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Centenary of the General Strike of 1912

30 January 2012 is the centenary of a general strike in Queensland which began with a Tramways Union dispute about the right to wear union badges and escalated quickly until at its peak up to 25,000 demonstrators and 50,000 supporters were involved.  This was at a time when the total population of Queensland was little over 636,000. 

A General Strike Photograph Album held by the John Oxley Library has compelling images of the strikers and their supporters.

Crowd gathered on a street in Brisbane during the General Strike, 1912. State Library of Queensland. Image number 10113-0001-0007
Crowd gathered on a street in Brisbane during the General Strike, 1912.
State Library of Queensland. Image number 10113-0001-0007

Women marching in a strike procession in Brisbane in 1912. State Library of Queensland. Image number 59436
Women marching in a strike procession in Brisbane in 1912.
State Library of Queensland. Image number 59436

Bushmen guarding essential foodstuff in William Street during the General Strike in Brisbane, 1912. State Library of Queensland. Image number 10113-0001-0011
Bushmen guarding essential foodstuff in William Street during the General Strike
in Brisbane, 1912. State Library of Queensland. Image number 10113-0001-0011

Black Friday Baton Charge

2 February 1912 became known as “Black Friday” or “Baton Friday” after mounted police baton charged a crowd of men, women and children and then chased them along George Street, Turbot Street and North Quay.  Many people were seriously injured.

This cartoon by Jim Chase became one of the best known illustrations of “Black Friday”.

Published in The Worker, 10 February 1912, p.12 - image taken from State Library of Queensland’s microfilm collection
Published in The Worker, 10 February 1912, p.12 – image taken from
State Library of Queensland’s microfilm collection

Further reading:

Unprecedented Scene: police act firmly, determined baton charges” as reported by the conservative Brisbane Courier, 3 February 1912

Black Friday’s Police Riots: what indignant citizens think”   A different viewpoint from The Worker, 17 February 1912

1912 Brisbane General Strike – Wikipedia article 

Centenary of the Tramways Dispute and Brisbane’s General Strike 1912

The big strikes, Queensland 1889-1965 [PDF ] (St Lucia, University of Queensland Press, 1983) p. 117-131

Joan Bruce, Queensland Literature Coordinator – State Library of Queensland

Posted in Brisbane, Collections | 4 Comments

4 comments

  1. I knew nothing about this – very interesting. They are compelling images, too. Does the library have further collections relating to strikes? I’m thinking of the industrial action in the early 1980s. Would be fascinating to hear more about the historyof industrial action in QLD.

  2. 2 bunches green onions, chopped with some green included. One big consideration is where you are
    going to store your boat and likely this will depend greatly on your budget.
    Those heated areas you make available are mighty tempting to them, and they know
    that human presence normally means an abundant, and readily available,
    source of food that they won’t need to work hard to find.

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New Accession: John A. Crawford Architectural Plans and Drawings

This week’s ‘New Accession’ story is not strictly about a new accession—it is about a very exciting collection of architectural plans and drawings recently discovered in our Sorting Room. So, this item could be called a ‘Sorting Room Backlog Story’ (Sorting Room Story No. 1–more to follow).

The collection dates to the 1930s and 1940s and it consists of architectural plans and some amusing sketches by Mr. John A. Crawford, an Engineering Consultant. Mr Crawford’s address in the 1940s was ‘Ingleneuk’, 55 Paradise Street (off Dauphin Tce), Highgate Hill, Brisbane.

Unfortunately, I don’t know much about John Crawford. However, I cannot help but wish that I had known the man who drew these:

Hangover chart:

Hangover Chart.JPG

Potto’s Patent Beer Pot:

Potto’s Patent Beer Pot.JPG

There are many plans relating to Crawfords’ house, the ‘Ingleneuk’, as well as plans for alterations; additions to the house; the garage; double gate; furniture, even a stainless steel tray:

“Ingleneuk”, Paradise Street, Highgate Hill.jpg Improvements to Ingleneuk.jpg Stainless steel tray.jpg

As I said, I haven’t been able to find out more about John Crawford, but from some of the drawings in the collection I gather that he was in the Scouts in the mid-1930s and that his group was called 1st Hamilton Scouts.

