Historical information

Henry Beater Christian (1886-1962) , was a descendant of one of the earliest settler families in Kew. Employed at the Kew Asylum as a 'public servant', he was a skilled amateur photographer, photographing numerous scenes in Kew and on his travels around Victoria. The majority of his photographs date from 1916 to 1929. His finest photographs are housed in two photograph albums.


Rare photograph of the demolition of the Zig-Zag Bridge linking the two asylums on either side of the Yarra River.

Physical description

Digital copy of a photograph from page 16 of the 47-page photograph album containing 261 gelatinous silver images, loaned by Diane Washfold with permission given to digitise and hold a copy in our collection. The Zig-Zag Bridge linked the grounds of the Yarra Bend and Kew Asylums. The wooden bridge was constructed in the 1870s and lasted through numerous floods until its destruction in 1929. A horizontal structure, the walkway was reached via a wooden staircase on the Kew bank of the river. The steps were required due to the different levels of the banks on this stretch of the river. This is a photo of the bridge before part of it was destroyed in a flood in 1929. A man, perhaps Henry Christian, stands at the right of the foreground.

Inscriptions & markings

"Demolishing Zig-Zag / 6. 1929"