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Kew Historical Society Inc Kew, Victoria

Founded in 1958, the Kew Historical Society is one of the oldest suburban historical societies in Melbourne. The Society was formed to assist in the preparations for Kew’s 100th Anniversary in 1960. Today, the Society continues to work with local government and other organisations within Kew to stimulate interest in our history and heritage. It publishes, in print and online, information and resources about Kew’s history, as well as organising events relevant to our heritage. The Society cooperates with other historical societies and groups across the City of Boroondara through the Boroondara Historical Societies Association.

Links

Contact Information

location
PO Box 175 Kew Victoria 3101

Contact

Opening Hours

Fridays & Saturdays 11.00am to 1.00pm. Closed in January.

Entry Fee

Free entry

Location

Level 1, Kew Court House 188 High Street Kew Victoria

The Kew Historical Society was founded in 1958, and the collection predates and postdates that year. The collection has sometimes grown gradually, or significantly, the latter through key donations (eg The Rogers Collection), or due to events such as the amalgamation of the former City of Kew into the new City of Boroondara in 1994. Many ‘civic’ items were donated before, during or after the amalgamation. These records are digitised by the Kew Historical Society on Victorian Collections for the purposes of education and preservation. If you believe that we have infringed your copyright please contact us and we will remove the material from the site.

Significance

The collection as a whole fulfills the criteria for very strong historical, aesthetic and research significance at a local level. It also has many outstanding associations with state themes, figures and events and quite a few that resonate at a national level. The costume and textiles, map and picture collections each have very strong historical, research and aesthetic significance of their own accord. The degree of their significance is greatly enhanced by all of the comparative criteria: interpretive value, provenance, condition, integrity, rarity and representativeness.

The costume collection has a very high degree of aesthetic significance for its beauty, quality and workmanship. There are some items that are associated with nationally significant designers, or with Kew donors who have made an impact on society at a local and a state level (ie Prue Acton, Jinoel of Melbourne, Oggi Fashion House). The strong degree of provenance and high quality of the design and dressmaking that went into the production of these clothes strengthens the research significance of this sub-collection for those interested in fashion, textiles and dressmaking. This costume collection includes items that date back to the 1850s (patchwork Denbigh quilt) through to the 1980s, and that reflect changing styles, technologies, textiles and production methods.

The picture collection has some items that have high local significance such as the Josiah Barnes photograph ‘Kew proclaimed a city’, which was taken on that day – 10 March 1921, and the ‘Unveiling of the Kew War Memorial’ on August 30 1925 in front of an audience of over 5,000 people and presided over by the Kew Mayor and the Governor of Victoria. Both of these important images also have significance to state and national processes of municipal development and memorializing war. The mayoral portraits (part of the picture collection) have a very high degree of historical and research significance for their associations, enhanced by strong provenance and technical qualities. Eminent photographers took many of the portraits and the subjects are people who have made a significant contribution to the welfare and development of Kew and, in the case of some of the Mayors in this collection, of the state or even the nation. This includes people such as Stanley Argyle (Premier of Victoria 1932-35) and William Kerr (influential businessman and federal government advisor in the early decades of the 20th century). The significance threshold of this sub-collection is therefore likely to be of state significance at the least.

The maps and plans number some 300 or more and include some fascinating and important maps beyond the MMBW sub-collection that, itself, holds some unique items and has been discussed at length in this report. Other much earlier and hand drawn maps such as ‘Back to Kew’ (c.1875) and ‘Site of the first house in Kew Central’ (undated) are historically fascinating. In the case of ‘Back to Kew’ it is the detail of the built, natural and social landscape of Kew, which was also annotated and added to several times in subsequent decades to show the development of the area. In the case of ‘Site of the first house in Kew Central’ it is the careful recording of the garden layout and the nature of domesticity in these early days of European settlement that is both fascinating and rare to find in any local history collection. While not all the items are original the map and plan collection has a very high degree of historical and research significance.

