Search the Collection
Advanced Search

View of the wharves at Petrie Bight on Brisbane River, taken from SS ORUNGAL

Date: c 1930
Medium: Emulsion on glass
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Glass plate negative
Object No: 00035686
Place Manufactured:Brisbane

User Terms

    This image probably depicts the Nixon-Smith wharves at Petrie Bight along the Brisbane River in Brisbane, Queensland. In the background in the centre is St John's Cathedral (built 1906-1910) and to the right of it is a building with the sign 'Queensland Brewery'. In the middle ground row of buildings is the National Hotel right (built c 1889), L Uhl and Sons Ltd, Saddlers in the centre and the Exide Service Station to the left. In the foreground, the building to the left has a sign that reads 'Maritime Buildings' and 'Hetherington and Rylance Ltd, Colliery Proprietors'.

    Sections two and three of the Circular Quay wharves at Petrie Bight were leased to businessman Robert Ellersleigh Nixon-Smith in June 1921. In 1924, Nixon-Smith's firm secured the agency for the French merchant shipping company Messageries Maritimes. Seen in this photograph is the sign on Nixon-Smith's building which reads 'Nixon-Smith.s and Wool Agents for Messageries Maritimes'.
    SignificanceThe Samuel J Hood photographic collection records an extensive range of maritime activity on Sydney Harbour, including sail and steam ships, crew portraits, crews at work, ship interiors, stevedores loading and unloading cargo, port scenes, pleasure boats and harbourside social activities from the 1890s through to the 1950s. They are also highly competent artistic studies and views - Hood was regarded as an important figure in early Australian photojournalism. Hood’s maritime photographs are one of the most significant collections of such work in Australia.
    HistoryThe Australasian United Steam Navigation Company (AUSN) was established in 1887 and acquired other competing companies, such as the Australasian Steam Navigation Company. In 1927 AUSN chartered the ORMISTON and ORUNGAL for the coastal freight and passenger service between Cairns and Melbourne. They were refurbished to accommodate 240 passengers in a single class.

    In November 1940, ORUNGAL was transporting passengers and cargo from Sydney to Adelaide and hit a reef and sunk near Barwon Heads. ORMISTON was used for a variety of coastal services after the outbreak of the Second World War and was torpedoed off the north coast of NSW in May 1943, but managed to reach Coffs Harbour. After being repaired she was used as a troop transport for the remainder of the war. Due to a dearth of passenger ships post-war, ORMISTON serviced the Sydney to Hobart route until 1947. Up until 1955, ORMISTON traded along the east coast of Australia and was then sold to a Greek company and was broken up in Italy in 1957.

    During the 20th century, the chairman of P&O also held extensive interest in Australasian United Steam Navigation, and the company became connected to P&O in 1946. AUSN from thereafter focused on cargo transportation between Australia and the Far East and continued to operate until 1975 when their last two ships were sold.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: View of the wharves at Petrie Bight on Brisbane River, taken from SS ORUNGAL

    Assigned title: City scape view of Brisbane and wharves from SS ORUNGAL.

    Related People

    Discuss this Object


    Please log in to add a comment.