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Paddle wheel ferry WARATAH, sailing ship GREAT VICTORIA and other vessels at western Circular Quay 1866

Date: 1866
Medium: Emulsion on glass
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Mr and Mrs Glassford
Classification:Photographs
Object Name: Glass plate negative
Object No: ANMS1092[026]

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    SignificanceThis image provides a rare and detailed record of Circular Quay during its development as a busy centre for shipping and trade during the early years of European settlement in Sydney.
    HistoryConstruction began on Sydney Cove in 1837 in response to increased shipping activity after the commencement of European settlement in the late 1700s. It was originally known as Semi-Circular Quay due to the shape of the stoneworks built with convict labour to stabilise the shoreline from reclaimed mudflats.

    During an industry boom of the mid 1860s, East Circular Quay began to develop as a major centre for the distribution and processing of wool. Many wool stores and warehouses were constructed along Circular Quay including the famous Morts & Co warehouse in 1869 as well as Pitt, Son & Badgery, Dalgety & Co and Hill, Clark & Co.

    The wool boom continued into the late 1800s and commerical focus began to shift from East Circular Quay to the Pyrmont-Ultimo peninsula. The demolition of the wool and bond stores in the East Circular Quay area began in the 1950s when many of these buildings were replaced with new structures such as ICI House, Unilever House and the AMP Building.

    Transport services such as trains, ferries and trams were all established at Circular Quay throughout its history and the area is now a busy business district and centre for culture and tourism in Sydney.

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