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The Gold Fever

On 6 October 1851, the Argus carried a humorous article comparing ‘gold fever’ to the symptoms of ordinary fever: ‘restlessness, anxiety and disclination to follow one’s ordinary avocations’.

6 October 1851
Published Source
Argus, 6 October 1851. Details


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DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE – THE GOLD FEVER – A medical friend informs us that the prevailing epidemic somewhat resembles ordinary fever at its commencement as the premonitory symptoms are restlessness , anxiety and disinclination to follow one’s ordinary avocations. During the first stage of the attack, the sufferer may be known by an unshorn beard, a dirty face and an embryo bandit appearance. As the disease advances, the patient sticks a short pipe in his mouth, and assumes a red shirt and a pair of moleskin trowsers. If the symptoms are unchecked by a rise in his salary, all objects he views appear of a golden hue – excitement terminates in delirium – “one morn we miss him from the ‘customed spot” – and the answer to all the anxious enquiries of his friends is that he was last seen on a loaded bullock dray, provided with a straw mattress, tin pannikin, a shovel and a cradle.