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95/166/1 Trolley and contents, metal/wood/plastic/leather/vinyl, assembled and used by Josef Cindric, Sydney, 1980-1992. Click to enlarge.

Trolley and contents, metal/wood/plastic/leather/vinyl, assembled and used by Josef Cindric, Sydney, 1980-1992

Made by Cindric, Joseph in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1980-1992.

Although the ‘trolley man’ Josef Cindric (1906-1994) was one of Sydney’s most visible street people, he remained a riddle. Forlorn, stoic and faceless, in his tattered old coat and helmet, he could be seen hunched over his peculiar trolley with a suitcase on top. For 30 years or more he trudged the same lonely path through the city crowds from Wynyard to Hyde Park and Museum Station, where he often slept.

Homeless people are among the most marginalised in written history and are rarely represen...

Summary

Object No.

95/166/1

Object Statement

Trolley and contents, metal/wood/plastic/leather/vinyl, assembled and used by Josef Cindric, Sydney, 1980-1992

Physical Description

Trolley and contents, Josef Cindric, metal/wood/plastic/leather/vinyl, Josef Cindric, Sydney, 1980-1992
Trolley chassis contains a metal trunk which sits on top with 2 bags placed on top. The trunk and bags contain a miscellany of rags, tools and clothes.
(-1) Trolley primarily consists of four wheels fixed to a metal chassis. It can be pushed by an inverted U-shaped metal handle to its rear. The rear pair of wheels are larger than the front pair.
(-2) Metal trunk in flaking red paint sits on top of the chassis.
(-3) Beige vinyl bag
(-4) Gladstone bag in leather.

Marks

none

Dimensions

Height

1070 mm

Width

610 mm

Depth

1030 mm

Production

Notes

Cindric put together, or made, several trolleys over the forty years he spent on the streets of Sydney. It is believed that a locksmith in the Circular Quay area sometimes helped him with repairs and modifications. This trolley is believed to have been built in the 1980s.

History

Notes

According to immigration records held by the National Archives, Josef Cindric was born in June 1906 in Yugoslavia. In 1942 he was sent to Germany and worked as a forced labourer for the remainder of the war years. After time in a refugee camp Cindric left Bremerhaven, Germany on the Charlton Sovereign in 1948, arriving in Sydney on 29 October that year. His nationality was given as Yugoslavia, and he was classified as a 'displaced person' or refugee.

Cindric's life in Australia was difficult. Cindric was illiterate when he left Germany and struggled to learn English. Immigration and police records reveal that he struggled to maintain employment and attracted real or imagined threats from other European refugees. In 1951 he was imprisoned for carrying a home-made pistol, ostensibly to protect himself from Ukrainian refugees working at the same factory. During the 1950s and 1960s he was imprisoned on at least three further occasions for vagrancy and related minor offenses. These records paint an affecting picture of a fearful loner, unjustly treated by harsh vagrancy laws.

By the late 1960s Cindric was a habitue of the Sydney CBD. Like most homeless people he slept mainly during the day (often in Hyde Park) because it was safer.

According to Father James Ware of St Patrick's Church, who officiated at Cindric's funeral and was one of the few people to converse at length with him, the trolley man had been a member of the Hitler Youth (or perhaps the Ustashe equivalent in Croatia) and his vagrancy was partly a response to the defeat of his political faith. [Eureka Street, Vol.4, n.10, 1994, p.23] This story sits oddly with Cindric's wartime experience as a forced labourer and the fact that he was already aged 27 when Hitler came to power. More credible is the claim that Cindric was haunted by the death of his wife and children during the War. Generally, Cindric was uncommunicative to the journalists and others who tried to learn his story; he made appointments to talk to a few, but these dates were not kept.

Cindric was admitted to the Bennelong Nursing Home, Ashfield during 1992. He died in November 1994 and was buried at Rookwood Necropolis.

Charles Pickett, Curator.

Source

Credit Line

Bennelong Nursing Home

Acquisition Date

22 June 1995

Cite this Object

Harvard

Trolley and contents, metal/wood/plastic/leather/vinyl, assembled and used by Josef Cindric, Sydney, 1980-1992 2019, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 21 July 2019, <https://ma.as/143429>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/143429 |title=Trolley and contents, metal/wood/plastic/leather/vinyl, assembled and used by Josef Cindric, Sydney, 1980-1992 |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=21 July 2019 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

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