There is a drawing by John Crawford of an ‘Australian Boy Scouts’ Tent’ (1931). The tent required Japara silk, 15 3/8 brass eyes and some rope:

Australian Boy Scouts’ Tent (1931).jpg

1st Hamilton Troop undertook a hike from Blantyre to Gleneagle (Queensland) during Easter 1933. The map of the hike, drawn by Crawford, shows the names of the Scouters, as well as the orders for the hike and the 1st Hamilton Troop badge:

Hike from Blantyre to Gleneagle, Easter 1933.jpg Blantyre-to-Gleneagle-Scouters-and-Orders.jpg 1st-Hamilton-Troop.jpg

At Easter 1934, 1st Hamilton hiked to Villeneuve (Queensland) and camped there. We have a map of that expedition as well, complete with the names of the Scouters:

Camp-at-Villeneuve, Easter-1934.jpg Villeneuve-Camp-Participants.jpg

In February 1935, the representatives of the 1st Hamilton attended the Australian Jamboree. John Crawford drew a map of that camp:

Jamboree-Camp-Site-Layout, February-1935.jpg

On 30 May 1934, three patrols of the 1st Hamilton undertook a hunt for the Kelly Gang, recorded for posterity by John Crawford. Portraits of Dan, Ned and Joe Kelly are included:

1st-Hamilton-Hunting-for-the-Kelly-Gang.jpg The-Hunt-for-the-Kelly-Gang-by-the-1st-Hamilton, June-1934.jpg

Accession 28226 abounds in plans and drawings for sailing boats and sailing equipment. For want of more information about John Crawford, I can only assume that he was either a keen sailor or that his engineering practice included sailing-related projects.

Here are some examples of plans and drawings of sailing ships and equipment:

1st-Hamilton-Sea-Rovers-Boat-Shed-Plan.jpg Detail-of-a-plan-for-a-sailing-boat.jpg 

 Sail-plan-for-a-cruiser.jpg

Steering-wheel-for-a-boat.jpg Drawing-for-bronze-rudder-fittings.jpg

Veronika Farley, Librarian – State Library of Queensland

150 years ago in Brisbane: the evolution of the Queensland Museum

On Friday January 20, the Queensland Museum opened its doors again, several weeks after it closed for major renovations.  Just in time to celebrate the Museum’s sesquicentennial anniversary. Once again children and their families can visit the dinosaurs. However, this is not the first time in Brisbane’s history that we have been without a museum.

Once upon a time Brisbane had no museum. The newly created  colony of Queensland had a couple of  newspapers and a  newly created local council in Brisbane, but it was distinctly lacking in many other important things that we take for granted now. Much in the way  of infrastructure, for instance. And there was no museum. 

  Observatory (Windmill) on Wickham Terrace in Brisbane, Queensland. State Library of Queensland, image number: 4831-0001-0002 Queensland Museum in Brisbane, ca. 1879. State Library of Queensland, image number APU-049-0001-0014 Silvester Diggles. State Library of Queensland, image number 63784 Queensland Museum on Gregory Terrace, Brisbane. State Library of Queensland, negative number 203544

However, within a relatively short time, the citizens  of Brisbane did have a museum, even if it  was a small one.  On March 1, 1859, even before Queensland  became a separate colony, the Queensland Philosophical Society had been formed for scientific purposes. Prominent in the foundation of the Society were (among others)  Charles Coxen and Silvester Diggles, who remained actively involved in the Society and, subsequently, its Museum. On 20 January, 1862, a room of the Windmill (on Wickham Terrace, Spring Hill) became the home of the museum collection acquired by the Queensland Philosophical Society; the Government also made a grant of 100 pounds by way of financial assistance to the Society.  Karl Theodor Staiger was the first professional curator of the newly created Queensland Museum.

