Sunday, April 25, 2010

Gunner Albert Morris and Eva Morris nee Nevin 1930s-40s

Albert Frederick Morris, born in Birmingham, UK in 1917 and known as Bert, married Eva Elizabeth Nevin (1917-2008), grand daughter of photographer Thomas and Elizabeth Nevin, in Melbourne, August 1935.

Albert Frederick Morris ca. 1942

Bert and Eva's flight from Hobart just weeks before their marriage was an elopement so worrying to Eva's parents Albert and Emily Nevin that they inserted this notice "MISSING GIRL" in the Mercury, June 24, 1935:

Eva Elizabeth Nevin, aged nearly 18, has been reported missing from her home, 23 Newdegate Street, North Hobart since Saturday evening. She is 5ft 5in. high, and is well built. She has dark eyes and complexion, and short curly dark hair. It is thought she may be wearing a black velvet dress, with patent leather shoes, and light stockings.
Three weeks later, on August 17, 1935, Eva and Bert married in East Melbourne. Bert was the only son of Mr and Mrs B. Morris, of Service Street, Hobart.

Left: Albert Morris with his mother ca 1917
Right: Mr B. Morris, Albert's father ca. 1930s
Copyright © KLW NFC Imprint Private Collection 2010 ARR

Eva and Bert Morris returned to Hobart briefly during the 1940s when Bert enlisted in the Army, but settled permanently in Melbourne soon after on Bert's discharge in 1943.

Above: Eva Morris (nee Nevin) and Bert Morris boarding the Zealandia for Sydney 1938
Speciality Studio, Piccadilly Arcade
Photos © KLW NFC Imprint Private Collection 2010 ARR

Albert Frederick Morris (1917-1997)
Gunner 110 Anti Tank Regiment 1942-1943
Photos © KLW NFC Imprint Private Collection 2010 ARR

Above: Albert F. Morris Service Records, National Archives of Australia and the Australian War Memorial

Above: Eva Morris (nee Nevin), in the doorway of the Murray Street Rooms Hobart 1940.

Above: Eva and Bert Morris, at war's end, ca. 1946.
All photos copyright © KLW NFC Imprint Private Collection 2010 ARR

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Colonists' Trip to Adventure Bay 1872

On February 2, 1872 Thomas J. Nevin placed an advertisement in The Mercury informing the public and visitors (tourists) that his photographs, taken on a Colonists' Trip down the River Derwent to Adventure Bay on the eastern side of Bruny Island, were ready and for sale.

Three extant photographs of the trip are held at the State Library of Tasmania, and although included in The [Samuel] Clifford Album and unattributed, each of the images below clearly depicts visitors to the landscape and was intended to provide a record of this 1872 trip. It was common practice to include a photographer on tours which promoted Tasmania's heritage. Commercial photographer H.H. Baily similarly recorded a group of visitors on a boat trip to Port Arthur in 1876 (Mercury 28 July 1876).

Samuel Clifford was a partner and lifelong friend who reprinted Nevin's commercial photographs on request from 1877 once Nevin became a full-time civil servant working with police in the prisons and courts as a photographer, while also keeper of the Hobart Town Hall (1876-1880; 1881-1886).. These photographs and numerous others at the State Library of Tasmania which are assumed to be by Clifford are in fact stereographs and cartes-de-visite taken by Nevin which Clifford reprinted since Nevin's civil service subsequently precluded commercial activity if not advantage.

STATE LIBRARY of TASMANIA catalogue notes
Title: Penguin Island & the Main, Adventure Bay
In: Tasmanian scenes P. 56, item 112
Publisher: [ca. 1873]
Description: 1 photograph : sepia toned ; 11 x 19 cm.
Format: [picture]. Photograph
ADRI: AUTAS001124075946
Source: W.L. Crowther Library
Notes: Title inscribed in ink below image ; date noted in pencil at lower right of image on album page ; item number noted in ink at centre left of image on album page.
Exact size 105 x 184 mm.
"Tasmanian scenes" also known as "Clifford album 1".

Advertisement in The Mercury, 2 February 1872

Feb. 2nd, 1872.

STATE LIBRARY of TASMANIA catalogue notes
Title: Adventure Bay where Capt Cook landed in 1771
In:T asmanian scenes P. 57, item 113
Photographs of Hobart and surroundings, Huon Valley and east towards Port Arthur [Pl. 53]
Publisher: [ca. 1873]
Description:1 photograph : sepia toned ; 11 x 19 cm.
Format: [picture]. Photograph
Source: W.L. Crowther Library
Notes: Title inscribed in ink below image ; date noted in pencil at lower right of image on album page ; item number noted in ink at centre left of image on album page.
Exact size 105 x 184 mm.
"Tasmanian scenes" also known as "Clifford album 1".

STATE LIBRARY of TASMANIA catalogue notes
Title: Passage between Penguin Island and Main, Adventure Bay
In: Tasmanian scenes P. 57, item 114
Publisher: [ca. 1873]
Description: 1 photograph : sepia toned ; 11 x 19 cm.
Format: [picture]. Photograph
ADRI: AUTAS001124075961
Source: W.L. Crowther Library
Notes: Title inscribed in ink below image ; date noted in pencil at lower right of image on album page ; item number noted in ink at centre left of image on album page.
Exact size 105 x 184 mm.
"Tasmanian scenes" also known as "Clifford album 1".