Provenance for much of the collection is strong, and therefore supportive of its historical, research and interpretive value. Certainly the interpretive capacity for understanding a detailed and nuanced history of Kew on many levels, as well as touching or reflecting on wider stories on a state or national stage is very high.

Russell, Emma, 'Kew Historical Society Significance Assessment | Collection', History@Work, 2018

Cameron Auty 26 April 2016 9:48 AM

Amazing hat collection, these are a great addition to the site - Site admin.

Leave a comment

2350 items with images

Household Linen - Handkerchief

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Square white linen handkerchief with triangular lace edging on all four corners. Central cloth

Artwork - Roberts House, Trinity Grammar School / by Joy Stewart, circa 1978

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Watercolour, Pen & Ink on paper by the artist and local historian Joy Stewart of 'Roberts House', Trinity Grammar School.

Significance

Joy Stewart was born in Melbourne 1925. She studied at Swinburne Technical College Art School from 1941-1945, then the National Gallery Art School 1946-1948. Her career included employment positions as a display artist, designer/painter, gallery assistant, and art teacher. Joy relocated to Cairns in 1981. Solo exhibitions in Melbourne and Cairns, including 'Done By Me' at Cairns Regional Gallery in 1999. Group exhibitions at Cairns Regional Gallery, 'The Fish John West Regrets, 1993' and 'Facets of Life' 1994.

Inscriptions & Markings

Inscription: "Roberts House / Trinity Grammar School." Signed lower right: "JStewart"

Medallion - Kew Cricket Club KCC 1922-1923

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Blue enamel on metal membership medallion produced by the Kew Cricket Club for the year 1922-23 and which belonged to Francis Horace Rigg (1882-1946). The medallion in shield shape is enameled in shades of blue with the initials of the Club, KCC surrounded by the full name of the club and the period for which the member would gain access to games.

Significance

The buttons form part of a collection of ephemera assembled by Francis Horace Rigg (19/10/1882-05/03/1946) of 50 Belford Road, Kew (Vic.). Frances Rigg was a local business identity in Kew, ultimately managing the local branch of the English, Scottish and Australian (ES&A) Bank at 175 High Street, Kew from c. 1920 until the 1940s. After Francis Rigg’s death, the collection of buttons and medallions was inherited by his son, Ken Rigg (14/11/1922-19/01/2014). The collection was subsequently donated to the Kew Historical Society in 2015 by his grandson Adrian Rigg at the time of the Gallipoli & Beyond Commemoration. The collection covers a period of almost 40 years. The majority of the buttons are patriotic buttons, issued and sold during and immediately after the First World World War (1914-1918) to raise funds for national and overseas causes. The collection also includes a number of locally significant sporting event buttons and sporting club medallions, issued in the 1920s and 1930s.

Photograph - Central Hall, Tara Hall [Kew], circa 1957

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Central Hall, Tara Hall, circa 1957. The central hallway and grand staircase of Tara Hall (previously named Byram, Goathland and Lowan). This photograph provides the clearest evidence of the scale and building materials selected by Edward George Kilburn, of Ellerker & Kilburn, for the industrialist George Ramsden in 1888. These include the murals on the second floor, the use of skylights, and the vaulted wooden panelling. 'Lost Glories: a memorial to forgotten Australian buildings' was published by David Latta in 1986. It tells the story of a number of significant Australian buildings that had previously been demolished. A chapter in the book was devoted to Goathland, later known as Tara Hall. To supplement the text, he sourced photographs from a range of suppliers, chiefly the Royal Women's Hospital which had once owned Tara Hall, but had sold it in 1960. This is one of the photographs donated to KHS by the author.

Programme - Charter Night: Lions Club of Kew

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Special programme held to on 1 May 1954 in the Kew Recreation Hall in recognition of the formation of the Kew Lions Club. The programme includes lists of officers, staff, and charter members. The food served on the night is described as well as the entertainers.

