Category Archives: Brisbane Back

Digitised @SLQ – iconic Black Friday poster

Black Firday

Iconic Black Friday Poster ‘Äustralia’ draws back the Queensland curtain to reveal the Black Friday strike of 1912

‘Australia’ draws back the Queensland curtain to reveal the Black Friday strike in 1912. This iconic poster by James Thomas Case has been digitised recently at SLQ.

The poster is a reproduction of Jim Case’s cartoon from the front page of the Worker. Case’s depiction of a shocked maiden, ‘Australia’, drawing back the Queensland curtain to reveal the police brutally clubbing Brisbane workers on ‘Black Friday’ during the 1912 general strike became a classic among Australian political cartoons,” according to the Australian Dictionary of Biography Online. The poster has the Queensland shield on top of the curtain and the Australia emblem hangs on her waist.

Interestingly, when the cartoon was first published in the Worker on 2 February 1912, ‘Australia’ was more scantily clad. The poster depicts different features of the woman, and a more conservative view of her bosom, perhaps showing the artist’s sense of humour, or with a view  to selling more posters and postcards that were reproduced from the original. Time and distance make it hard to know why the original was altered.

Original Black Friday cartoon from the Worker, 2 February 1912

Original Black Friday cartoon from the Worker, 2 February 1912

Case and his cartoons were renown for representing politics and industrial Labor in Queensland during a  radical time.  Case had a long history with the Worker and its affiliation with the Australian Labor Party.   A native Queenslander from Caboolture, he left school at the age of 14 to work in the machine room of the  Worker. Upon winning a cartoon contest at the paper in 1908, he became the resident artist and then chief cartoonist in 1909. His national reputation was made as a World War I anti-conscription cartoonist in 1916 and 1917. During the two referenda his work appeared in Labor and union papers throughout Australia.

Case’s many works can be found in the Worker, digitised by the State Library of Queensland and available in Trove.

C.Cottle – Digital Content Curator, State Library of Queensland

Sudden deluge swamps Brisbane – January 1941

Marooned in the bookmakers ring at Albion Park after a storm Brisbane, January 1941. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 66217

Marooned in the bookmaker's ring at Albion Park after a storm, Brisbane, January 1941

A sudden deluge hit the inner suburbs of Brisbane on the afternoon of January 18, 1941, in what the Sunday Mail described as “the fiercest one-hour storm in the city’s history”. The Weather Bureaus rain gauge recorded 336 points (85mm) in less than an hour. In the eastern suburb of Hawthorne, 604 points (153mm) was recorded on a private rain gauge.

Albion Park racetrack after a storm Brisbane January 1941. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg  66216

Albion Park racetrack after a storm Brisbane January 1941

Along with the usual havoc flooding in the inner city causes, the news reports of the day focused on the impact on Brisbanes many Saturday afternoon sporting activities. A cricket match between Queensland and Victoria at the Gabba was abandoned as the crowd huddling in the grandstand was treated instead to an exhibition of lightning, thunder, hail and heavy rain. The strong wind blew the Stanley Street sightboard from its supports, while outside the grounds the water level nearly reached the running boards of parked cars.

Soldiers enjoying a day at the races despite the storm at Albion Park Brisbane, January 1941. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 66218

Soldiers enjoying a day at the races despite the storm at Albion Park Brisbane, January 1941

Tragically, two golfers were struck by lightning near the seventh fairway of the Victoria Park golf course on the inner north side. The men had been sheltering under a tree at the time. One was killed instantly, while the other was lucky to escape serious injury. The ambulance sent to the scene was delayed due to flooding. At the Albion Park track, also in the inner north, horse racing was suspended for over an hour while the storm lasted. It seems the stewards considered it a point of honour to resume the meet if at all practicable, even though the Third Division races were run over a partially flooded track.

