Archive for the ‘Paper (unbacked)’ Category

Elsie Ross’ Album




Elsie Ross

This album was left with Mary Shaw on the death of her cousin Elsie Ross. Growing up, Elsie Ross was just “Auntie Elsie” who usually turned up for Christmas meals. I don’t think anybody except Mary knew exactly how she was related to us. I’ve since worked out that she was my “first cousin three times removed”, her mother being the sister of my great grandfather, Thomas Mitchell Hale.

Elsie’s mother died in 1939, twenty years after her father. Her only sibling, Roy, had died in the Great War so I guess it was to be close to her cousins that she returned to Victoria from Tasmania in the 1940s. Besides my great aunts she had other cousins but I’m not sure how much she saw of them. My memories of her blur a little into those of the other real and assumed aunts but I do remember being a little spoiled by her as a very young boy.

This album is small and contains only a few photos and some of these were inserted by Mary later. There’s Elsie with her mother, Elsie as a child and the snap on the left from the 40s, maybe on her return to Melbourne. Apart from these there’s a set six photos that seem to have been taken while on a picnic around 1900. Elsie is in some but the names of the other subjects can only be guessed at. It does seem strange that there is no portrait of her father or brother and I have to wonder if these few photos are all that remain of a larger set.


Elsie and her mother



Above is Elsie with her mother, Elizabeth Hannah Ross (nee Hale). It was taken about 1885, most likely at the Piper Street Kyneton studio of photographer William Hordle Smith. The photo below is also by Smith, now in Mollison Street, and from Elsie’s age would have been taken about 1890.

More portraits by W. H. Smith can be found at the State Library of Victoria and also a group shot of the Kyneton Angling Club. Maybe Elsie’s father is in this group. As the local undertaker operating near Smith in the Kyneton High Street it is at least a possibility.





Picnic – Early 1900s

The rest of the photos in Elsie’s album seem to be amateur shots taken all on the same day. They are printed on very thin paper and are now extremely brittle. There are no captions.

Below is a group at the base of some river falls. I can only guess that this is close by Kyneton where the family were living until 1916. The Campaspe River runs through Kyneton but doesn’t seem to have much in the way of similar features. A couple of miles to the southwest of Kyneton is the Coliban River and on it are a number of dams. I’m guessing that this shot was taken somewhere near there prior to the construction of the reservoirs, on a quick read early last century.

Group at the Falls

Group at the Falls

Just left of centre in this detail from the photo above there is a photographer with his camera and wooden tripod.


With some minor variations this group below appears in all except the last of the rest of the photos. I think it is Elsie in the foreground with the white ribbon on her hat. I would put her age at mid to late teens and the photo 1900 to 1905. The ring on her finger is a mystery.

So who are the others? Is it possible that the older man and woman are her mother and father who would have been 54 and 60 in 1900? Try as I might I can’t see her mother from the 1885 photo as the older woman here. Could the man with moustache and glasses be brother Roy? Born in 1888 Roy would have only been 15 in 1903. Maybe the photo was taken later? Or is this Elsie with a beau and his family?

Look closely at the photos and you will see what looks like a box camera near the billy in front of the older man. Note also the fur around the shoulders of the younger man. Leather bound books can be seen front left of the third photo. In the second last Elsie and the young man can just be seen sitting in the grass on the other side of the dam. A water pipe crosses the top of the hill in the last photo.












The Rest of Lavinia’s Red Album

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Lavinia’s Red Album

This post is really just tidying up loose ends. I started this blog to share the photographs and identify the subjects in a set of Shaw family albums. Lavinia Shaw’s red album was my starting point. The photos in it include portraits from the 1860s and 1870s, groups from the 1880s, and some commercial prints from about the same time. The last few pages of the album are filled with newspaper cuttings and so as to give the feel of the complete album I’ve added some of them here.


Above is just one of about a dozen pages of newspaper cuttings. Lavinia seemed drawn especially to photographs of Victoria, Yorkshire and the royals. Romantic scenes are by far the most common but in the bottom right corner a touch of the “modern” creeps in with the traffic. Plenty of clues but still not sure where it was taken.

Single Cutting – 1920s?

What was it about this picture?

Single Cutting – 1930s?

And to finish this album …..

Written by hrog

March 22, 2013 at 5:12 pm

Bought Ones (Scotland)

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The last of the commercial prints or postcards in Lavinia‘s album are these four of scenes around Edinburgh. Olive Shaw in 1962 said that Lavinia’s father had a trip overseas probably to Scotland in about 1891 or 1892 “with wife, Eileen and Olive plus Effie, Eva and nurse” and another with youngest daughter Ailsa in about 1897 but it is unclear whether Lavinia accompanied them on either. Whatever the case, these postcards are likely from one of those trips.

The initials “J.V.” on three of the prints indicate that they were by the studio of James Valentine, one of the most prolific commercial photographers operating in Scotland at that time. The other with initials “G.W.W” would be from the studio of his largest competitor, George Washington Wilson (no relation to Margaret as far as I can determine).


