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88/289-468 Photographic glass plate negative, Clyde Pavilion Royal Easter Show, traction engines and ferris wheel near Clyde display, Clyde Engineering Pty Ltd, Australia, 1898-1909. Click to enlarge.

Photograph of Clyde Pavilion Royal Easter Show

Made in Australia, Oceania, 1898-1909.

This is a photograph of the Clyde Pavilion at the Sydney Royal Easter Show taken at Moore Park in the inner City between 1898 and 1909. This pavilion housed products made by the large Australian firm Clyde Engineering Co. Ltd of Granville, a Sydney suburb. Clyde Engineering made agricultural machinery, engineering equipment, and railway rolling stock during the first half of the twentieth century.

For the Clyde Engineering Company, the Sydney Royal Easter Show was an important promotional event...

Summary

Object No.

88/289-468

Object Statement

Photographic glass plate negative, Clyde Pavilion Royal Easter Show, traction engines and ferris wheel near Clyde display, Clyde Engineering Pty Ltd, Australia, 1898-1909

Physical Description

A rectangular black and white silver gelatin glass plate negative in portrait format. The image depicts the Clyde pavilion at the Royal Australian Showground at Moore Park, depicting land roller, windmill, hay baler, horse works with two Fowler traction engines and ferris wheel in background.

Dimensions

Height

215 mm

Width

164 mm

Depth

1.5 mm

Production

Made

Australia, Oceania 1898-1909

Notes

Email correspondence to Museum (Murray Stokes, 5 November 2019):
"Have you noticed the flag flying singly on the flagpole in these two pictures? (88/289-468 and 88/289-1357) It is the new Flag of Australia which was first flown in the second half of 1901. Since the Sydney Show was at Easter time, the earliest possible date for these two photographs is 1902."

The Clyde Engineering Company photograph collection is made up of around 1300 half plate glass negatives and approximately 4000 triacetate negatives.

The triacetate collection appears to date from the late 1930s through to 1960s the glass plates from around 1900-1950. Most of the photographs are commissioned works taken around the Clyde Works in Granville, Sydney. Others are copies of original photographic prints, blueprints and pages from books. These are hard to accurately date it is almost certain that the collection is the work of numerous photographers; unfortunately their identity is at present unknown.

Glass plates were first used to support photographic emulsions in the late 1840s and remained in continuous use right through until the middle of the twentieth century. While the earliest plates supported 'dry' and 'wet' collodion emulsions these were replaced with silver gelatin emulsions in the 1880s. Unlike earlier plates these were mass produced on a huge scale and were capable of fast speeds even at half and full plate sizes.

One drawback of this process was that larger plate sizes required a correspondingly large camera to fit the plate. These were relatively cumbersome and when you take into consideration the weight of the glass plates it is no surprise to find they were mainly used for studio and commercial work. However they were still favoured by many professionals for a long time after roll film was introduced by Kodak in the late 1880s. This was because the large plates could be more easily worked on for masking and their contact prints provided better results than some of the early enlarging equipment

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

References
Gernsheim, H. and Gernsheim A., The History of Photography from the Earliest Use of the Camera Obscura in the Eleventh Century up to 1914. London, New York: Oxford University Press, 1955.

History

Notes

The Clyde Engineering Company photograph collection was acquired by the Powerhouse Museum in December 1987. The material was removed from Clyde Engineering when the offices were being relocated and appears to be only a portion of the original collection. Around 1350 half plate glass negatives and approximately 4000 triacetate negatives came to the Museum at this time.

The triacetate collection is made up predominantly of copies of blueprints and plans of machinery dating from the late 1940s through to 1960s. These subjects may have referred to actual work carried out by Clyde but material appears to have also been used for research and copied directly from books. In 2007 the triacetate negatives were placed into cold storage while waiting to be catalogued. In the same year the glass plates were catalogued and digitised as a part of the Total Asset Management Project for the Museum's collection database and website and for Picture Australia.

The subject matter contained in the half plate glass negatives covers over 60 years of the Clyde Engineering Company's activities in New South Wales. It starts in the 1880s when the company was still called Hudson Brothers and goes through to the late 1940s. Most of these images were taken at the Clyde Works in Granville, Sydney, New South Wales and many include interior and exterior images of the people and workshops at Clyde Engineering and on the banks of the Duck River.

Some appear to have been commissioned to record the completion of particular Clyde projects such as locomotives, boilers and agricultural equipment at the Clyde works. A few have been photographed in other locations such as the aircraft photographs taken at Bankstown Airport and some works photographed after delivery.

A few photographs are copies of original photographic prints, blueprints and pages from books and these are hard to accurately date. As most of the original negatives were taken over a long time period it is almost certain the photographs are the work of numerous photographers, unfortunately their identity is at present unknown.

Some of the negatives have appeared in a Clyde booklet published for the delegates of the 'Seventh Congress of the Chamber of Commerce of the British Empire in 1909' and a Clyde booklet held by the museum which was published around 1945. These publications and the fact that some of the negatives have been masked make it clear that the while the photographers were cataloguing the accomplishments of the company they were also creating content used to advertise and promote the company's products.

Two photographers who did photographic work for Clyde from the 1960s onwards were Charles French of 87 Yarram Street, Lidcombe in New South Wales and Jack Draper an employee and photographer employed by Clyde Engineering around the same period.

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

Cite this Object

Harvard

Photograph of Clyde Pavilion Royal Easter Show 2019, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 11 December 2019, <https://ma.as/373401>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/373401 |title=Photograph of Clyde Pavilion Royal Easter Show |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=11 December 2019 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

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