Friday, October 30, 2015

Nevin's coal mine stereograph for Messrs Sims and Stops


Detail: Stereograph of coal mine operation, Kangaroo Valley, 1870s
Photographer: Thos Nevin, New Town (stamped verso).
TMAG Collection Ref: Q16826.11.

1871: Messrs Noble and Smart defrauded
From the notice below, which appeared in the Mercury, February 1871, it would seem that inferior coal or pit refuse from abandoned pits was being sold to the public as the property of the New Town coal mines owned by Messrs Noble and Smart. The fraud included falsified weigh-bridge tickets.

Fraudulent Imposition: Noble and Smart advertisement
Mercury, 4 February 1871

1873-4: Tasmanian coal taken to London
The former Commandant at Port Arthur, James Boyd, incumbent to the position prior to the appointment of A.H. Boyd (who was NOT a photographer), had left Tasmania by the 29th December 1873 on the barque Ethel, bound for England (per The Mercury, 29 Dec 1873). On board were specimens of Tasmanian coal, minerals, blue gum and other specimens of Eucalyptus of interest to the British Royal Colonial Institute. The Ethel was due to arrive in England on April 4th, 1874.

State Library of Victoria
Barque Ethel ca, 1873, New Wharf, Hobart, Tasmania
Identifier(s): Accession no(s) H91.108/2316; H99.220/773
Alan Green Collection Shipping Photographs in Picture Collection.

The Mercury, 8 May 1874
Extract from mail received from the Royal Colonial Institute


"... through the exertions of the corresponding secretary of the Institute in Tasmania - Mr Hugh Munro Hull - a valuable contribution to the museum has been despatched from that colony, consisting of specimens of its coal ...
"It will be remembered that Mr. and Mrs. [James] Boyd, late Commandant of Port Arthur, were passengers by the Ethel."
The year 1874 was a busy one for Thomas Nevin. He was under contract to the Municipal Police Office and Prisons Department to provide mugshots of prisoners received and discharged at the Hobart Gaol for the MPO registers, photo books and police gazettes at the Town Hall, while continuing to operate full-time as a commercial photographer from his studio at 140 Elizabeth-Street in Hobart. His second child, Thomas James "Sonny" Nevin, was born on 16th April 1874. His membership of the Loyal United Brothers' Lodge annual Anniversary Ball committee entailed the provision of photographic services on the night of the ball, and extended to placing advertisements in The Mercury to procure professional services for Lodge members and their family, including medical services. And he worked closely with the printers at the Hobart newspaper offices of The Mercury, producing miniature photographs of the front pages for sale as Christmas visiting cards (measuring 3 inches x 2 inches).

1874: Sims and Stops' Coal Mine

Horse-drawn whim at Mr Sim's Excelsior Coal Mine, Kangaroo Valley, New Town, Tasmania
Stereograph on arched buff mount by Thomas J. Nevin, 1870s
"Thos Nevin New Town" studio stamp on verso
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery Collection
TMAG Ref: Q16826.11

Verso: Horse-drawn whim at Mr Sim's Excelsior Coal Mine, Kangaroo Valley, New Town, Tasmania
Stereograph on arched buff mount by Thomas J. Nevin, 1870s
"Thos Nevin New Town" studio stamp on verso
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery Collection
TMAG Ref: Q16826.11

Thomas Nevin was a city agent for coal deliveries from Messrs Sims and Stops coal mine, located at Kangaroo Valley New Town, close to the family farm where John Nevin snr had built their cottage and orchards on land in trust to the Wesleyan church above the Lady Franklin Museum.  The Nevin family were closely associated (related even) to the Hurst family of surveyors resident of New Town and the Saltwater coal mines (on the Tasman peninsula). As stakeholders in the coal business, and probably shareholders in several other profitable businesses, Thomas Nevin, unlike several other members of his photographers' cohort in Tasmania and Victoria, escaped bankruptcy when they didn't (e.g. Alfred Bock, George Cherry, Stephen Spurling, Harold Riise, and Charles Nettleton in Victoria etc), and managed to keep his wife and children (six survived to adulthood) in comfortable circumstances.

Mr Nevin, photographer, Elizabeth-street, appears in this advertisement as an agent able to take orders for the delivery of coal from the Excelsior Coal Mine which was located on Mr Ebenezer Sims property at Kangaroo Bottom (Kangaroo Valley New Town), in close proximity to the home of Nevin's parents. This coal was for domestic use but may have been included in the coal specimens which were exported to the Royal Colonial Institute, accompanied by James Boyd on board the Ethel in 1874.

