Current concerns as expressed by politicians and the media about the lack of male teachers in primary schools today can be understood historically as a continuing concern of governments and the profession back to the time of colonial settlement in Australia. This paper is an historical investigation of how in one Australian state, South Australia, the primary teaching profession came to be dominated by females. This qualitative historical study is informed by Michel Foucault's genealogical work. Data includes official documents and oral histories about teacher recruitment and teacher education over the 168 years of education in South Australia. Analysis of the discourses and practices in these accounts will help to show how the subject (the primary teacher) has been shaped and produced as a result of particular historical practices.