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Collection of 256 nitrate glass photographic negatives

Date: 1890s-1910s
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Mr and Mrs Glassford
Object Name: Archive series
Object No: ANMS1092
Related Place:Sydney Harbour,

User Terms

    This collection of 256 nitrate photographic glass plates was collected by Roderick Winchcombe Glassford over his lifetime.

    The collection encompasses original photographs, some by William Hall Photographic Studio, but also includes photographs of other photographs, newspaper images and paintings of sail and steam ships predominantly over the period of c.1850-1950. These include three masted barques, fully rigged ships and barquentines, four masted barques, and single and twin funnelled steam ships. Many of the photographs depict the ships out to sea. Photographs of ships in harbour are predominantly of Sydney Harbour, including Circular Quay and Darling Harbour, but other Australian ports such as Newcastle are also featured.

    SignificanceThis collection is an extensive pictorial and information resource of and relating to sail and steam ships, particularly focused on shipping in Sydney Harbour over the 19th and into the 20th centuries. The collection documents the change in international cargo and passenger shipping by the dominance of steam powered vessels, as well as the evolution of the Sydney Harbour water front.

    The photographs taken and items collected personally by Mr Glassford reflect the voyages he took as an employee of P & O and also reflect the experiences he had as part of this lifestyle.
    HistoryWilliam James Hall (b. 1877) was a gifted photographer who documented the weekend sailors and yachts of Sydney Harbour from his motor boat. On Mondays, Hall would display photographs in the window of his Hunter Street Studio. Although Hall was not a sailor he maintained a keen interest in sailing and sailing craft. His images are a personal record of the recreational life of Sydney Harbour and its environs from the late 19th century and first half of the 20th century.

    Mr Glassford was employed in shipping, an enthusiastic sailor, and was an active historian and collector of ship ephemera. He began his employment with Macdonald Hamilton & Co, agents for P&O (Peninsular & Oriental Steam & Navigation Company) in the 1930s. This was interrupted by WWII when he served in the Coast Artillery at South Head, achieving the rank of Captain. He returned to work with Macdonald Hamilton and became a Passenger Superintendent with P&O. He was also associated with the Royal Australian Historical Society, being a councillor over the period 1954-1957, and with the decline in passenger ships from the 1970s, he managed the Art Gallery Society and was involved in early efforts to form the first Sydney Maritime Museum. Mr Glassford also contributed to the publication of 'The Story of the EDWIN FOX' (Edwin Fox Restoration Society Inc., 1987).
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