Search the Collection
Advanced Search

Signal Station, Watsons Bay

Date: 26 August 1923
83 x 108 x 2 mm
Medium: Emulsion on glass
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Photographer Frederick Garner Wilkinson
Object Name: Glass plate negative
Object No: 00040962

User Terms

    This photograph depicts a view of the signal station at Watson's Bay on Sunday, 26 August 1923. The station acted as a guide for ships entering Sydney and was a method of communication for authorities in the harbour.
    SignificanceThis photograph is part of the F G Wilkinson Photograph Collection, comprising more than 700 glass plate negatives of ships and views in Sydney Harbour between 1919 and 1936. The collection provides an extensive and well-documented coverage of the changing styles of shipping in the port of Sydney before the gradual decline of the coastal trade, and in a period which was probably the peak reached by commercial shipping in Australia. The backgrounds also reveal the changing face of the city and harbour foreshores.
    HistoryThe site of Watson's Bay at Sydney's South Head was pinpointed as a lookout station in 1790, during the early stage of Britain establishing a penal colony at Port Jackson. A flagstaff was placed at the site to act as a landmark for ships entering Sydney Heads and as a method of communication. In 1832 a more formal method of communication via flags was put into effect which enabled information to be relayed as far as Parramatta detailing the type of ship entering the harbour, its origin and cargo.
    Additional Titles

    Collection title: F G Wilkinson Shipping Photographs Collection

    Assigned title: Signal Station, Watsons Bay

    Web title: Signal Station, Watsons Bay

    Related People

    Discuss this Object


    Please log in to add a comment.