The Chancel, Rosslyn Chapel

The Chancel, Rosslyn Chapel

James Valentine studio (1880s?)


Melrose Abbey

Melrose Abbey

James Valentine studio (1880s?)


Dryburgh Abbey

Dryburgh Abbey

James Valentine studio (1880s?)


“Linlithgow Palace”

Linlithgow Palace

George Washington Wilson studio (1880s?)

Not “Old Hiawatha”

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Most of the photos in Lavinia‘s album were taken at “Old Hiawatha” or at least in or even before its time. Apart from the “postcards” a few from a slightly later time have found their way into the album. The family moved in the late 1880s to a “new” Hiawatha in Brighton where they stayed for a few years before most of them moved on to Perth.

“Chevy Chase”

“Chevy Chase”, home of the Binnie family, was an almost identical house next door to the new Hiawatha. This and the following photo may have been taken by John Binnie or maybe even Herbert Shaw.

“Entrance Hiawatha”

“Chevy Chase” and “Hiawatha” both fronted Hampton Street. Lavinia wrote below it “Entrance Hiawatha” and later Mary Shaw added “Hampton St Brighton”.


In 1900 my great grandparents Herbert Shaw and Caroline Hale married. Herbert was in Perth for some years before but the two had known each other since at least the early 1890s. This is Caroline’s home Segovia in Auburn Road Hawthorn and on the verandah can be seen Caroline, her sister Annie Bertha, her father and step-mother.

“Hale’s Auburn Road”

Life in the early 90s doesn’t look so hard. Here is a mix of Shaws, Hales and others at “Segovia”. I tried a couple of years ago to identify the subjects here but still have some doubts. I have the girl at the< back left as Effie Shaw but she looks to be the same person as in the photo below and Mary Shaw has her as Lavinia.

“Moss Lea Hay St Perth”

“Moss Lea” in Hay (then Howick) Street, home of the Shaws in the 1890s. Lavinia’s caption is above and Mary Shaw later added “Lavinia Shaw and Olive and Eileen Shaw ?1893” and a second copy of this photo has the caption “Dec 1895”.

“SS Helen at Mildura Wharf”

This is the only Mildura photo in this album. A better copy of it appears with a number of other Mildura photographs is in one of Herbert Shaw‘s albums and I’ve taken the SS Helen caption from that. It quite possibly was taken by Herbert. His initials, scratched onto glass negatives, are visible on two or three other prints and many years ago his daughter’s garden shed contained some of his glass negatives, unfortunately now long gone.

Herbert’s album has a few scenes of early Mildura but so far I’ve been unable to find a connection to the family. Most of them are of and around the building of the Mildura Coffee Palace and maybe that’s the connection. I’ve come across a number of hints that his father was involved in the temperance movement and the spread of these pub replacements in the 1890s (Alfred might be impressed by Melbourne’s current glut of coffee outlets but maybe not by the 24 hour alcohol trading).

I put a few Mildura references here a few years back but maybe I’ll try a bit harder to find the connection in a future post.

“Old Hiawatha” again.

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More from Lavinia Shaw‘s album showing some different aspects of ““Old Hiawatha”” from c1884.

“Garden from the Balcony”

“Garden from the Balcony”

A view west from the front balcony. The fountain can be seen to the right and between the trees on the left is probably the house on the other side of William Street shown on block 14 of the 1873 Vardy plan. The house has long since gone and that part of the block now hosts a children’s playground next to the Grosvenor St railway bridge. Looking closely at the photo, behind the house the railway embankment with some houses behind can just be made out.

In the garden are five women and Alfred Henry Shaw on th efar right. The women standing to the left of the seat looks like Margaret Shaw.



“The Drive Hiawatha”

A so far unidentified woman,, Arthur, Effie and Eva in the driveway with the house behind. As far as I can work out the driveway ran north west from the house and around the fountain garden to William Street.


“Lovers Walk”

“Lovers Walk Hiawatha”

From the left Lavinia, Effie and Eva. Is this the path on the left of the front balcony shot above?




A view from the northern side verandah looking over the orchard gate which framed a number of group shots from previous posts. The back corner of the paddock is probably the corner of Vardy Plan blocks 22, 23 and 29 and I’m guessing the two storey building just visible behind that corner is the now demolished “Kilwinning” formerly at 1 Balaclava Rd (block 25 on the Vardy Plan). This was the home of James Service, premier of Victoria 1880 and 1883-1886.

If you look closely you can see a girl out amongst the cows – not sure which one.


“The Cows”

“The Cows”

I’m not sure where this is but Lavinia refers to “The Cows” which suggests somewhere in the paddock to the rear of the house although the trees and fence don’t look much like those in the paddock scene from the verandah.


“Arthur and the Cows”

“Arthur and the Cows”

Arthur with a different breed of cow to those in the last photo. Are these the outbuildings behind the house in the MMBW plan?




Bought Ones (Tasmania Part 3)

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As well as the Launceston area prints posted previously Lavinia Shaw‘s album has these of Hobart and Mount Wellington.