Myles Sinnamon – Project Coordinator, State Library of Queensland

Digitised @SLQ – Boer War Diary describes Queensland troop movement

Officers of the 5th Queensland Contingent taken on the day of their return, May 1902. Front row: Captain Dodds, Major Toll, Lieutenant Loynes -- Back row: Lieutenant G. Koch, S. Hunter, B.W. Cook, F.B.T. Koch. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 54984

Officers of the 5th Queensland Contingent taken on the day of their return, May 1902. Major Toll is sitting in the middle of the front row

A newly digitised Boer war diary of the 5th Queensland Imperial Bushmen by Major F.W. Toll shows “actual movements and marches of the unit whilst attached to Genl. Plumers’column” from April 1901 through May 1902.  It is  in the John Oxley Library as part of Collection OM84-11.

OM84-11 Major F W Toll Diary 1901-1902, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Troops arrive in South Africa, 1901

The Toll diary immediately transports one through time and space, providing priceless description of how troops arrived in South Africa and their activities for more than a year. Toll noted that troops from Queensland sailed into Port Elizabeth on 1 April 1901, where they were issued equipment and were entertained by ladies at Feather Market Hall. Horses were branded and sick men sent to hospital. The next day, troops moved out to Kroonstadt, with three trains needed for all the men and the horses. The diary continues through to May 1902, when the British declared victory,  and the Queensland troops’ work thus was finished.  They returned to Australia by ship, landed in Brisbane on the 7 May “with no bands to meet us” and dispersed.

OM84-11 Major F W Toll Diary 1901-1902, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Toll Diary excerpt

In addition to recording daily movement, Toll also provided a list of names at the back of the diary, as well as records detailing number of men killed in action, discharged and more. Follow Major Toll’s description of the troops’ activities by accessing the digitised content in One Search, State Library of Queensland’s catalogue.

C. Cottle – Digital Collections Curator, State Library of Queensland


80th anniversary – First women’s international cricket test match was played in Brisbane

Souvenir and official programme of the visit of the English Women Cricketers to Queensland 1934-35

Souvenir and official programme of the visit of the English Women Cricketers to Queensland 1934-35

On 28 December, 1934, Queensland hosted the very first women’s international cricket test match. This historic match, Australia vs England, was played at the Brisbane Exhibition Grounds over three days.

From their arrival by the Kyogle train on 20 December until they left on 1 January, the English team had a busy schedule, conducting radio interviews, a reception at the Town Hall and a dinner at the Belle-Vue Hotel. The team did have some free time to explore, including a specially arranged visit to Southport.

Visitors Itinerary from the souvenir programme

Visitors Itinerary from the souvenir programme

Visit to Southport by the English Women's Cricket Team - Courier Mail, 20 December 1934, p.16

Visit to Southport by the English Women's Cricket Team

A warm-up match between England and Queensland was played at the Brisbane Exhibition Grounds on 22 and 24 December. The visitors thrashed the locals by an innings and 41 runs.

Queensland women's cricket team, December 1934 - Sunday Mail, 16 December 1934, p.5

Queensland women's cricket team, December 1934

On 28 December, over three thousand curious spectators turned out on the first day of the test match. Australia batted first and were bowled out for 47 runs off 49.3 overs, with a very slow run rate of 0.94 runs per over. The Aussie side struggled against some of the English bowling attack and at one point there were 11 consecutive maiden overs. England followed with 154 runs, scoring slightly faster at 2.10 runs per over.

The Aussies fared slightly better in their second innings with a total of 138, leaving the visitors to chase 34 runs for victory. The England team easily compiled the necessary runs with 9 wickets to spare.

The State Library of Queensland is very fortunate to hold a souvenir and official program for the English cricket team’s visit to Queensland. The start of the program contains a welcome from the President of the Queensland Women’s Cricket Association, stating that although the Queensland association was not “strong numerically” and in its “infancy”, that their “enthusiasm [is] keen and sincere”. Within the program is an article titled “Women in sport”, which highlights the rights of women to compete in previously male dominated sports – “…the entry of women into cricket is but another instance of the modern girl’s challenge to the supremacy of the male”.

