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96/150/1-108 Postcard (1 of 809), photograph mechanical print, 'St Paul's C E Cleveland St Redfern', paper, Crown Studios, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1907. Click to enlarge.

Postcard 'St Paul's Church of England Cleveland St, Redfern'

This postcard is part of a collection made by Amy and Lindy Hall of West Maitland, New South Wales, between 1905 and 1925. Consisting of over 750 postcards, mainly of Australian and United Kingdom scenes, it was donated to the Museum by Cedric Bullard in the late 1960s. These postcards are among some of the earliest picture postcards produced by private companies in Australia. Even though the private printing of postcards was allowed in 1898, few were collected prior to the 1905 decision to divide the card, allowing a picture on the front and message and address on the back.

This change made it far more attractive to collect postcards and it is really from this date that Australian cards became part of the global trend of collecting and exchanging cards. The trend appears to have started during the Paris Universal Exhibition of 1889, but these postcards represent the hey-day of early collecting in Australia. The collection contains examples published by well-known Australian photographers such as the Falk, Crown and Kerry Studios along with rarer examples produced by amateurs.

Geoff Barker, Curatorial, December, 2012

Picture Postcards in Australia, 1898-1920, David Cook


Object No.


Object Statement

Postcard (1 of 809), photograph mechanical print, 'St Paul's C E Cleveland St Redfern', paper, Crown Studios, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1907

Physical Description

A postcard, photo mechanical print of St Paul's Church of England in Redfern. The front of the postcard features an image of a sandstone church with its bell tower covered in ivy. There is a wooden picket fence and grass in front of the church and a tree on the left hand side. In the bottom left of the image there is text in white ink reading 'ST. PAULS. C.E.' and on the right 'CLEVELAND St. REDFERN'. In the white border around the image there is a handwritten date in black ink from the sender in the centre bottom reading '1/9/07'.

On the reverse of the postcard there is a message to the recipient 'Mrs W. Hall' from her daughter Linda wishing her 'a peaceful / & happy birthday & / also very many / happy returns / of the day.'. Printed at bottom edge 'COPYRIGHT PUBLISHED BY THE CROWN STUDIOS, SYDNEY'. In the top right corner on the reverse there is a 1 pence New South Wales postage stamp in red featuring the New South Wales coat of arms. Postmarked possibly October 1907.



87 mm


137 mm



Crown Studios was situated on the corner of George and Market Streets. It was the largest photographic company in Sydney during the 1890s. In 1893-4, a time of severe economic depression, Crown studios was averaging fifty-five portrait sitters per day.

The studio employed between fifty-eight and eighty-two operators, assistants and artists and specialised in producing framed enlargements of portraits advertised as 'the very best adornment for the walls of our homes'.

With the introduction of gelatine bromide paper during the late 1880s, enlargements became much easier to produce. Many framed photographs of this period are enlargements of much earlier cartes de visite and cabinet portraits.

Crown Studios serviced both city and country clients, and they were noted for their mail order services. An advertisement from the Town and Country Journal, November 26, 1892 states:

"The patrons of the firm are not only to be found in New South Wales, but in adjoining provinces. The pictures have therefore to be carefully packed, and so well is this done that it is a rare thing for the firm to receive any complaints as to the condition of the picture when it arrives at its destination even though a large number of them have to be conveyed by coach or bullock team."

Proprietor of the Crown Studios, Mark Blow, was later to later become an office bearer in the association headed by Charles Kerry, [the] Employers of Professional Photographers of New South Wales.

Refs: Anne-Marie Willis, Picturing Australia: a history of photography in Australia, Sydney, Angus & Robertson, 1988 Alan Davies and Peter Stansbury, The Mechanical Eye in Australia: photography 1841-1900, Melbourne, Oxford University Press, 1985

Kathy Hackett, Photo Librarian
Photo of the Day blog, October 18, 2011



This postcard was sent to Mrs William Hall, West Maitland, New South Wales, Australia in 1907.

Cite this Object


Postcard 'St Paul's Church of England Cleveland St, Redfern' 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 21 April 2021, <https://ma.as/426997>


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