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McDonald truss bridges in Galston Gorge NSW

Date: 1894-1909
Medium: Emulsion on glass
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Bruce Stannard
Object Name: Glass plate negative
Object No: 00002367
Place Manufactured:Hornsby

User Terms

    This image depicts the McDonald truss bridges built at Pearces Creek in Galston Gorge in 1893. The bridges were completed in 1894 and served as a crossing between Galston and Hornsby Heights. The bridge in the foreground is Berowra Creek Bridge and was replaced in 1937. The smaller of the two bridges, in the background bridge, is Pearce's Creek Bridge, still exists today and has been listed on The Heritage and Conservation Register. The Roads and Maritime Services determined that the bridge holds 'State significance' and is thought to be 'the only timber truss road bridge in NSW to survive with its original style deck still in use.'
    SignificanceThe Hall collection provides an important pictorial record of recreational boating in Sydney Harbour, from the 1890s to the 1930s – from large racing and cruising yachts, to the many and varied skiffs jostling on the harbour, to the new phenomenon of motor boating in the early twentieth century. The collection also includes images of the many spectators and crowds who followed the sailing races.

    This image belongs to a series of photographs probably taken on the Hawkesbury River by William Frederick Hall between 1880 and 1909.
    HistoryThe McDonald truss bridges in Galston Gorge were built in response to pressure from the rural community to provide a safer link for river crossings. These particular bridges were built to shorten the distance to market for fruit growers in the Galston area.

    Timber truss road bridges were built in New South Wales from the 1860s as a result of the steel shortage and availability of good quality hardwood. These bridges formed an important role in the rural trade industry and enabled the safe transportation of goods across the region. The Roads and Maritime Services have determined that the bridge is:

    '...a relic of the NSW government's policies of the late nineteenth century which focussed on the provision of access to land areas to facilitate increased production and trade throughout the state. It is also important as part of a road that was an important link between the Great North Road and the Pacific Highway which expedited the movement of goods and provided flexibility in road movements that ultimately helped to service Sydney.'

    William Frederick Hall, formerly a butcher from England, became a well-known photographer whose photographic career in Sydney spanned a number of decades. He was a fingerprint expert at Long Bay Gaol and set up a photographic studio in Sydney in 1890. He and his wife, Caroline Asimus, had a son William James Hall (1877–1951), who followed his father's lead and became a photographer.

    Although neither the father nor the son were sailors, both developed a keen interest in sailing and sailing craft. During the late 1880s and early 1890s William Frederick Hall documented the weekend sailors and yachts of Sydney Harbour. William James Hall took over the tradition until the early 1930s capturing photographs from his motor boat.

    A number of photographic studios were established by William F Hall and William J Hall. Known at different times as Hall studio, Hall & Co, W F Hall and Hall W the businesses were located variously at 7 Castlereagh Street, 39, 44 and 70 Hunter Street, 91 Phillip Street and 21 Blight Street in Sydney city from 1890 onwards.
    Additional Titles

    Primary title: BRIDGES AND LANDSCAPE

    Web title: McDonald truss bridges in Galston Gorge NSW

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