Two members of the English cricket team - taken from the souvenir programme

Two members of the English cricket team

The program also provides an overview and profile of each English player. For instance, J. Lidert – according to her brief bio- “May be called the Bohemian of the party, as she is an art student in London. When not wielding the brush or holding the palette she wields a flashing bat and is a useful change bowler.”

England eventually wrapped up the 1934/5 test series against Australia 2 nil. In a Sunday Mail interview with the England captain, Dot Waldron, she commented on Australia’s attitude towards the game of cricket – “Our aim is to play the game for the game’s sake, and give our opponents a good game. The trouble with Australians as a whole, is that you take the game too seriously”.

Kath Smith - Sunday Mail, 2 December 1934, p.9

Kath Smith - vice-captain and Queenslander

The Australian team featured one Queenslander, Kath Smith. Smith was the vice-captain and an all-rounder. Kath Smith top scored in the first innings with 25 runs. She was the only Australian player to reach double figures in that innings. In the second innings she scored 12 runs. Smith went on to play 6 tests in her career with a batting average of just under 28. She also has taken 13 wickets at an average of 31. Kath Smith continues to be a source of inspiration for Women’s Grade Cricket with the Kath Smith Medal awarded annually to the best and fairest women’s cricketer in first grade cricket.

Myles Sinnamon – Project Coordinator, State Library of Queensland

Queensland Government Steam Yacht Lucinda

Guest blogger: Jo Seccombe – Senior Reference Archivist, Queensland State Archives

150 years ago this month, the QGSY Lucinda steamed from Dumbarton, Scotland bound ultimately for Queensland. This extract from the Chief Engineer’s log records an estimated 80 tons of coal on board for the journey on 30 December 1884.

Extract from the logbook of the Queensland Government Steam Yacht Lucinda kept by the Chief Engineer on a voyage from Dumbarton towards Brisbane, 30 December 1884 - 2 January 1885. Queensland State Archives Digital Image ID 2788

Extract from the logbook of the Queensland Government Steam Yacht Lucinda kept by the Chief Engineer on a voyage from Dumbarton towards Brisbane, 30 December 1884 - 2 January 1885. Queensland State Archives Digital Image ID 2788

The QGSY Lucinda arrived in Brisbane on 7 May 1885. Named for Lady Jeannie Lucinda Musgrave, the second wife of the then Governor Sir Anthony Musgrave, the QGSY Lucinda was built for government business. A sad duty was when she helped to rescue passengers from the Pearl ferry disaster on the Brisbane River in 1896. A highlight of her service was accommodating the Constitution Committee during the drafting of the Australian Constitution, as documented in the caption of this photograph.

Queensland Government yacht Lucinda, Brisbane River. Queensland State Archives Digital Image ID 8326

Queensland Government yacht Lucinda, Brisbane River. Queensland State Archives Digital Image ID 8326

Read more about the officers who served on the QGSY Lucinda in the Register of public servants and the Queensland blue books held at Queensland State Archives. More detail about the voyages of the QGSY Lucinda can be found in the Log Books of QGSY Lucinda.

Building Costs for the Julius Street Flats at New Farm

Receipts for Julius Street Flats

In a year when there has been much interest in Queensland architecture and of house design and building costs in Brisbane. It is interesting to find a time capsule for the 1930’s in the State Library of Queensland’s collections. The Julius Street flats at New Farm, was heritage listed in 1997 and built by E.W. Mazlin and is a rare example of a group of highly intact 1930s flats /apartment buildings.

For a tantalizing look at construction costs of the past visit the State Library of Queensland to discover more about the social and economic history of a particular time. Through the collections of the John Oxley Library, it is possible to delve deep into the past and explore what life was like in a particular era.

The land in New Farm where the properties are located was originally part of a larger parcel for which a Deed of Grant was issued to John McConnell, in January 1845.