Historical information

The Kew Lions Club was formed in 1954 under the auspices of the Melbourne Lions Club

Significance

The Arthur Dear Collection is a comprehensive collection of theatrical ephemera relating to performances by theatrical and musical organisations from within and outside the former City of Kew who typically performed at venues in Kew during the 1950s and 1960s.

Photograph - Glendonald School for the Deaf, Marshall Avenue (Kew)

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Photograph of the front garden of Glendonald taken from Marshall Avenue.

Historical information

Glendonald School for Deaf Children was run by the Victorian Education Department. It provided education and some residential services for deaf children. The school was situated in Marshall Avenue, Kew and operated from 1951–91. Deaf children whose families lived too far to travel daily were housed in a grand Victorian mansion in Belmont Avenue, Kew, the John Cannon Hostel. The school and hostel also accommodated a small number of wards of the state. Source: Glendonald School for Deaf Children (1951–91); https://www.findingrecords.dhhs.vic.gov.au/collectionresultspage/GlendonaldSchoolforDeafChildren; Accessed 05/09/2018.

Significance

Glendonald was a significant mansion in Kew (now demolished) built for the industrialist and manufacturer Donald Leslie in 1886. The school was purchased by the Victorian Department of Education on 29 November 1950 for the sum of 16,500 pounds.

Inscriptions & Markings

The old school for the deaf at 17 Marshall Ave for children from the age of six years to ten years old, then they would go to 25 Marshall Ave to finish their schooling leaving age 16 years old.

Programme - Princess Ida / by Gilbert & Sullivan

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Programme issued by the Hawthorn Operatic Society for a performance of Princess Ida in the Kew Recreation Hall in November. The programme does not include a year date. It does include a cast list, a brief synopsis and a list of the musical numbers.

Significance

The Arthur Dear Collection is a comprehensive collection of theatrical ephemera relating to performances by theatrical and musical organisations from within and outside the former City of Kew who typically performed at venues in Kew during the 1950s and 1960s.

Photograph

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

One of five small black and white photographs of members of the cast in The "Q" Theatre Guild's production of Blossom Time in 1957. The were presumably promotional photographs as they are shot in the Royal Botanical Gardens in Melbourne. A newspaper report in the Age on 27 October noted that the performance was held in the Kew Recreation Hall.

Historical information

The "Q" Theatre Guild was formed out of the Kew Light Opera Company in 1957. It marked the transition of the company that had initially been directed by Lance Nicholls to one directed by Beatrice Oakley. It continued to perform in the Kew Recreation Hall, but, with its demolition in 1960, and the opening of the new Kew City Hall in Cotham Road, moved its productions to that venue. Productions of the "Q" Theatre Guild included The Geisha (1957), Maritana (1958), They All Do It (1959), Blossom Time (1959), Love's A Luxury (1959), There And Back & The Bohemian Girl (1960), Die Fledermaus (1960), Gay Rosalinda (1961), The Land Of Smiles (1961), Kisses For A Kid & Hansel And Gretel (1961), Die Fledermaus (1962), Monsieur Beaucaire (1964), Macbeath or The Beggar's Opera, and So To Bed.

Significance

The scrapbook of annotated photographs, programmes, and newspaper reviews of which this item is a part was assembled by Marion Tilley, wardrobe mistress for, and performer in, productions by the Kew Light Opera Company and the "Q" Theatre Guild. It is significant as a remarkably complete document of theatre performances in Kew, Victoria during the 1950s and 1960s. The scrapbook, and the items individually catalogued within it, have artistic and aesthetic significance within the history of performing arts in Victoria in the middle of the 20th Century. They have social significance in that they reveal socio-cultural values and preoccupations during the period. The records also act as a history of arts activities in the Kew Recreation Hall and later in the Kew City Hall as entertainment and community arts and music precincts.

