Inside the Collection

Tag: australian history

Julia Johnston – a sassy first generation colonial gal

January 27, 2016

Rebecca Evans
Frocks may seem rather innocuous but dress was essential in the creation of colonial Australia. In the 19th century, appropriate attire was a marker of respectability and an expression of status, wealth and beliefs.

Florence Broadhurst’s Fabulous Foils

July 28, 2015

Anne-Marie Van de Ven
From the mid 19th century, wallpapers used in Australia had predominantly been imported from Britain, but also from France, Canada and America. In 1959, Florence Broadhurst decided to buck the trend.

Australia and the Industrial Revolution – driving the first trains

February 13, 2015

Margaret Simpson
We've known for a long time that William Sixsmith drove the first train in New South Wales but we didn't know that much about him other than his important role during the construction, testing and operation of the first line from Sydney to Parramatta in 1855.

Wirth’s Circus — musical beginnings

December 3, 2014

Peter Cox
Johannes Wirth (1835-1880) was a young immigrant from Bavaria who arrived in Australia in 1855 with his three younger brothers. They were musicians who performed as a German brass band. Johannes took to the life of an itinerant gold seeker, travelling with his wife and infants, following rush after rush to the gold fields, all the way from southern Victoria to the north of Queensland.

Farewell Gough Whitlam (1916- 2014)

October 21, 2014

Anni Turnbull
Former Prime Minister of Australia, Gough Whitlam led Australia through a period of massive social change from 1972 to 1975 before his ousting by governor-general Sir John Kerr. The photograph above was taken in 1975 at a land hand back ceremony for the Gurindji people in the Northern Territory.

History repeats itself with the new rail link at Castle Hill

October 20, 2014

Anni Turnbull
When people from the Hills District catch the new North West Rail Link in 2019 it will not be the first time a railway has come through the area. In 1901 construction began on a tramline that ran between Parramatta and Baulkham Hills with the primary purpose of carrying fruit and goods, as the Hills District was well-known for its plentiful orchards.

Mechanisation of road building – 1920 steam tip wagon

October 6, 2014

Margaret Simpson
In the early decades of the twentieth century steam-powered vehicles including traction engines, steam wagons, road locomotives, road rollers and steam fire engines were a common sight on Australian roads.

Ultimo on the edge

July 21, 2014

Charles Pickett
The Powerhouse is located in what is now the densest suburb in Australia. With 14,300 people per square kilometre Pyrmont/Ultimo packs more residents into less space than any suburb or town in the nation.

Inspired by the Museum’s collection- creating a gold rush dress

May 7, 2014

Nicole Balmer
  It was gold rush day at my daughter’s school. One of the most exciting days of her year – damper making, tent building and gold panning – all without even leaving the playground.  The most exciting part though was the chance to dress up.