On the 21 September 1922 an eclipse of the sun passed across the centre of Australia providing optimum conditions for observations. This photograph was taken by one of the members of the Wallal Eclipse expedition in Western Australia.
In it we can see the unloading of stores which was supervised by the Australian naval party under Commander Quick. The shallow nature of the approach to Wallal meant the boats were anchored three or four miles from the high-water line and the stores, after being brought to shore, were transported by donkey wagons to the observation site. This activity took three days to finish being finally completed on September 1.
Two vessels were used for the last part of the journey from Broome to Wallal. While most of the equipment and men were stowed aboard the 80 ton schooner Gwendolen the rest of the group were guests on board the steamer Governor Musgrave which towed the smaller vessel to her destination.
For further information see the attached Powerhouse Theme, 'Australian Eclipse expedition to Wallal, Western Australia, 1922'.
Geoff Barker, Curatorial, October 2008
Campbell, W. W., 'The Total Eclipse of the Sun, September 21, 1922', Astronomical Society of the Pacific, provided by the NASA Astrophysics Data System, May 2008
Evershed, J., 'Report of the Indian Eclipse Expedition to Wallal, West Australia', Kodaikanal Observatory, Bulletin, number LXI