districts produced ‘point metal’ osmiridium, used to top the gold nibs of fountain pens. For a time in the early 1900s Tasmania had a world monopoly on point metal – ‘ossie’ – an alloy much more valuable than gold. Sent to New York and London to drive Waterman, Swan, Sheaffer, Parker, Onoto and Conway Stewart pens, Tasmanian osmiridium became a signatory to startling world events. It also bolstered family budgets at home. To be ‘on the ossie’ was to have the chance to escape poverty and drudgery. Like gold strikes across the globe, Tasmania’s rare earth quickened diggers’ pulses – and, astonishingly, inspired a challenge to Hollywood dominance of Australian cinemas.



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Product Information

General Fields

  • : 9780648106371
  • : Forty South Publishing
  • : Forty South Publishing
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Paperback