The fledgling Museum moved to the Parliamentary building in Queen Street in 1868, and three years later the Queensland government assumed primary responsibility for it. The Museum  was on the move again in 1873, when it was relocated to the old Post Office building.  By now a permanent, somewhat more adequate, home for the Queensland Museum had become highly desirable, not to mention urgent; in 1879 the permanent home became a reality. It moved into a dedicated building in William Street , which became part of the State Library’s history in 1899; the Public Library of Queensland   inherited the William Street building (then minus the extension and its mural) when the Queensland Museum moved again, this time to the Exhibition building. Where it remained for 86 years.    

The final change of address came in 1986, when Brisbane’s Cultural Centre complex became a reality. The following year the State Library moved out of the Queensland Museum’s old home to join the Museum on the South Bank.

 Trudy Bennett, Librarian – State Library of Queensland

Aboriginal boundary posts

Entrance to old Cumbooqueepa, the residence of Thomas Blacket Stephens, South Brisbane, ca. 1872. State Library of Queensland, negative no. 20289

The above image is of the entrance to old Cumbooqueepa, the residence of Thomas Blacket Stephens, South Brisbane. The photograph is from GS-66 William Boag Photograph Albums, held by the John Oxley Library.

I was shown this photograph 15 years ago by a good friend and SLQ colleague, the late Loris Williams. Not knowing which collection it came from, I have been trying to find it again ever since, and finally rediscovered it yesterday (18 January 2012). Loris told me that in Queensland white poles [marked in red] were placed in front of properties to inform Aboriginal people and police that Aboriginals were not allowed to venture further.  These poles were known as boundary posts.

Dr Ros Kid’s “Aboriginal History of the Princess Alexandra hospital site” (2000, p.17), provides further insight into the restriction of movements facing Moreton Bay Aborigines.

“During the last decades of the nineteenth century Aborigines were increasingly marginalised on their own lands. Although they were allowed into Brisbane town during the day, they had, since the early 1850s, been the targets of a curfew, which was enforced after 4pm and on Sundays. Rev Henry Stobart, who arrived in 1853, remarked that the blacks seem to leave this town at one regular hour each day, and one of the boundary posts was at Cumbequepa (Somerville House), South Brisbane. The major demarcation south of the river operated along Vulture and Boundary streets. Charles Melton wrote that police were empowered by regulation to drive them out of town at nightfall, but because police were so greatly outnumbered by Aborigines in the town the regulation was difficult to enforce. By 1877 it would appear the curfew was more efficiently applied. Recalling the forced expulsion of all Aboriginal men and women at sundown, one traveller wrote: After 4pm the mounted troopers used to ride about cracking stock-whips to notify the Aboriginals to get out. Those whose lands lay south of the river would have retreated beyond the town boundaries to the camping areas of Woolloongabba, Dutton Park, Fairfield, Annerley and the Coorparoo watercourses.”

These boundary posts are a sad reminder of the treatment of Aborigines in colonial Queensland.  Images of these boundary posts are rare and the reason for my search over the past fifteen years.

Tania Schafer, Librarian – State Library of Queensland
 

A brief history of Hotel LA (Lord Alfred Hotel), Petrie Terrace

The hotel was originally called The Prince Alfred Hotel and was probably named in honour of Queen Victoria’s son, Alfred. His Royal Highness, Prince Alfred toured Australia in the 1860’s. The original builder of the hotel was Robert Brady, who bought the corner block of land from John Dowling in September 1867, and took out a mortgage, for one hundred and fifty pounds. The original premises was a simple rectangular wooden building with a gable-end, and was presumably replaced by the present building around 1887-88 when Castlemaine Brewery bought the property. The two storied brick building with stone cellars was redeveloped and the bull nosed street awning and corner entrance were removed, as well as the upper verandah, cast iron balustrade, French doors and chimney stack.   The Prince Alfred was renamed in late 1988 (BHG 1989). I was unable to verify when the hotel’s name changed to “Hotel LA” as it is known today.