The Mercury, 22 December 1874
... N.B. - When from the situation a second horse is necessary, a small extra charge will be made.
ORDERS will be received by the undermentioned persons:-
Mr Nevin, photographer, Elizabeth-street ...
Members of the Stops family were close friends of Thomas Nevin and his father John Nevin snr at Kangaroo Valley. Frederick Stops was clerk to the Attorney-General  W.R. Giblin when Nevin was the contractual photographer for police and prisons records for Giblin. His brother Henry Stops was an orchardist living at New Town until his death in 1908, and leasee of Mr Ebenenzer's coal mine. Ebenezer Sims' coal mines and other property at Kangaroo Bottom had been advertised for sale earlier, in January 1874, and the "late Mr E. Sims" was presumably departed from the partnership with Mr. Stops, or even deceased. However, the Excelsior Coal Mine continued to operate on his property and in his name, together with the stakeholders and agents listed in the advertisement with Nevin's name:

The Mercury, FOR SALE, 23 January 1874
Auction advertisement for the sale of the late Mr E. Sim's coal mines leased to Mr H. Stops at Kangaroo Bottom.

1883: dense basaltic dykes

The Mercury 23 December 1883:

"Mr Ebenezer Sim's coal mine ... is wrought by means of a horse-whim ..."
A lengthy geological report was published in The Mercury, 23 December 1883, on the coal mines and seams around Mt Wellington, including a description of the methods of mining at Mr Ebenezer Sim's Excelsior Coal Mine and an account of the formation of anthracite, shale and sandstone in the Kangaroo Valley area.

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Stereograph of coal mine operation, Kangaroo Valley, 1870s
Photographer: Thos Nevin, New Town (stamped verso).
TMAG Collection Ref: Q16826.11. Taken at the TMAG November 10, 2014.
Photos © KLW NFC Imprint ARR

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The abbatoir and cattle yard stereograph ca.1870


Stereograph on arched buff mount of the Abbatoir, Queen's Domain, Hobart
Photographer; Thomas J. Nevin ca. 1870 for the HCC, Lands and Survey Dept
Unstamped, and hand-coloured possibly by family members of a commercial client.
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery Collection
TMAG Ref: Q1994.56.25

Verso:Stereograph on arched buff mount of the Abbatoir, Queen's Domain, Hobart
Photographer; Thomas J. Nevin ca. 1870 for the HCC, Lands and Survey Dept
Unstamped, and hand-coloured possibly by family members of a commercial client.
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery Collection
TMAG Ref: Q1994.56.25

The stereograph (coloured) of the cattle yards produced by Thomas J. Nevin for the Hobart Municipal Council was taken at the same time he photographed these two men who were most likely the Inspector of Stock, G. Propsting and assistant to the Inspector of stock, Joseph Turner.

Inspector of Stock G. Prospsting and his assistant Joseph Turner
At the Municipal Cattle yards, Queens Domain, Hobart
Photographer Thomas J. Nevin, 1870
Archives Office of Tasmania Ref: PH30-1-117

Office-keeper, Thomas Nevin
The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954) Tue 1 Jan 1878 Page 1 MUNICIPALITY OF HOBART TOWN.

Mayor, W. P. Green. Aldermen: W. H. Burgess, jun., F. J. Pike, E. Maher, E. Espie, J. Harcourt, John Watchorn. J. E. Addison, M. F. Daly. Auditors, A. T. Stuart and W. F. Brownell. Town Clerk and Treasurer, H. Wilkinson. Accountant, W. H.  Smith. Municipal Clerk,W. T. Birch. City Surveyor, J. Rait. Director of Water Works,W. C. Christopherson. Health Officer, E. S. Hall Collectors, F. H. Piesse and W. Brundle. City Inspector and Inspector of Weights and Measures, W. Mason. Lessee of Old Market, J. G. Turner ; New Market, T. H. Turner. Inspector of Stock, G. Propsting ; assistant to Inspector of Stock, Joseph Turner. Office-keeper, Thomas Nevin ; messenger, L. Marks.
Police.-Superintendent, Richard Propsting ; clerk, S. W. Rheuben. Sub-Inspectors, W. M'Connell, C. Pitman ; Detectives, W. Simpson, J. Connors. Summoning Officer. John Dorsett.

This stereograph of the same location was printed in a square mount. Titled simply "The Domain", it bears Samuel Clifford's label (blue) on verso. Sourced from eBay March 2016

Cattle slaughtered at the Domain abbatoir found their way to the shipping butchery in Morrison Street, behind the Hobart Wharves, where government contractor J. Callaghan proudly displayed the Royal Arms insignia as his business credentials above his shop entrance.

