From The Illustrated Sydney News – 16 September 1876
This street photograph reflects another time when dressing up for a visit to the big smoke was essential. My best guess as to the year this family photo was taken is 1938. If that’s right, the child (turning 80 in a few weeks time) is 5 years old. She may have been younger than that, especially if the ticket inspector was working on their train as they travelled from country New South Wales to Sydney.
In April 1941, the Sydney Morning Herald reported on a licensing plan for photographers on city streets.
The City Council will shortly consider proposals for the licensing of street photographers and also a request from the Professional Photographers’ Association of New South Wales that the taking of photographs in Sydney streets be prohibited. The Town Clerk, Mr Hendy has prepared for the City Council a memorandum setting out the case for each of the opposing interests without making any recommendation to the council.
Mr. Hendy states that street photography first came officially under the notice of the City Council in 1928, and since then has progressed to such an extent that it can now be regarded as unauthorised street trading. In fairness to the operators, he says that little street littering now takes place. This was formerly the main objection, as cards handed to pedestrians were generally flung on to the streets.
Since 1928 there have been 2,272 prosecutions of street photographers for breaches of the City Council regulations. Mr. Hendy says that fines have failed to stop street photography, despite the fact that some offenders have been put in gaol for not paying penalties. [……]
Read more here: Sydney Morning Herald (15 April 1941)
In 1945, Miss Yvonne Terry was still able to work as a street photographer at Circular Quay. The West Australian – 4 December 1945.
The photographer who snapped my family members on the street was obviously of good character as the picture ended up in the possession of the subjects. Not so for another as quipped in Column 8 on 2 October 1950.
The plan included explanations and references, for instance:
Macquarie Street [named after the Governor just 10 months after he took office]
– The easternmost street in the town, and extending in a southerly direction from the Government Domain to Hyde Park.
York Street (previously Barrack Street)
– Extends from the Barracks, in a southerly direction to the Burying-ground, parallel with George Street.
Prince Street (previously Windmill Row)
– Extending from Charlotte Square and the Government Stone Windmill in a northerly direction towards Dawes Point.
Explanations and references to all City of Sydney street names are available through the City of Sydney’s historian, Shirley Fitzgerald who has compiled a spreadsheet which is freely available here for download. The spreadsheet includes information on streets (such as Prince Street) which no longer exist.
“Variously Prince/Princes, renamed by Macquarie in 1810. As the most important street in the area, it was named for the Prince of Wales. Previously Windmill Row ‘between Charlotte Sq and government stone windmill northerly to Dawes Point’. Removed for construction of the Harbour Bridge. Now beneath the Bradfield Hwy.”
Courtesy of Google maps, here’s what some of those 1810 streets look like in 2011.