Prince Alfred Hotel, Brisbane, ca. 1929. State Library of Queensland, negative number 1873

Photo: Prince Alfred Hotel, Brisbane, ca. 1929. State Library of Queensland, negative number 1873

This information can be found in the collections of the John Oxley Library:-

  • Queensland Post Office Directories
  • Brisbane Hotels and Publicans Index 1842 – 1900.
  • Views of the Prince Alfred, P  647.94  vie (short history of the hotel) by Base Line Books
  • The Ups and Downs of the Petrie-Terrace Walk/Drive Heritage Tour / by (BHG) The Brisbane History Group, which is held in the John Oxley Library collection.

Recent donation: Zip memorabilia from Brisbane's alternative music and art scene

The State Library of Queensland embraces Brisbane’s alternative music and art culture

We are very excited to have received recently by donation a collection of Zip art and music packages and memorabilia from the private collection of Matt Mawson.
The Zip collective was formed in Brisbane in 1982 by Irene Luckus, John Willsteed, Terry Murphy, Matt Mawson and Tim Gruchy. Zip was active until 1986, producing video art, dance and other live performances. Zip was part of an active alternative music and art culture in Brisbane, and was prolific in its output. Zip was partially inspired by a worldwide interest in self-produced cassette music and postcard/booklet art. Packages were exchanged with like-minded artists all around the world. Zip was never intended to be a commercial enterprise. It was propelled by creative enthusiasm. The Zip tracks were all produced on home recording equipment and much of the printing was labour-intensive screenprinting.

The collection comprises the complete four music and art releases by the Zip collective – ZipStart, ZipTOO, ZipIII and Zip-Eye-Ear – as well as an album of correspondence and press clippings. Also included is a CD which contains all the music tracks as well as radio interviews and excerpts from a live performance.
This collection is a valuable addition to our collection of materials documenting Queensland’s cultural history.

Zip art and music packages and memorabilia - donated to the State Library of Queensland

I’m very interested in collecting material of significance to the cultural history of music in Queensland. If you have any items which you think might fall into this category, please get in touch with me.  All items acquired by the State Library are housed in ideal conditions for their long term preservation and use by current and future generations of Queenslanders.

Laurel Dingle
Queensland Music Coordinator
Ph: (07) 38407835
Email: laurel.dingle@slq.qld.gov.au

New Accession: Brisbane River Flood in January 2011 and The South Brisbane Sailing Club (Photographs taken by Mr Steve Fletcher)

Every afternoon, on my way home from work, I walk past The South Brisbane Sailing Club, situated at Orleigh Park in West End. As I look at the recently renovated clubhouse, I find it difficult to imagine that a year ago the building was affected by the flood, suffering a considerable damage.

A recent addition to the State Library’s Original Content collection documents a difficult period in the history of the Club—the month of January 2011.

A year ago, the Brisbane River flood caused damage to the clubhouse, with the disability access pontoon braking loose and floating down the river. The harm would have been much worse if volunteers hadn’t helped to save boats, memorabilia and other items from the clubhouse.

the-flood1.JPG    the-flood2.JPG

South Brisbane Sailing Club began its life in 1903, as the Victoria Sailing Club. Several years later, in 1906, the Club was reformed and continued to exist as the South Brisbane Sailing Club. In 1908 the Club had its rooms in Stanley Street, South Brisbane, with a very popular billiard table contributing funds to the Club’s revenue.

Sailing boats from the South Brisbane Sailing Club on the Brisbane River, off Orleigh Park, South Brisbane. State Library of Queensland, image number 41907

The clubhouse at Orleigh Park was officialy opened on 9 June 1956. In late January 1974, during the flood, the building narrowly escaped being washed away by the force of the river. Club members, some of whom had their own houses and businesses damaged by the flood, worked hard to save the boats and equipment and clean the mud from the clubhouse.

The Club’s attractive position in the park on the bend of the river unfortunately makes it vulnerable to extreme weather conditions, such as the 1974 and the 2011 floods.

The clubhouse has recently been renovated thanks to the financial help from the Queensland Government, Brisbane City Council, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Bank of Queensland and McDonalds, as well as the efforts of volunteers.

The South Brisbane Sailing Club is holding a ‘Relaunch Day’ on Saturday 21st January to mark the official re-opening of the Club after the flood. Everyone is welcome to join the members for a barbecue and a tour of the clubhouse.