Photograph - J Callaghan's Butcher's shop, Morrison Street, Hobart
Description: 1 photographic print
ADRI: NS1013-1-1075
Source: Archives Office of Tasmania

[Above]: Just as the butcher J. Callaghan displayed his government contract credentials above his shop entrance, Thomas J. Nevin would have displayed a similar sign at his studio in Elizabeth Street. This is one of many extant examples of T. J. Nevin's government contractor stamp with the Royal Arms insignia which he was required to display on the versos of at least one photograph per batch supplied on commission to the Lands and Survey Department and the Municipal Police Office, Hobart City Council, between 1865 and 1876.

The twin cattle jetties were first built on the Domain shortly after Thomas Nevin's uncle-in-law, Captain Edward Goldsmith, began the erection of a patent slip in 1854. The McGregor brothers acquired the government lease in 1856, and the jetties were constructed next to the slipyards soon after for unloading cattle into the abattoirs and stock yard on site.
"A vessel with cattle on board lies alongside both (jetty) Ts, and discharges cattle into the water between the jetties, and they swim ashore and walk along a railed enclosure straight into the slaughter yards. This arrangement is made so that if a beast suffering from any disease it is in practically quarantine..."
The Marine Board assumed responsibility for the jetties in 1886,
"resulting in the jetties being restored with stone approaches and were about 120 feet with T ends, measuring 40 feet by 12 feet".
Source:  Hudspeth A.and Scripps L (2000). Capital Ports, A History of the Marine Board of Hobart 1858-1997. Hobart Ports Corporation.

State Library of Tasmania Collections
Cattle Jetty Abbatoirs [i.e. Abattoirs] c1872
Publication Information: [Hobart : s.n., c1872].
Physical description: 1 photographic print mounted on card : b&w ; 104 x 181 mm. ; on mount 115 x 190 mm.

The black and white print (above) from another negative taken ca. 1872 of the same location from the same viewpoint with a telegraph pole (?) now evident in the centre of the image is correctly identified as the abbatoirs at Cattle Jetty, Queens Domain, owned and managed by the Hobart City Council. Thomas Nevin would have taken the original photograph a few years earlier under commission as government contractor for the Lands and Survey Dept. of the HCC, and supplied the Council with prints in various formats including a stereograph and unmounted cdv, with at least one photograph printed verso with the Royal Arms insignia of his official government contract stamp. The hand-coloured stereograph to survive bears no stamp verso, which suggests it was randomly saved from the HCC archives, or even studio rejects, and subsequently coloured by family members of a commercial client. The same image mounted with squared corners was sold as a commercial item by Samuel Clifford's when reprinted from Nevin's original sometime before Clifford's retirement in 1878.

A print from the same negative is held at the State Library of Tasmania which ostensibly bears verso Samuel Clifford's label, and the generic title "Sandy Bay ... from the Domain". Without an online digital image of the verso, key information about the label and accession date cannot be verified. Samuel Clifford and Thomas J. Nevin collaborated on the production and reproduction of stereographs and studio portraits from the mid 1860s until Clifford retired, but whether this negative and stereograph format was produced as early as 1865, is open to question, as is the poor reproduction by the State Library of Tasmania, which leads the viewer to assume that lilac fixer was the dominant or preferred print tone of the photographer's studio.

State Library of Tasmania Collections
Sandy Bay ... from the Domain
Publication Information: ca. 1865.
Physical description: 1 stereoscopic pair of photographs : sepia toned ; 8 x 7 cm. each, on mount 9 x 18 cm.
Series: Views in Tasmania
Format: photograph image (online)
Notes: On verso: title printed on centre of label ; printed above title: Views in Tasmania ; printed below title: S. Clifford, photographer, Hobart Town.
Date and accession number in pencil upper right corner of verso.
Exact size 76 x 62 mm. each, on mount 83 x 175 mm.

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Sunday, October 25, 2015

Bridge over the Derwent at New Norfolk 1850s-1890s


State Library of Tasmania Collections
[Hallgreen, New Norfolk, as seen from the north bank of the Derwent] K. Bull.
Author: Bull, Knud Geelmuyden, 1811-1889
Publication Information: 1854.
Physical description: 1 painting : oil on canvas ; 31 x 44 cm (stretcher).
Format: picture image (online)
Notes: Signed and dated lower right.
Shows the Baptist Church building in left middle distance, 'Hallgreen' in the centre, 'Woodbridge' on the right beyond the bridge, Sir William Crowther attributed this first to Glover, W.B. Gould? inscribed in biro on the stretcher, then signature revealed when painting removed from frame. Framed in colonial musk frame with gilt slip.
Condition: Generally good. Some overpainting found on upper left side when restored 1991.Title from inscription.

