Exploring my set of Arthur Mee’s The Children’s Encyclopaedia reveals aspects of life in the early 20th century that elude my understanding. Or maybe the encyclopaedia is just odd.
A case in point is one of the maps of Australia that provides a line that indicates the climatic boundary for growing bananas. Not content with that it also includes a similar boundary for the growth of coconut palms. While I know that copra (the kernal of the coconut which the oil comes from) is a reasonably significant commodity, why a young British child should need to know the limits of banana cultivation is beyond me. I am pretty sure that wool and wheat would have been Australia’s major exports to the UK at that time.