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85/1284-2135 Glass negative, half plate, 'View of Myall River at Bulahdelah', depicting bridge and court house at Bulahdelah, silver gelatin, made by Kerry and Co, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, c. 1892-1917, part of Tyrrell Collection. Click to enlarge.

Photograph of bridge over Myall River, Bulahdelah, NSW

Made
This photograph, from a glass plate negative, shows the timber truss bridge over the Myall River at Bulahdelah located 35 km north of Nelson Bay, NSW, north of Sydney.

Over 1,000 people assembled to witness the opening of the bridge at 4 pm on Thursday, 28 July 1892, said to be the largest gathering ever seen in the district even though the population of the town at the time was only about 300.

The bridge was profusely covered with bunting and ferns, the town decorated, the local children …

Summary

Object No.

85/1284-2135

Object Statement

Glass negative, half plate, 'View of Myall River at Bulahdelah', depicting bridge and court house at Bulahdelah, silver gelatin, made by Kerry and Co, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, c. 1892-1917, part of Tyrrell Collection

Physical Description

Silver gelatin dry plate glass negative in landscape format. The image depicts the Myall River at Bulahdelah in New South Wales. Crossing the Myall River at Bulahdelah is depicted in the centre of the image. Timber logs can be seen on the river bank on the southern side of the bridge. The Myall River and its river banks are depicted in the foreground of the image. A person in a row boat can be seen on the river and wooden jettys can be seen on the river banks. The land around the river is predominantly cleared. The background of the image depicts the township of Buladelah. The court house can be seen in the background in the centre of the image. A two-storey verandahed building can be seen in the background on the left side of the image. The caption, studio number and studio mark are inscribed on the reverse of the negative.

62/18 Tyrrell Inventory Number, 419 Kerry Studio Number

Marks

Caption, studio number and studio mark on plate emulsion verso lower centre, inscribed by hand in reverse print in ink 'VIEW OF MYALL RIVER AT BULLADELAH 419 K & CO' [sic].
Inscription in plate emulsion verso lower left corner, scratched by hand '41'.

Dimensions

Width

165 mm

Production

Notes

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
Tyrrell, James, Australian Aboriginal and South Sea Islands Implements, Weapons and Curios, James Tyrrell, Sydney, 1929

History

Notes

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.

A further 2,500 Kerry & Co. negatives are held in the Macleay Museum at the University of Sydney, although these do not appear to have been acquired from Charles Kerry and Co. by Tyrrell.

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
Tyrrell, James, Australian Aboriginal and South Sea Islands Implements, Weapons and Curios, James Tyrrell, Sydney, 1929

Cite this Object

Harvard

Photograph of bridge over Myall River, Bulahdelah, NSW 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 25 May 2022, <https://ma.as/28797>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/28797 |title=Photograph of bridge over Myall River, Bulahdelah, NSW |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=25 May 2022 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}