The many survivals of Barbara Crawford

The reality of travelling steerage where diseases found the perfect conditions. ANMM collection 00005627

The reality of travelling steerage, where diseases found the perfect conditions. ANMM Collection 00005627

The year 1837 was a busy one for the colony of New South Wales. Busiest of all was Sydney Harbour, which saw thousands of convicts arriving and a growing number of immigrants. In addition to the free single men and women, whole families were travelling from Britain to try their luck with a new life.

On 5 November 1836 the immigrant ship Lady McNaughton left Ireland for Australia. On board was the largest number of children ever to immigrate to Australia at that time. Passenger lists show 196 of the passengers of the ship were under the age of 14. However, by the time the ship was about 300 kilometres from Sydney, 54 of the passengers had died – 44 of those being children. Even in the age of dangerous sea travel, this was an extraordinarily high death rate. The typhus fever on board showed no signs of abating, with some 90 passengers still afflicted.

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Godzilla meets the Attack of the 50 Foot Woman in the ancient lost wax technique – the many faces of windjammer sailors

Yesterday I visited a sculpture being made at a fine art casting foundry on Sydney’s North Head at Manly. The work is being crafted using the lost wax technique, a traditional, ages-old method that will result in a timeless bronze. Each visit and each stage of the moulding and casting process brings surprises, most recently forms and colours that evoke the strangeness of a cast of characters from B-grade 1960s schlock-horror monster films such as Godzilla and even, in spirit, the hyper-real gigantic 50-foot woman.

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Manly at the turn of a century

Seven miles from Sydney and a thousand miles from care

Throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s, a burst of events and individuals conspired to shape the area of Manly, in character as much as construction. This period helped form the Manly we know today – a fast and fresh ferry ride from the city and a place where we can swim in the daylight hours, safe under the watchful eyes of lifesavers.

Engraving from the Illustrated Sydney News, 16 December 1865 titled 'CHRISTMAS IN AUSTRALIA : Manly Beach on a public holiday’. The engraving shows the Pier Hotel and the H.G. Smith’s Camera Obscura tower in the background. ANMM Collection 00006061

Engraving from the Illustrated Sydney News, 16 December 1865 titled ‘CHRISTMAS IN AUSTRALIA : Manly Beach on a public holiday’. The engraving shows the Pier Hotel and H.G. Smith’s Camera Obscura tower in the background. ANMM Collection 00006061

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