On the Ossie
Millions of words flowed from the serpentine hills of western Tasmania. The Waratah and Adamsfield districts produced 'point metal' osmiridium, used to tip 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 golbe, Tasmania's rare earth quickened diggers' pulses and, astonishingly, inspired a challenge to Hollywood dominance of Australian cinemas.
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