This is an unusual photograph taken ca. 1868 by Thomas J. Nevin which combines a close-up portrait of a male adult seated extreme right foreground who hides his face as if to avoid recognition,  with a background vista of New Norfolk (Tasmania) taken from across the River Derwent of the bridge and the substantial residence, Woodbridge, of Mr William Stanley Sharland (1801-1877), Assistant-Surveyor, pioneer hop grower, and Member of the House of Assembly. This photograph may have been an attempt by Thomas Nevin at a "selfie" in the loose mid-19th century sense of the term, or indeed it may be the figure of friend and colleague Samuel Clifford with whom Thomas Nevin travelled around Tasmania taking stereographs and portraits from the mid-1860s until Clifford's retirement in 1878. In fact, two men and not just one, were sitting close to the camera when this photograph was taken: the foot of the second man is just visible at extreme lower right of the frame. Was it Nevin's foot, or were three men present at the point of capture - the photographer and two male friends? Was this photograph an accident or an experiment, which otherwise was composed as a conventional landscape featuring the bridge, its reflection in the River Derwent and Woodbridge House.

Bridge over River Derwent at New Norfolk, with male figure hiding his face seated in immediate foreground on the right of each single image. Residence of Mr W. Sharland Esq, Woodbridge, visible to the right of bridge in distance across the River Derwent.
Stereograph on arched buff mount by Thomas J. Nevin ca. 1868
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery Collection
TMAG Ref: Q16826.16

Verso inscription by archivist with incorrect identification of Woodbridge as the Bush Hotel.
"New Norfolk (Bush Hotel, left) [sic] - per G. Stillwell, Librarian, SLT".

Verso: Bridge over River Derwent at New Norfolk, with male figure hiding his face seated in immediate foreground on the right of each single image. Residence of Mr W. Sharland Esq, Woodbridge, visible to the right of bridge in distance across the River Derwent. Stereograph on arched buff mount by Thomas J. Nevin ca. 1868. Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery Collection TMAG Ref: Q16826.16

State Library of Tasmania Collections
(color-corrected for display here)
Residence of W. Sharland Esq., New Norfolk
Publication Information: ca. 1865.
Physical description: 2 photographic prints on stereo card : stereograph, sepia ; 8 x 7 cm. each, on mount 9 x 17 cm.
Series:Views in Tasmania
Format:photograph image (online)
Notes: Title inscribed in ink upper left edge of mount.
On verso: title inscribed in ink in centre ; printed above title: Views in Tasmania ; printed below title: S. Clifford, photographer, Hobart Town.
Date and accession number in pencil upper right corner of verso.
Exact size 74 x 70 mm. each, on mount 81 x 167 mm.

Mr. Wm Sharland snr was well acquainted with Thomas Nevin's family because of his indebtedness to Captain Edward Goldsmith, uncle of Thomas Nevin's wife, Elizabeth Rachel Nevin nee Day. Captain Goldsmith had imported 50,000 sets of new varieties of hops from a nursery in Kent for Mr Sharland on board his favorite and very fast barque the Rattler, noted by the Courier,17th November 1847:

Photograph - William Sharland Senior (1801-1877)
Description: 1 photographic print
ADRI: NS407-1-21 Unattributed
Source:Archives Office of Tasmania
William Sharland's Biography at ADB: click here

Captain Goldsmith's importations, The Courier 17 November 1847

Source; LOCAL. (1847, November 17). The Courier (Hobart, Tas. : 1840 - 1859), p. 2. Retrieved February 14, 2014, from

IMPORTATIONS.-We learnt that Captain Goldsmith has brought out in the Rattler, and landed in prime condition, for W. A. Bethune, Esq., a number of pure Merino rams and ewes, as a change of blood in this colony, and for the improvement of the fleece in fine wools. He has also succeeded in bringing into port in a flourishing and healthy state several varieties of new strawberries for T. Horne, Esq.; new kinds of hops for Mr. Sharland; several cases of flowering shrubs and plants for Mr. Newman, of the Royal Botanical Gardens, another for E. P. Butler, Esq., and one, also, for Mr. F. Lipscombe. At his own expense Captain Goldsmith has imported upwards of one hundred varieties of plants and shrubs of the most approved sorts in the English nurseries; and, in accordance with his considerate attention on former visits to our port, has on this occasion not been unmindful of a desire to introduce to the colony additional objects of attention. Of these are white swans, so attractive in the sheets of water in park scenery; and pheasants and partridges, likely to become prolific in the bush of this colony, which is deemed well adapted to their nature and habits: so that, eventually, the " Old English Gentlemen" may once more enjoy their favourite sports, and the native youth become practically acquainted with the game which abounds in the rich domains of England. Examples of this kind are worthy of imitation by captains of colonial traders.