While searching for a bit more on the locations I came across a series of wobbly stereoscopic images of similar Mount Wellington scenes. Not really directly relevant but here’s a link anyway.


“The Ploughed fields Mount Wellington”

The Ploughed Field on Mount Wellington

probably Samuel Clifford (1880s?)

Although the angle is ever so slightly different the one above is very much like this one by Samuel Clifford held by the Tasmanian State Library described as:

Title: The Ploughed Field on Mt Wellington
In: Tasmanian scenes P. 7
Publisher: [ca. 1873]
Description: 1 photograph : sepia toned ; 11 x 19 cm
Format: Photograph
ADRI: AUTAS001124850322
Source: W.L. Crowther Library
Notes: Title inscribed in ink below image ; date noted in pencil at lower right of image on album page
Exact size 104 x 183 mm
“Tasmanian scenes” also known as “Clifford album 3”
Subjects: Rocks – Tasmania – Photographs
Hobart (Tas.) – History – 1851-1901 – Photographs
Other creators: Clifford, Samuel, 1827-1890
Variant title: Clifford album. 3

Samuel Cifford was a close associate of well known Tasmanian photographer Thomas Nevin.


“The Bower Mount Wellington”

Fern Tree Bower Mount Wellington

Unknown (1880s?)

There are many similar contemporary shots but I could find no other copy of this print. This one seems to have been taken shortly after mine – note the missing and broken ferns.


“Falls below Mount Wellington”

Silver Falls, Fern Tree Bower, Mount Wellington

Unknown (1880s?)

This one is unsigned and I can find no other copy but it is very much like this one attributed to Stephen Spurling 2nd in the National Gallery of Canada described as:

Silver Falls, Fern Tree Bower, Mount Wellington
Stephen Spurling, Attributed to
c. 1870-1899
17.9 x 23 cm
albumen silver print
Gift of Donald C. Thom, Ottawa, 1980
National Gallery of Canada (no. 33447)

The Tasmanian State Library has a few a few similar prints.


“Hobart Tasmania”

Part of a Hobart Panorama

Henry Hall Baily c1870

The University of Tasmania identifies this as the left side of a panorama described as: “Photograph from the collection of James Backhouse Walker of a view of Hobart looking towards the Eastern Shore. The panorama has been taken from Mr. Roberts’ garden with various shrubs and a Norfolk Island pine in the foreground. Henry Hall Baily is the photographer. He had studios in Elizabeth and Liverpool Streets Hobart from 1865 until 1918.”

Written by hrog

January 21, 2013 at 11:24 am

Bought Ones (Tasmania Part 2)

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Apart from the four Spurling prints of the last post, Lavinia Shaw‘s album included three more scenes from the Launceston area.


“Cataract Falls Launceston”

Cataract Falls from First Basin

William Cawston (1880s?)

The stamp on the lower right identifies the photographer as William Cawston. This can be seen more clearly on another print from the same negative held by the Tasmanian State Library and described as follows:

Title: Falls from First Basin
In: Tasmanian scenery (Cawston) P. 18
Publisher: [18–]
Description: 1 photograph : sepia toned ; 16 x 21 cm
Format: Photograph
ADRI: AUTAS001124850983
Source: W.L. Crowther Library
Notes: Title inscribed in pencil below image ; undated
Exact size 155 x 208 mm
Subjects: Waterfalls – Tasmania – Launceston – Photographs
Gorges – Tasmania – Launceston – Photographs
Rocks – Tasmania – Photographs
Cataract Gorge (Launceston, Tas.) – History – 1851-1901 – Photographs
Other creators: Cawston, W. fl. 1863-1891. (William),
Variant title: Cawston album

A short biography of William Cawston can be found here.



First Basin, Cataract Falls

Unknown (1880s?)

A similar photo in the Tasmanian State Library identifies the place but the photographer remains unknown.


“The Devil’s Punch Bowl Launceston”

Devil’s Punch Bowl

William Cawston (1880s?)

Another print held by the Tasmanian State Library identifies the photographer:

Title: Devils Punch Bowl, Pen Quite
In: Tasmanian scenery (Cawston) P. 11
Publisher: [18–]
Description: 1 photograph : sepia toned ; 16 x 21 cm
Format: Photograph
ADRI: AUTAS001124850926
Source: W.L. Crowther Library
Notes: Title inscribed in pencil below image ; undated
Exact size 154 x 210 mm
Subjects: Rocks – Tasmania – Photographs
Waterfalls – Tasmania – Launceston – Photographs
Punchbowl (Launceston, Tas.) – History – 1851-1901 – Photographs
Kings Meadows Rivulet (Launceston, Tas.) – History – 1851-1901 – Photographs
Other creators: Cawston, W. fl. 1863-1891. (William),
Variant title: Cawston album

As far as I can work out this was taken near what is now the Punchbowl Reserve in what is now the southern suburbs of Launceston. I was unable to locate the falls exactly or establish whether they still look similar.

Written by hrog

January 21, 2013 at 10:06 am

Dudgeon & Arnell

Melbourne Tobacco Manafacturer