The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences acknowledges Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land and gives respect to the Elders – past and present – and through them to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are advised that the MAAS website contains a range of Indigenous Cultural Material. This includes artworks, artifacts, images and recordings of people who may have passed away, and other objects which may be culturally sensitive.
95/239/9 Photographic print, mounted on card, meteorological instruments in the grounds of the Sydney Observatory, paper / albumen emulsion, photographer Charles Bayliss, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1880-1900. Click to enlarge.

Sydney Observatory meteorological instruments by Charles Bayliss

Photographed
By the end of the nineteenth century the Sydney Observatory had embarked on several major photographic projects. By this period the advances of astronomy by the aid of photography were numerous: the moon was first photographed in 1840; in 1850 a star; in 1854 a solar eclipse; in 1872 the spectrum of a star, in 1880 a nebula; in 1881 a comet; in 1897 the spectrum of a meteor; and in 1898 a stellar occultation of the moon.

Russell understood the significant role photography was beginning to play in astronomy and one of his first photographic projects was to organise the New South Wales contingent of observers for the 1874 Transit of Venus. Photography was also integral to the second major international project Russell was involved in. This was the mapping of the stars in the southern section of the heavens using photography. Planning for this began in 1887 and started in 1890 after which it continued to play a major role in the activities at Sydney Observatory up until the 1960s.

Starting in the 1890s Russell also began taking detailed photographs of the moon and meteorological events which occurred in Sydney. From around the same period photography began to be used by Russell to document the building, and its instruments.

All of these activities suggest Russell placed a high degree of importance on the use of photography at the observatory. The resulting images remain significant documents of the scientific uses of photography by some of Australia's early scientists. Many are rare records of the instruments used at the observatory and the layout and fabric of the building itself. Others are also significant because they were taken by some of the leading photographers of the day.

This rare photograph shows a range of meteorological instruments in the grounds of the Sydney Observatory. The photograph was taken by Charles Bayliss, one of Australia's most famous nineteenth century photographers, who was known for his eye for detail when it came to creating his photographs.

Bayliss was commissioned to do a number of photographs for Sydney Observatory. Given the experience of the observatory's staff with photographic processes they must have had a high regard for this commercial photographer's work.

Geoff Barker, Assistant Curator, Total Asset Management Project, January 2008

References
Bhathal, R., Australian Astronomer; John Tebbutt, Kangaroo Press, Kenthurst, NSW, 1993
Haynes, Raymond, Haynes, Roslynn, Malin, David, McGee, Richard, Explorers of the Southern Sky, Cambridge University Press, 1996
Nangle, J., 'The Sydney Observatory; its history and work, Sydney Technical College, 1930
Todd, David, P., Stars and Telescopes, Sampson Low, Marston, and Co., 1900

Summary

Object No.

95/239/9

Object Statement

Photographic print, mounted on card, meteorological instruments in the grounds of the Sydney Observatory, paper / albumen emulsion, photographer Charles Bayliss, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1880-1900

Physical Description

Photographic print, mounted on card, meteorological instruments in the grounds of the Sydney Observatory, paper / albumen emulsion, photographer Charles Bayliss, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1880-1900

An albumen print, mounted on card, showing meteorological instruments on the lawn of Sydney Observatory. Instruments included in the image the evaporation tank, the solar thermometer, wind gauge and rain gauges.

Marks

Embossed on lower left hand corner of print 'C. BAYLISS PHOTO/ SYDNEY'.

Dimensions

Height

227 mm

Width

175 mm

Source

Credit Line

Gift of Dr Lucy Crowley, 1995

Acquisition Date

6 September 1995

Cite this Object

Harvard

Sydney Observatory meteorological instruments by Charles Bayliss 2020, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 24 September 2020, <https://ma.as/146318>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/146318 |title=Sydney Observatory meteorological instruments by Charles Bayliss |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=24 September 2020 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}