Marking time in February 2018
A lantern slide of the Old Museum Building
I have recently acquired five nineteenth-century lantern slides of Queensland subjects published by the Scottish firm of George Washington Wilson and Co Ltd.
My favourite is this one, of the Exhibition Buildings in Brisbane. It is the earliest good-quality photograph of the building I know of. I have just started work on updating the conservation management plan for this building, so getting this photo is a treat.
The photo shows the building soon after it was completed for the Queensland National Agricultural and Industrial Association. The architect G H M Addison’s design is shown off, with its contrasting red and cream brickwork and its striking towers and domes. I am not sure who to blame for the plain wooden sheds that contain the entry turnstiles, but I doubt these were designed by Mr Addison.
The picture was taken on a whole-plate glass negative by the Scottish photographer Fred Hardie, who was sent to Australia in 1892 by the G W Wilson company to record the landscapes, industries, towns and people of the colonies. He took photographs in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia which were sold in various printed formats as well as lantern slides. I am delighted that the original negative survives in the University of Aberdeen’s George Washington Wilson Collection.