Julius Street, is a short and narrow cul-de-sac that is surrounded by a highly intact group of 1930s buildings, and as such is recognised as having a distinct sense of place.  They have considerable aesthetic significance as a highly intact group of 1930s flat buildings, designed in a range of fashionable styles favoured by architects of much of the more prestigious domestic housing in Brisbane during the interwar period.



The flats, consisting of seven properties comprising of Ardrossan, Green Gables, 5 Julius Street, Syncarpia, Ainslie, Pine Lodge, and Evelyn Court, are located fronting Julius Street.  They were constructed between 1934 and 1938 on a parcel of land that was subdivided in 1933 by Julius Rosenfeld, who had operated Rosenfeld’s Sawmill on the site from c.1924. The place is important in demonstrating the pattern of residential development in Brisbane, and in particular New Farm, between the wars.

This collection of material for the Julius Street build showcases the construction costs of the day but also a closer look at a more personal view.


Grocery receipt


Some other items of interest are the household accounts for Mr. Mazlins family, in the form of their grocery account for April 1943. This captures a glimpse of what was being purchased by this household during a time when there was shortages because of the Second World War and It is interesting to see the cost of such things as 50lbs of sugar at 16 shillings and 8 pence, 1lb currents 10 pence and 1 bar of kerosene soap at 8 pence.

This collection captures not only the cost of construction but the types of materials used and also the businesses from whom the materials were sources. There are beautifully presented art works on the stationary whether it is plumbing supplies or the new stove. All this material tells a story while capturing the essence of the day during a time of unrest in the world. This building was heritage listed in 1997 and

a full history can be found here.

To view this collection ask for the Julius Street Building, New Farm Records

Janette Garrad – Original Content Technician, State Library of Queensland


Ludwig Leichhardt III Visits The John Oxley Library

On Wednesday, 15th October, the John Oxley Library, had the pleasure of hosting a visit from Mr Ludwig Leichhardt from Berlin.  Ludwig Leichhardt III is the great-great-grand-nephew of the famous 19th century explorer and naturalist who disappeared in Australia in 1848.  Mr Leichhardt, a retired engineer, has been fascinated by his famous forebear since his teens and has written four books on the topic.  He last visited Australia in 1988 for Australia’s bicentenary, giving a speech about the renowned explorer at a University of N.S.W. conference to mark the 175th anniversary of Leichhardt’s birth.

Ludwig Leichhardt Lithograph, 1846. Acc: 6415

Mr Leichhardt’s visit to Southeast Queensland is an initiative of the Office of the German Honorary Consul to Queensland, Professor Michael Schultz, with the support of the German Australian Community Centre, Queensland, and marks the 170th anniversary of the start of Leichhardt’s great overland expedition from Moreton Bay to Port Essington in October 1844.  Mr Leichhardt’s programme included visits to the Royal Historical Society of Queensland, John Oxley Library and the Queensland Museum, to view collection items relating to his famous ancestor.  He also attended the German Unification Day reception in Brisbane and visited schools across Brisbane and the northern Gold Coast to speak with German students and their teachers.  The climax of the visit culminated on the 27th October at a reception given by the University of Queensland in honour of the visiting President of the German Parliament, Prof. Dr. Norbert Lammert.  The following day Mr Leichhardt and Dr Norbert attended a ceremony at Brisbane Airport where the newest Qantas Boeing 737-838 VH-XZO was named “Leichhardt”.

Whilst at the John Oxley Library Mr Leichhardt, accompanied by Royal Historical Society of Queensland President, Helen McMonagle, viewed significant Leichhardt collection items, including an 1839 letter written by Ludwig Leichhardt while he was a student in Paris, various rare Leichhardt maps and charts, and a lithograph portrait of Dr. Leichhardt.  As you can see there is an uncanny family resemblance between the two men.

Mr Ludwig Leichhardt viewing the 1839 Leichhardt letter which is currently on display in the Treasures Wall, John Oxley Library.