References:

Helen Gregory, A century of sail: the South Brisbane Sailing Club 1903-2003

South Brisbane Sailing Club website: http://www.sbsc.org.au/

Veronika Farley, Librarian – State Library of Queensland 

Surf Life Saving

The Tweed Heads Surf and Life-Saving club was the first official Life Saving club in Queensland and was formed in 1909 to patrol the Greenmount Beach .   It was initiated in 1908 by Sydney dentist Harold Bennett who brought an old line and belt to Tweed Heads from New South Wales for the purpose of forming a life saving club.

The first recorded rescue was on February 21, 1909, when lifesavers used a lifesaving reel off Greenmount Beach to rescue four young women and a young man who had been swept away by a rip. The iconic Aussie image of the Australian lifesaver with the red and gold cap has been as much a part of the Austrian ethos as the digger’s slouch hat.  Queensland has 59 surf life saving clubs and in the 2010/2011 period recorded saving 3,610 lives on Queensland beaches.

Surf lifesavers at Burleigh Heads, ca. 1935 John Oxley Library Image number 93832

Kirra Surf Life Saving Club, Kirra Beach, ca. 1946.  John Oxley Library image number 203635

Surf lifesaving boat, Coolangatta, ca. 1933.  John Oxley Library image number 171167

If you’re spending New Year’s Day at the beach in 2012 have a terrific time…and remember to swim between the flags :)

Happy New Year from all of us at the John Oxley Library.

Karen Hind, Librarian – State Library of Queensland

Posted in Brisbane, Collections, Events | 1 Comment

One comment

  1. According to my records, the THS&LSC was formed after this recue on 21/2/1909, and was affiliated withe the RLSS of Qld, which had formed in 1905. Surf Life Saving Qld formed around 1930. The number of clubs (59), does not take into account 10 Life Saving Clubs that remain affiliated with RLSSQ, two of which patrol beaches.

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Happy Christmas from the John Oxley Library

It was a great pleasure today to read this Thankyou Card left for the librarians of the John Oxley Library from Susan Laverick of Geneva, Switzerland.

thankyou card Thankyou card

Susan had spent many hours with us in the John Oxley Library Reading Room going through our Rosa Caroline Praed Papers which include interesting items including correspondence from nineteenth century figures such as British PM William Gladstone, Oscar Wilde and Charles Parnell and Justin McCarthy, Irish politicians and advocates for Home Rule.

How enriching it is for us to learn so much from the interesting researchers who come to spend time in the John Oxley Library engaging with our collection.

To Susan and to all of the readers and researchers we have met through the year we wish you a safe and Happy Christmas.

Simon Farley – A/Exec Manager – Queensland Memory

State Library of Queensland

F.W.Nissen Pty Ltd Records and Photographs

F.W.Nissen business records, a photograph album of the interior of the family owned firm and catalogues are just part of a recent donation to Queensland Memory.

Frederick William Nissen started as a manufacturing jeweller in 1892 and established a workshop upstairs at 216 Queen St., Brisbane, with a retail outlet downstairs. Some years later, F.W.Nissen moved to 204 Queen Street and stayed there until the early 1920′s, when he purchased the building at 216 Queen Street. The business was then run from this premises by several more family members including L W R Nissen, Colin Nissen, Vida Irene Nissen and Wilhimina Ivy Nissen.

During the period 1910 to 1955, a substantial country business was developed throught extensive agreements with country town general stores and pharmacies. Up to 40,000 catalogues were printed and distributed. We hold a wonderful selection of these colourful catalogues.

The firm ceased trading in 1984.

The collection we hold includes a  photograph album with interior views of the retail business, some family photographs, correspondence, business records, colourful catalogues, stock cards, a memorandum of asssociation and gemmology certificates.

F.W. Nissen Pty Ltd colour catalogues

This collection may be viewed at the John Oxley Library, Accession No: 28209, Boxes 11048,16394 and 16397 and Boxes 16395 O/S A3; Box 16362 O/S; Box 16396 O/S A3

Patricia Parr, Retrospective Collecting Coordinator – State Library of Queensland