Story: Picnics and barbecues

Boiling billies at the beach, 1930s (1st of 3)

Boiling billies at the beach, 1930s

A woman boils billies over an open fire at the beach in the 1930s. The billy, a simple container for boiling water, was a standard item of picnic equipment for much of the 19th and 20th centuries. Billies could be bought ready-made, or manufactured at home from old jam tins with a bent wire handle attached. Fire restrictions and the widespread use of the thermos have meant that billies are less common in the 2000s.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: PAColl-3052-02-07
Photograph by Thelma Kent

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Peter Clayworth, 'Picnics and barbecues - Picnic food and the barbecue', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/39304/boiling-billies-at-the-beach-1930s (accessed 27 November 2020)

Story by Peter Clayworth, published 5 Sep 2013