Cover of the album 'Works by Members of the Amateur Photographic Society of N.S.W presented by the Society to His Excellency Lord Carrington August 1886', courtesy Graham Trevena
In the most recent regeneration of the Dictionary, we were delighted to be able to include the complete photographic album Works by Members of the Amateur Photographic Society of New South Wales, August 1886.
The album is owned by generous contributor Graham Trevena, and contains some beautiful and unfamiliar views of 19th century Sydney. We are very grateful to him for allowing us to share these images.
The Amateur Photographic Society of New South Wales was the second of such organisations in Sydney. The benefits of forming such a society along the lines of London’s Photographic Society were being discussed as early as 1855 (Photography, Sydney Morning Herald, 10 May 1855, p5 and Sydney Morning Herald, 14 September 1855, p8), and again in 1863 (The Empire, 28 July 1862, p1)
but it wasn’t until 1872 that the first Amateur Photographic
'Camp scene on the Hawkesbury' 1886, from the album 'Works by Members of the Amateur Photographic Society of NSW presented by the Society to His Excellency Lord Carrington August 1886'
Society of New South Wales was formed (Sydney Morning Herald, 20 July 1872, p7).
The inaugural meeting of this second association was in on 4 September 1884 in rooms at Baumann’s cafe on Pitt St (Sydney Morning Herald, 2 September 1884, p12):
A NUMBER of gentlemen interested in photography met on Thursday evening last at Baumann’s rooms, which were courteously lent for the purpose, to inaugurate and form an amateur photographic society. The following gentlemen were elected office-bearers for the year, viz; President, Mr. E. L. Montefiore ; vice presidents, Messrs. A. Wigram and J. W. M’Cutcheon ; hon. secretary, Mr. H. Paterson ; hon. treasurer, Mr. Beckett ; committee, Messrs. C. Turner, Dr. Elliott, E. Lichtner, V. Cohen, and H. S. Jeanerett. During the evening several charming pictures, consisting of views of the Hawkesbury, were exhibited.
'On the road to Pennant Hills' 1886 from the album 'Works by Members of the Amateur Photographic Society of NSW presented by the Society to His Excellency Lord Carrington August 1886'
It is contemplated to hold a day’s outing, when the ” Knights of the Camera ” will have an opportunity of ” bagging ” some fine and interesting photographs. We may add that any amateur desirous of joining the club can gain all particulars from the hon, secretary, whose address is 227, Macquarie-street. (Sydney Morning Herald, 7 October 1884, p7)
The Society was very active, and held regular meetings and excursions to Sydney’s beauty spots to practice their art, with competitions to encourage members and free lectures to the general public.
Bought by Graham Trevena in the 1950s during a book-shopping foray into the city during a break from university classes, the album was originally presented by the members of the Amateur Photographic Society of New South Wales to the then Governor, Lord Carrington, at the opening of their second annual exhibition or ‘conversazione’ of their work at the Sydney Town Hall on 5 August 1886:
'Marbles are in' from the album 'Works by Members of the Amateur Photographic Society of NSW presented by the Society to His Excellency Lord Carrington August 1886'
The spacious and well-lighted salon, thronged as it was with the “amateurs” and their friends who had assembled to inspect the beautiful collection of photographs exhibited therein, presented a brilliant spectacle as the Governor, accompanied by Captains Terry and Baring, entered tho building. The Volunteer Artillery band played the National Anthem, and Lord Carrington, who was received by the president and officers of the society, took his seat on a dais which had been erected in the hall. Shortly afterwards Mr E. L. Montefiore (the president of the society) welcomed the Governor, and thanked him for the honour he had bestowed upon them by consenting to open the conversazione. He also requested him to accept an album containing a number of photographs which had been executed by the members of the society. The speaker then announced to the members that Lord Carrington had consented to become the patron of the association, and the statement was received with applause. Lord Carrington, in reply, said he had to return his most grateful thanks for the fresh proof of the kindness which had invariably been shown to him in the colony. He
'Long Bay, Middle Harbour' from the album 'Works by Members of the Amateur Photographic Society of NSW presented by the Society to His Excellency Lord Carrington August 1886'
accepted with gratitude the album which they had given to him, more especially because the views in it were the work of the amateurs. In conclusion he thanked the president for the compliment he had paid to him in making him patron of the Society, and said he wished the association every success. He then declared the conversazione to be open, and subsequently inspected the photographs, some of which were exceedingly beautiful. The different pictures were arranged on stands and distributed around the walls, and in one corner of the room the apparatus used by the amateurs was exhibited. A number of excellent photographs of many of the most interesting spots in the colony are shown, and some of them are well finished and mounted in capital style. The Botanical Gardens, the harbour, the suburbs, our mountain, river and coastal scenery, all have their admirers, and pleasing mementoes have been obtained of well-known spots and favourable holiday resorts, Tho photographic collection will remain open during the afternoons and evenings of today (Friday) and to-morrow. (Sydney Morning Herald, 6 August 1886, p7)
The Amateur Photographic Society of New South Wales became defunct in 1889 and was replaced by the new Sydney Amateur Photographic Society (Sydney Morning Herald, 31 May 1889 p8), which proposed “to admit ladies & minors, at half the usual subscription”.