Mr Leichhardt in the John Oxley Library Reading Room viewing rare Leichhardt maps and charts.

The John Oxley Library holds a significant collection of Leichhardt material including maps, charts, published works relating to his explorations, biographies and photographs which may be located through our catalogue.

Lynn Meyers

Original Materials Librarian

Q ANZAC 100 Fellowships

On the 26th September, CEO and State Librarian Janette Wright announced four Fellowships as part of the Q ANZAC 100: Memories for a New Generation commemorations. The announcement was made at the Serving Country Forum.

State Librarian Janette Wright at the Serving Country Forum.

The four fellowships valued at $15,000 each are on offer in 2014 to fund research projects relating to Queensland’s role in, and experience of, World War One, both at home and abroad.

The fellowship program aims to uncover and explore the lesser known or untold stories, and foster new research, interpretations and knowledge about the Queensland experience of the First World War.

These fellowships are proudly supported by the Queensland Government.

For more information about these fellowships or to apply please visit the Q ANZAC 100: Memories for a New Generation website.

To view a recordings of the Serving Country Forum please visit State Library of Queensland’s webcast page.

Lara Shprem, Project Support, Queensland Memory.


The great and not so great fires of 1864

Guest Blogger: Susan Boulton – Queensland State Archives

Fire presented a grave risk to the timber-built shops which were commonly built in Brisbane 150 years ago. Three separate fires occurred in the centre of Brisbane city in 1864 and inquests held at Queensland State Archives provide details of the origin of the fires, property lost or destroyed and witness statements.

On 11 April 1864 the Queen Street business partnerships of Frazer and Buckland’s, R A & I Kingsford, Bulcocks and Fegan, and the one-man businesses of Mr Jost, Mr Berkley, Mr Mandell, Mr Keith, Mr Thomas and Mr Markwell were either damaged or destroyed. This fire was investigated by Coroner Justice James Wilson. The inquest file includes this plan of the damaged or destroyed buildings.

Plan of damaged or destroyed buildings

Plan of damaged or destroyed buildings

On 4 September, the second fire of 1864 was discovered by Constable Blake in Refuge-Row. Blake was on duty inEdward Street when he noticed a light in the shop know as the Little Wonder. The inquest held at Queensland State Archives records that Blake heard a crackling sound and raised the alarm. The Little Wonder, the business of Mr Francis Marriott, and the adjoining Bulcock’s vegetable store were destroyed. Sadly, Mr Marriott had relocated his book business after the April fire in Queen Street to Refuge-Row.

And what about the third fire in Brisbane? This fire began in Stewart and Hemmant’s drapery warehouse on 1 December 1864. It blazed through the centre of the city destroying many business and houses in Queen, Albert, George, and Elizabeth Streets.

Fire fighters in the 19th century would have relied on early maps such as Mckellar’s official map of Brisbane and suburbs to find and identify the buildings under threat in the 1864 fires. You can view these maps online in Image Queensland on the Queensland State Archives’ website here. You can also learn about the work of volunteer fire brigades including those who dowsed the flames in 1864 on our website at Fiery beginnings .

Newspapers of the day document that many of the store keepers and retailers impacted by the 1864 fires had insurance for their stock. In later years, insurance for the buildings was informed by risk rules and regulations such as those written by the Fire Underwriters’ Association of Queensland. You are welcome to visit Queensland State Archives to explore records relating to early Brisbane.

Forgotten Australians: Micah Pilot Oral History and Digital Story Project

“[f]ar from being simply complementary to each other, memory and history tell of very different relationships to the past than we can or do possess” – Dipesh Chakrabarty*

“In a room where people unanimously maintain a conspiracy of silence, one word of truth sounds like a pistol shot.” – Czesław Miłosz

This week marks Queensland Child Protection Week (7-13 September 2014) which seeks to promote the “value of children” and  highlight “issues of child abuse and neglect” in order to foster a network of support and create a framework around child protection across the State.