[Above]: Another stereograph of the bridge at New Norfolk, possibly taken on the same trip by Thomas Nevin with Samuel Clifford. Clifford's blind stamp impress on mount at right.
TAHO Ref: PH30-1-8909

[Below]: Visitors to New Norfolk on the bridge, identified as amateur photographer Morton Allport, seated with his wife Elizabeth, and an unidentified young man wearing a large white topper who is leaning against the railings and gazing directly at the fourth member of the group, the invisible photographer.

State Library of Tasmania Collections
New Norfolk bridge
Publication Information:[Tasmania : s.n., 186-?]
Physical description:1 photographic print : sepia toned ; 80 x 78 mm.
Format:photograph image (online)
Notes:"Bridge New Norfolk" inscribed in pencil on verso.
Believed to be a print from an earlier glass slide or negative.
Condition at June 2003: Minor dirt stains and some general fading. Overall condition is good.
Summary:View taken from northern side of New Norfolk bridge with Hallgreen and the Bush Inn in the background. Morton and Elizabeth Allport and an unknown male companion are on the bridge.

More photographs of the River Derwent and surrounds at New Norfolk taken and printed conjointly by Thomas J. Nevin and Samuel Clifford, published in an album titled "Tasmanian Views" 1873. Photos copyright © KLW NFC Imprint 2012. State Library of Tasmania Collections.

1891: photographed by Robert Crellin Kermode.

Robert Crellin Kermode took this photograph of the bridge over the River Derwent at New Norfolk Tasmania in March 1891. It was bound  by the Northern Tasmanian Camera Club, in photographic album no.15, 1892.

State Library of Tasmania Collections
[Northern Tasmanian Camera Club photographic album no. 15 1892]
Publication Information: [1888-1892]
Physical description:
1 album (79 photographic prints) : b&w ; 28 x 34 cm.
Format: album photograph
Notes: Board binding with imitation moire cover and cloth spine. Photographs numbered and glued onto board pages.
Information under each photograph includes photograph number, subject, time of day and date, light, plate, development, lens, stop, exposure, toning and signature of club member.
Condition May 2009: corners rubbed, loose pages with some spotting and staining.
"Awarded to Mr F. Styant Browne"--Cover.

KERMODE, Robert Crellin  (1847–1927)
.... Mr. R. C. Kermode received his early education at Horton College, commencing about 1858. He was there with Mr. W. H. Bennett, who is now in his 85th year, and was the first boy to attend this College at its opening. Shortly afterwards Mr. Kermode and one of his brothers were taken by their father to England, and attended Wadham College, Oxford, where Robert finished his education and was a contemporary of the present Lord Oxford. Even in those early days Robert showed evidence of his unbounded energy by walking round the Isle of Wight and taking other walking tours in England. He took up cricket at Oxford and got his college blue. He was a fast round arm bowler and a good batsman. After his education in England he returned to Tasmania and took up pastoral pursuits at Mona Vale. His father imported Merinos from England, and he took an interest in these for many years. Mr. R. C. Kermode was one of the first men to start golf in the Midlands and was a keen cricketer, at which game he excelled, his support being given to the Ross team. After a few years (about the year 1887) he went to Florida, where he joined his brother and took up orange growing. While in Florida he indulged his sporting proclivities in shooting, and the hall at Mona Vale contains several glass cases of stuffed birds of brilliant plumage which he shot in America.

After leaving Florida he again went to England, and then travelled extensively. In the course of his tours he walked through many of the countries of Europe. He visited almost every part of the world except China and Japan. His great energy was demonstrated again in Tasmania some years ago, when he walked through the roughest part of the West Coast from Waratah to the Huon. He walked also from Lake St. Clair to the West Coast, and the story is told of the discovery by the party of a lake somewhere in the west, Mr. Kermode making an unpleasant acquaintance with the lake by walking into it in the dark. In between his tours of different countries, Mr. Kermode returned to Mona Vale. He again went to England in 1910, and for the last time in 1924. He was a great photographer, and for an amateur did most beautiful work. Upon his last visit to England he took over 1,000 photographs, and on his return he came through Palestine, where he took some 600 photographs. He visited almost every country mentioned in Biblical History....
Read the rest of this obituary here 
OBITUARY. (1927, February 11). The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), p. 6.

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