Head to the Dictionary to explore the album:
'Picknicking, Taylor Bay' 1886 from the album 'Works by Members of the Amateur Photographic Society of NSW presented by the Society to His Excellency Lord Carrington August 1886'
Works by Members of the Amateur Photographic Society of NSW
(and remember to click on the thumbnail and go to the full record to see the largest version).
Our thanks again to Graham Trevena!
Horse-drawn tram outside General Post Office, Sydney c1865, courtesy National Archives of Australia C4078, N7037
It’s long been accepted that the composer Isaac Nathan was the first Australian to be killed by a tram, but thanks to information from a Dictionary of Sydney reader, we have recently been able to amend our entry Tram Deaths.
The first fatality caused by a tram in Sydney was about 9 months before the death of Nathan in January 1864. Six year old Thomas McGowan’s ‘leg was severed’ by a tram when he either fell from or was knocked down by a tram on the Sunday evening of 26 April 1863. Thomas died in the Infirmary the following Monday. Several different possible causes of the accident were mentioned at the inquest, with the jury eventually returning a verdict that ‘the occurrence was accidental and there was no blame attached to anyone’.
The death of the well-known musician Nathan in 1864, obviously garnering more public attention than that of the little boy, was the only one mentioned in the petitions to the Minister of Public Works in 1865 to remove the tramway as an example of its dangers, which perhaps explains how the original error came about. (Other, non-fatal, accidents to other prominent citizens were also mentioned.)
Our information came from a member of the McGowan family, and we are very grateful for the lead.
Additional sources were (of course!) available via Trove once we knew where to look, including the following articles – you can follow the links to read them on Trove:
A frightful accident occurred on the tramway tramway, in Pitt-street, on Sunday evening last…WEEKLY REGISTER (1863, May 2). Empire (Sydney, NSW : 1850 – 1875), p. 5.
The LATE ACCIDENT ON THE TRAMWAY (1863, May 5). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), p. 4.
THE LATE ACCIDENT ON THE TRAMWAY (1863, May 7). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), p. 5.
THE LATE FATAL ACCIDENT ON THE TRAMWAY LINE (1863, May 7). Empire (Sydney, NSW : 1850 – 1875), p. 5.
Canon Hammond at Liverpool December 1935, courtesy Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW hood_12742 / Home and Away 12742
One of the new entries on the Dictionary is a biography of Robert Brodribb Stewart Hammond by Dr Meredith Lake.
The well-known rector of St Barnabas’s Anglican Church from 1918 to 1943, RBS Hammond‘s ‘practical Christianity’ led him to found a number of organisations to help Sydney’s destitute and homeless in the first half of the 20th century, including the Hammond hotels and the Pioneer Homes Scheme (the nucleus of the suburb Hammondville in western Sydney).
Meredith’s new book Faith in Action: HammondCare provides further details about Canon Hammond and the history of Hammondcare, the independent Christian charity that today services a wide range of people with complex health and aged-care needs, through dementia and aged-care services, palliative care, rehabilitation, and mental health programs.
An illuminating interview with Meredith about her work
'Faith in Action: HammondCare' by Meredith Lake
is available on the Author Q&A blog of our friends at Inside History : http://www.insidehistory.com.au/2013/03/author-qa-meredith-lake-faith-in-action-the-story-of-reverend-hammond/
The story, told in the book, of the relationship between Arthur Stace & Hammond, and the photograph from the HammondCare Archives of Stace in the Chippendale Hammond hotel which he managed, has been garnering great press coverage too. ‘Two lives and a city intertwined for eternity’, Sydney Morning Herald, March 15, 2013
The book is available now from the publisher Hammond Press and all good booksellers.