The popular image of the early history of gold mining in Western Australia is that of the prospector and the small-hold miner. In reality large gold mining companies were
rapidly established on the goldfields of Kalgoorlie. However, in the early part of the twentieth century there were still a good number of individuals fossicking and working small claims.
Prospectors moved through arid country carrying very little water, travelling long
distances by foot, horse and camel in search of gold. The invention of the dryblower to sift through soil for alluvial gold, as opposed to the traditional practice of panning for
gold with running water, distinguished the prospectors of the Western Australian gold rush from those of the Victorian, or even the Californian, gold rush.