One of three fruit canning tools used by Italian migrant Lucia Zanetti (nee Maddalena) during seasonal work canning pears and peaches in a factory in Collingwood during the 1930s.

Lucia Maddalena arrived in Adelaide, South Australia from Italy on 8 December 1927 on board the ship Osterley. She was welcomed by her fiance Romano Zanetti whom she married in Melbourne a few months later. They were both from nearby towns in the province of Pordenone in the Friuli region. They settled in Carlton, Victoria, boarding with paesani (other Italians). Between the 1920s and 1950s many Italian migrants from the Friuli region settled in Carlton. They were mainly involved in the building and terrazzo industries. It was a close-knit community, supporting its members during the Depression and War years.

Romano returned to Italy around 1936, leaving behind his wife and young daughter Nancy, born in 1929. He never returned to Australia. The Romanin family gave shelter and support to Lucia and her daughter. They lived with the Romanin family for many years, becoming an integral part of the family. Lucia had many jobs, including cleaning private homes and boarding houses, working in a canning factory in Collingwood and at Yakka Overalls Pty Ltd in Brunswick. Her daughter Nancy married Giovanni Miotto in the late 1950s, and Lucia lived with them in North Fitzroy for the rest of her life.

Physical Description

Food peeler with rounded wooden handle and metal peeling mechanism consisting of curved piece attached to handle with curved blade screwed on.


These tools represent a common experience of migrant women's working life in Australia, in so-called 'unskilled', low-waged factory industries. They also enable the representation of themes such as abandonment and community, which were a part of some women's migration experiences.

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