Farming hands loading wheat bags

Made by Kerry, Charles H in Australia, Oceania, c. 1884-1917.

This photographic negative was probably taken by George Bell who worked for the Sydney based company of Charles Kerry and Co. George Bell was employed by the Sydney firm of Kerry and Co. in 1890, and the work he produced over the following ten years, stands amongst the best of this period. Bell’s pictures transcended hackneyed journalistic records of people and places, and his best photos, contain a lyrical quality, at odds with the demands of journalistic realism. Between 1890 and 1900 Bell, no...

Summary

85/1284-115
Silver gelatin dry plate glass negative in landscape format. The caption, studio number and studio mark are inscribed on the reverse of the negative. The image shows men loading bags of wheat onto the tray of a wagon in a paddock. A bag loader attached to the side of the wagon is in operation. The loader is attached to the horse. As it is led forward the loader swings through an arc and the wheat sack is thrown onto the wagon. In the background are three hay stacks and another wagon.

48/8 Tyrrell Inventory Number, 191 Kerry Studio Number

Dimensions

215 mm

Production

Charles Kerry was born in 1858 and by 1885 was running a studio in partnership with C. D. Jones. This partnership lasted until 1892, when Charles became sole owner and changed the studio's name to Kerry and Co.

By 1890 the company was employing a number of photographers who would become famous in their own right. George Bell who covered rural New South Wales was employed in 1890 and Harold Bradley was doing outdoor work and covering events around Sydney by 1899.

Kerry continued to work in the field and in 1895 he took photographs of Royal National Park for New South Wales Government, photographed Queensland artesian bores and was employed by the New South Wales Government to travel the state and photograph Indigenous Australians. In 1897 Kerry led the first party to reach the summit of Mt Kosciuszko in winter conditions and photographed the Jenolan caves.

By 1900 Kerry had turned his studio into one of the largest and most respected photographic establishments in the colony. His new four story premises at 310 George St were designed by the architect H. C. Kent and the third floor studios alone could accommodate 70 people wanting their portraits taken.

In 1913 Kerry retired leaving the running of the studio to his nephew, unfortunately the business did not do well and Kerry and Co. closed its doors in 1917. Kerry himself died in 1928.

Geoff Barker, Curatorial, January, 2009

References
Newton, Gael, Shades of Light; Photography and Australia 1839 - 1988, Australian National Gallery, Canberra, 1988
David, Millar, Charles Kerry's Federation Australia, Sydney, David Ell Press, 1981
Tyrell, James, Australian Aboriginal and South Sea Islands Implements, Weapons and Curios, James Tyrell, Sydney, 1929
Kerry, Charles H c. 1884-1917

History

This photographic negative is one of 2900 Kerry & Co. photographs in the Powerhouse Museum's 'Tyrrell Collection' once owned by Sydney bookseller, James Tyrrell. Almost all of these negatives are 21.5 x 20.3 cm (10 x 8 inch) glass plates and many of those now held by the Powerhouse Museum collection would have been used to create postcards. In addition to the Kerry & Co. Studio images, the Tyrrell Collection at the Powerhouse Museum includes glass plate negatives published by Henry King and a number of other negatives by unattributed photographers

James Tyrrell used the images by Kerry & Co. and Henry King to produce his own booklets and views of New South Wales but although full of iconic Australian images, the collection does not appear to have been fully utilised by Tyrrell.

In 1980 the collection was purchased by Australian Consolidated Press who published a limited series of 2000 contact prints from the collection. Housed in boxes copies of these were given to the State Library of New South Wales and the Macleay Museum at the University of Sydney.

In 1985 Australian Consolidated Press donated the collection to the Powerhouse keeping a set of copy prints for themselves. The collection at this time consisted of 7,903 glass plate negatives and 7,916 contact positive prints. Of these 493 glass plates were damaged but usable and 13 plates totally broken.

A further 2,500 Kerry & Co. negatives are held in the Macleay Museum at the University of Sydney.
Geoff Barker, Curatorial, November 2008

References
Newton, Gael, Shades of Light; Photography and Australia 1839 - 1988, Australian National Gallery, Canberra, 1988
David, Millar, Charles Kerry's Federation Australia, Sydney, David Ell Press, 1981
Tyrell, James, Australian Aboriginal and South Sea Islands Implements, Weapons and Curios, James Tyrell, Sydney, 1929
Valdon, 'Our Artistic Workers; Mr. George Bell', Australian Photographic Journal, Volume 17, Number 199, December 21, 1908
Australian Consolidated Press

Cite this Object

Farming hands loading wheat bags 2017, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 24 June 2017, <https://ma.as/27702>
{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/27702 |title=Farming hands loading wheat bags |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=24 June 2017 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
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