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Biographical entry Elder, Thomas (1818 - 1897)

5 August 1818
Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland
6 March 1897
Mount Lofty, South Australia, Australia
Business executive, Pastoralist and Public benefactor


(Sir) Thomas Elder imported and bred camels to use as transport in outback Australia. A hundred of them were used in building the overland telegraph line from Adelaide to Darwin in 1872 and he also lent camels and drivers to expeditions of discovery.

Archival resources

State Library of South Australia, Mortlock Library of South Australiana

  • Correspondence re a proposed Antarctic expedition, 1890 - 1897, D 7520(L); State Library of South Australia, Mortlock Library of South Australiana. Details

Published resources

Book Sections

  • Gosse, Fayette, 'Elder, William (1804-1882), Alexander Lang (1815-1885), George (1816-1897), businessmen and Sir Thomas (1818-1897), businessman, pastoralist and public benefactor' in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Douglas Pike, ed., vol. 4 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1972), pp. 133-134. Details


See also

Rosanne Walker