Presented as part of the Toys of a Bygone Era in-store exhibition:
‘Squatters Daughter’ was an inventive game designed at John Sands after repeated requests from the Farmers and Graziers Association and members of the Melbourne Club to find a solution to popularise a crisis in the bush. Squatters, at that stage before the wool boom were burdened with unmarried daughters. Expensively educated, and requiring numerous presentations to court, race day costumes, and gymkhana’s were sending them broke. The game popularised the idea of finding a suitable husband for these often; ‘ plain but good natured’ exemplars of a genteel life. Initial response was tremendous and the game proved very popular amongst the more prestigious private schools, and ladies boarding establishments. However, complaints began to pour in from graziers related to ‘sham marriages’, in which their daughters were being sought by ambitious public school music teachers, lesser tier members of the anglican church and window dressers. The game was removed from sale and only a few examples can still be found at Heyington Place Toorak, Corio or “ somewhere else’ along Anderson Street in Sth Yarra.