June 21, 2020

History on the Harbour: barnfind of old photographs

Some years ago, a friend’s mother turned up a box full of her late father’s photographs.

Big deal? Well perhaps at the time the photographs of the late Frederick Rasmussen were just mundane snaps of uninteresting street scenes, but given enough time, such images become fundamental to history.

So much history is lost when a departed relative’s once-treasured photograph albums are just unceremoniously disposed of. And to look at these, one might be inclined to think they were of no value or interest.

Thankfully Mum thought to keep them after her dad’s death and we have a series of snapshots of Sydney, Goulburn, Newcastle and other parts of the country exactly as the viewer saw it at the time.

The Sydney images you see below are just a selection of the many in various piles and I hope you find something interesting. Perhaps a relative's shop? Somewhere you once worked? Or a scene you saw frequently in your youth?

Many images were without dates and had only the most basic of descriptions if any at all, although we have been able to ascertain they were taken during a period predominantly between 1958 and 1962.

These initial scans are only rough, so I hope to replace these with improved, higher quality ones in due course. I've also added Google map links so you can see these locations today.

Feel free to add your comments or observations below.

Elizabeth St looking south [Google map link]

Elizabeth St looking NW toward Eddy Ave [Google map link]
Pacific Hwy at North Sydney looking NW from Bradfield Hwy. Prior to the commencement of Warringah Freeway works. c.1959 The overbridge with the single bus was demolished around 1965.

Albert St looking west to Circular Quay. Demolition of Mort's century-old wool store in progress - or is it construction of the new AMP Centre?. [Google map link]

William St looking east. [Google map link]

The Rocks. Gloucester St and Australian Hotel from the Bridge Stairs. [Google map link]
The signage on the old Qantas building puts this photo from Martin Place at 1960. [Google map link]

Social distancing 1960 style? The ship is Oriana at Circular Quay [Google map link]

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