Flinders’ map of Port Phillip Bay

Because everybody loves a good map.

Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria and Matthew Flinders who drew the original in 1802, this shows the coast of Victoria from Cape Otway to Cape Laptrap.

Cape Otway to Cape Laptrap - Matthew Flinders

The Sydney Gazette reported the death of Matthew Flinders thus, over a year after his death in England and via a Calcutta Gazette.  Not exactly a fitting way to remember the man responsible for mapping the continent.

From among the accounts of Europe Deaths we extract the following from a Calcutta Gazette:—Cap. MATTHEW FLINDERS, of the Royal Navy; greatly lamented by his Family and Friends.  This Gentleman’s fate, has been hard as it has been eventful.  Under the direction of The Admiralty, he sailed upon a Voyage of Discover to Terra Australis, where, after prosecuting successfully the purposes of his voyage, he had the misfortune to run upon a coral rock, and lose his ship; out of the wreck he constructed a small vessel that carried him to the Mauritius, where, shocking to relate, instead of being received with kindness, as is the practice of civilized nations to nautical discoverers, he was put in prison by the Governor, De Caen, and confined for six years and a half, which brought upon him maladies that have hastened his death. Fortunately for mankind and his own fame, he survived a few days the finishing of the printing of the account of his voyage.

Mrs Lawrence is a foreigner

Perth’s Daily Mail reported the visit of D H Lawrence to Western Australia as he and his wife Frieda were en route to the east coast.  Here’s one approach on how to make mention of an accompanying spouse.   Daily Mail – 22 May 1922

DH Lawrence in WA 1922

picture palaces: Imperial Picture Pavilion in Lutwyche

This is the Imperial Picture Pavilion at Lutwyche in Brisbane – photo by F W Theil – copyright expired.

Imperial Picture Pavilion at Lutwyche in the Brisbane Queensland

John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland Neg: 115450

On Friday 1 April 1922 Brisbane residents could have made their way by the Kedron Park tram or car (plenty of standing room for motors) to this cinema to see the silent film “Humoresque”.  This pavilion of moving pictures provided room under cover for 1500 people.

Lutwyche Humoresque

Musical accompaniment to the film was provided by Mrs Lambert Knight on piano and Miss Allen on violin.  There’s a review of the film here at Cinema Becomes Her by Allison McCulloch.  Not to be confused with the 1946 version (with sound and colour) starring Joan Crawford and John Garfield.


predictions: olive trees will grow well in Western Queensland

RGSQ - JP Thomson - CM 17 April 1940

At the bottom of this Courier Mail par (17 April 1940) about a meeting of The Royal Geographical Society of Queensland, there’s a mention of a lantern lecture by Mr D A O’Brien.  He predicted that Charleville in Western Queensland could become one of the greatest olive-growing centres in the world.

Yes – they are growing olives in Charleville today. Watch out world!

from floor covering to art form

From the Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser of 7 October 1865 is a comprehensive article on linoleum – its characteristics and manufacture – a year after Frederick Walton established the Linoleum Manufacturing Company.  I’m guessing that Frederick couldn’t have imagined the artistic opportunities that he opened up with oxidising linseed oil.

Linoleum manufacture

These paper samples of linoluem design are held by The Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. Their story is attached to Museum’s record.

Powerhouse Museum - linoluem design samples 1927-1930

Linoleum as a floor covering provided opportunities for designers and artists to create a wide range of patterns to go underfoot.  Decades later, lino cutting emerged as a craft then an art form.

From Wikipedia, here’s a great example of modern lino cut work from Irena Sibley – When the Sun Took the Colours Away – 1992.  Creative Commons Attribution.

Irena Sibley-SunTookColoursAway

Ida Rentoul – illustrator

Ida Rentoul Outhwaite was an illustrator whose work graced galleries as well as children’s books and poetry written by her equally creative sister Annie Rentoul and others.  Fairies, witches and ethereal scenes were her stock in trade.  There’s a summary of her illustrative work here at ortakales.com.


Fairy Music

Ida exhibited often in Europe during the 1920s. This photo from The Age – 10 Feb 1925 is of Ida and her husband returning to Australia on the SS Ormonde.

Ida Rentoul

photo per sharpesonline.com

photo per sharpesonline.com

game, set and match – tennis courts for factory employees

In 1924 the Reilly Advertising Company created a series of images – seen here in lantern slide form – to promote Bryant and May’s, match manufacturers, as a model factory.  The factory began its life in 1909 as reported in the Sydney Morning Herald of 24 February.

Bryant and Mays to start - SMH 1909

From the collection of the State Library of Victoria, all of the slide images are out of copyright.  C M Abbot is the accredited slide maker.

The On My Doorstep website provides some background to the philosophy behind the running of the Melbourne factory (now a heritage building).

The former Bryant and May Industrial Complex is of historical significance as a rare surviving example of model factory conditions and amenities. The complex was run as a model factory and reflected the Quaker principles of the original English founders. Evidence of the amenities provided for its workers such as the tennis courts and dining room is still substantial. One of the first industrial nurses in Australia was employed at the factory from 1922.

Bryant and May's - by night a beacon

Bryant and May's basket ball ground
Bryant and May's employee tennis courts

Bryant and May's palais de danse