When we think about child protection, one of the major advancements in this area was around the acknowledgement of Forgotten Australians. It is timely then that a collection donated to us called the “Forgotten Australians: Micah Pilot Oral History and Digital Story Project” has recently gone live on the State Library on line catalogue.

This contemporary collection includes two oral histories and one digital story exploring the experience of individuals who identify as Forgotten Australians. The stories can be accessed here: link to the item.

The oral histories and digital story were recorded as part of a pilot project in 2011 for Micah Projects Inc and their Lotus Place Micah Projects Forgotten Australians Services. It was achieved in collaboration with Red Thread Stories, through a Forde Foundation grant.

The services provided for Forgotten Australians through Micah Projects are based at Lotus Place. Lotus place is a dedicated support service and resource centre for Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants.

Lotus Place, South Brisbane

The term, “Forgotten Australians”, refers to the more than 500,000 Australians who experienced institutional or out-of-home care for a number of reasons during childhood for most of the 20th Century. They include Indigenous children, non-Indigenous children and child migrants. Many of these children were the victims of abuse and assault as identified by the Senate inquiry into institutional care.

A page from The Lily Pad, Forgotten Australians Support Services Newsletter, Micah Projects Inc

Lily Pad

In their 2004 report, the Senate Community Affairs Committee explained that through their inquiry, they “…received hundreds of graphic and disturbing accounts about the treatment and care experienced by children in out-of-home care. Many care leavers showed immense courage in putting intensely personal life stories on the public record. Their stories outlined a litany of emotional, physical and sexual abuse, and often criminal physical and sexual assault. Their stories also told of neglect, humiliation and deprivation of food, education and healthcare. Such abuse and assault was widespread across institutions, across States and across the government, religious and other care providers.” (p xv)

Forgotten Australians: a report on Australians who experienced institutional or out-of-home care as children (2004), State Library of Queensland, Open Access, level 2, G 362.730994 2004.

Forgotten Australians Report

The library holds a hard copy of the report as well as the 1999 Queensland report (The Forde Report) into the Abuse of Children in Queensland Institutions and subsequent follow up reports.

Youth Justice Commemorative Artwork, Kurilpa Point, South Brisbane. Several commemorative memorials were established to recognise the experiences of former residents of Queensland institutions. This artwork, which is a short walk away from the State Library includes rosemary - which has been an emblem of love and symbol of remembrance for thousands of years.

Youth Justice Commemorative Artwork

The  powerful stories captured through this important Micah Pilot project reflect on these difficult histories. Participants in the project recounted their experiences from childhood into adult life with deep honesty and openness including their attendance at the Federal Government’s apology on 16 November 2009. This was when the Australian Government acknowledged and apologised for the experiences of Forgotten Australians, their treatment and ongoing trauma.

The State Library of Queensland holds a DVD copy of the apology and it can be viewed on site.

On 16 November 2009, then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, along with then opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull apologised to the Forgotten Australians on behalf of the Australian Federal Government.

Apology to the Forgotten Australians, Canberra 2009

The stories unearthed through the Micah Pilot project continue to add to the important record of these traumatic experiences as part of our understanding and reconciliation of the past. As a repository offering access to these histories, the State Library continues to provide an opportunity for the public to hear the voices of Queenslanders once forgotten.

As issues arise for Forgotten Australians in terms of identity and piecing together the past, records and other materials become an important component in that quest. The State Library provides a list with links to organisations holding records and to materials relating to orphanages, institutions and child migrants, to assist those attempting to locate such records.

At times, however, access to official records can be restricted. Thus other materials become important when people such as Forgotten Australians look for ways to reclaim their past. This excellent blog story by my colleague Brian Randall provides an example of such material.

Zenovia Pappas – Contemporary Collecting Coordinator, State Library of Queensland


Dipesh Chakrabarty, ‘Reconciliation and Its Historiography: Some Preliminary Thoughts’, The UTS Review, vol. 7, no. 1, 2001, pp. 9–10.