Abel Tasman attempted an unsuccessful entry to the bay during a storm in 1642, Captain Tobias Furneaux named it after his ship HMS Adventure in March 1773, after being separated from Captain James Cook during his second voyage in HMS Resolution in search of Terra Australis Incognita. It was later used as an anchorage by James Cook (HMS Resolution 1777), William Bligh (HMS Bounty 1788 and 1792 HMS Providence), Bruni d'Entrecasteaux (Recherché 1792 & 1792) and Nicolas Baudin (Géograph 1802). Matthew Flinders tried to enter the bay (Norfolk 1798). During the early 1800s it was the site of a whaling station, and during the 19th and 20th century it was used by the timber industry (Source: Wikipedia).

THE TRIP DOWN THE RIVER.- A photograph of the "Colonists' Trip" has been very well taken by Mr. Nevin, which will be of special interest to those who took part, and will probably like to secure this remembrance of so memorable event.
See also this article about the Regatta: notice in the Mercury, 1st February 1872.

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Sunday, April 4, 2010

A first-class faithful Likeness, February 1873


Woman posed sitting with bag and umbrella
Thomas J. Nevin's commercial studio stamp ca. 1871
Images courtesy Marcel Safier © 2006.

Small businesses in Tasmania were affected by an economic downturn in 1872, precipitated by excessive costs involved in railway construction, a decline in population, and corruption and nepotism within government. Photographers such as Cherry and Spurling were forced to the brink of bankruptcy. Others offered a reduction in prices "to suit the times" as Thomas Nevin put it, in this advertisement in The Mercury on 1st February, 1873:

From the Hobart Mercury, 1st February 1873


Returns his sincere thanks to his friends and the public for past favours, and having made a considerable Reduction in his Prices to suit the times, he solicits a continuance of their patronage, and invites attention to his circulars, showing particulars of the small cost for a first-class faithful Likeness.

Source: Hobart  Mercury, 1st February 1873

The colonial government offered contracts by tender to small businesses for the provision of goods and services to offset hard times. Personal friendships, mutual business support and Lodge affiliations ensured priority and preference. In Thomas Nevin's case, his family solicitor, Attorney-General W.R. Giblin, and his Loyal United Brothers membership played a key role in the offer to provide the Municipal and Territorial Police, and the Prisons Department with identification photographs of convicted criminals. "A first-class faithful likeness" is exactly what the police wanted of the prisoner and ex-convict population.

The date and wording of this advertisement, February 1873, heralds an importrant addition to Thomas Nevin's studio stamps designs, from the earlier commercial stamps which featured a kangaroo atop a leather belt encircling the words  T. Nevin, late A. Bock to this studio stamp with the full initials "T. J. Nevin", the use of "photographic artist" as a vocational term, together with the imprint of the government insiginia, the British Royal Arms featuring a lion and unicorn rampant that appeared on all Tasmanian colonial government documents in the 19th century. This was the stamp he used for commission as government contractor between 1872 and 1876 while still operating a commercial business from his studio in Elizabeth St.

Versos of the cartes below of prisoner James Mullins and William Smith
Photos copyright © KLW NFC 2010 ARR
Mitchell Library SLNSW (PXB 274)

The Royal Arms insignia was in use by T. J. Nevin on his studio stamp by February 1872, which he continued to use until 1876 when appointed full-time to the civil service as police photographer and Town Hall Office-keeper responsible for the Police Photo Books. From 1876-1880 his joint copyright on prisoner ID photographs ceased and so did the printing of his studio stamps on the verso of prisoner mugshots; the government owned his photographic work outright, and continued with the arrangement until 1886 while Nevin combined prison photography with duties as assistant bailiff serving warrants.

The two photographs of prisoners, James Mullins on left and William Smith on right, which bear T. J. Nevin's government contractor stamp with Hobart Supreme Court insignia.
Photos copyright © KLW NFC 2010 ARR
Mitchell Library SLNSW (PXB 274)

Notice of Mullens' sentence, two years hard labour,
Hobart Mercury 16 July 1875.

Prisoner James Mullins, also spelt Mullens aka Conlan or Leary, was sentenced for larceny 1875 and absconding 1876 from Hobart Gaol. His photo by Thomas Nevin (stamped verso), was taken on 16 July 1875 at the Hobart Gaol and held in the Mitchell Collection, State Library of NSW. Prisoner William Smith was photographed twice by Nevin on different occasions in 1874 and 1875. Both cartes bear Nevin's official Royal Arms stamp (QVMAG and Mitchell Library Collections).

The warrants circulated to gaols and police stations in the event of an absconder contained not only the original photographic image taken on the prisoner's incarceration while awaiting the criminal sessions, but also a physical description with details of features and colouring, no doubt supplied by Thomas Nevin from his face-to-face encounter with the man. Descriptions such as this one of prisoner Johnstone aka Bramall or Taylor were published in the weekly police gazettes, compiled at the Town Hall Municipal Police Office. This image of Johnstone aka Bramall and others (eg. Job Smith) was hand-coloured by Thomas Nevin or his assistants in the interests of realism and probably displayed in his shop window at 140 Elizabeth St. to aid the public in recognition. Colouring the eyes, hair, cheeks and prison issue neckerchief underscored Nevin's claim to render "a first-class faithful likeness" See this article here.

In the same issue of the Mercury, 1st February 1873, Thomas Nevin's patron, client and friend Samuel Page, who operated the Royal Mail coach between Hobart and Launceston, and transported prisoners from Launceston and regional lockups to the Hobart Gaol on government commission, also advertised a reduction in the price of fares to the general public. Like Thomas Nevin, who provided Samuel Page with commercial photographs of his coach and horses for advertising (examples held at the QVMAG), a reduction in prices was affordable for both because of government commissions.

Samuel Page 1 feb 1873 ad

On and after FRIDAY, 17th January
instant, the Fares will be REDUCED as under-
mentioned: -

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On board the "City of Hobart" 31st January 1872