Photograph

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Black and white photograph of Val Breen and Alan Wilson in the "Q" Theatre Guild production of Michael Balfe's The Bohemian Girl in 1959. Beatrice Oakley was the producer and John Trotter the musical director. The costumes were designed and made by Marion Tilley while the scenery was designed by Claude Ward and Lachlan Stebbins. An annotation, in the corresponding programme, records that Joan Carden (later a star of the Australian Opera) performed in the Ladies of the Chorus.

Historical information

The "Q" Theatre Guild was formed out of the Kew Light Opera Company in 1957. It marked the transition of the company that had initially been directed by Lance Nicholls to one directed by Beatrice Oakley. It continued to perform in the Kew Recreation Hall, but, with its demolition in 1960, and the opening of the new Kew City Hall in Cotham Road, moved its productions to that venue. Productions of the "Q" Theatre Guild included The Geisha (1957), Maritana (1958), They All Do It (1959), Blossom Time (1959), Love's A Luxury (1959), There And Back & The Bohemian Girl (1960), Die Fledermaus (1960), Gay Rosalinda (1961), The Land Of Smiles (1961), Kisses For A Kid & Hansel And Gretel (1961), Die Fledermaus (1962), Monsieur Beaucaire (1964), Macbeath or The Beggar's Opera, and So To Bed.

Significance

The scrapbook of annotated photographs, programmes, and newspaper reviews of which this item is a part was assembled by Marion Tilley, wardrobe mistress for, and performer in, productions by the Kew Light Opera Company and the "Q" Theatre Guild. It is significant as a remarkably complete document of theatre performances in Kew, Victoria during the 1950s and 1960s. The scrapbook, and the items individually catalogued within it, have artistic and aesthetic significance within the history of performing arts in Victoria in the middle of the 20th Century. They have social significance in that they reveal socio-cultural values and preoccupations during the period. The records also act as a history of arts activities in the Kew Recreation Hall and later in the Kew City Hall as entertainment and community arts and music precincts.

Inscriptions & Markings

Marion Tilley, the creator of the scrapbook, wrote the following underneath the photograph: "Val Breen in my wedding dress".

Photocopy - Bryan family photographs

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Photocopies of original photographs relating to or that belonged to the Bryan Family of Princess Street, Kew. The images include the headstone of Sarah Bryan and Anne Chambers; three photos of floods in Kew, one dated 1931; and a view of the River Yarra.

Sheet Music - Brush Those Tears From Your Eyes / by Haldeman, Trace & Lee

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Sheet music for the song Brush Those Tears From Your Eyes, featuring a cover photograph of the Australian 'radio star' Geoff Brooke. Brooke, a resident of Wellington Street (Kew), was a close friend of the singer Robin Vanser (aka Robin Kelly The item forms part of the Vandersluys-Kelly Collection of performance memorabilia donated by her to the Kew Historical Society in 2018.

Significance

The Vandersluys-Kelly Collection of photographs, costumes and musical performance memorabilia was donated to the Kew Historical Society by Robin Denise Kelly in 2018. The collection is an important record of stage and recorded performances in Australia in the second half of the 20th century. This new nationally-focused and artistically significant collection augments and contextualises the local performing arts materials in our collection.

Book - Hidden Gems on the Yarra: The history of the Green Acres Golf Club / by Brendan Moloney

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Photograph - Staff, Kew Mental Institute, 1907

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Group photograph of staff of the Kew Mental Institute (Kew Asylum) including Dr Joseph Hollow.

Inscriptions & Markings

The following individuals in the photograph are identified on the reverse: Back Row 2nd from left J McKie (Pharmacist), 4th from left Mr H. Oxlade (Accountant), 8th from left Mr T. Walsh. Front Row: Left Mr. Morrison, 2nd from left Mr Vallance, 4th from left Dr. Hollow. Inscription on reverse: "Mr McKie With Best wishes (illegible), Kew H.I. {Kew Hospital for the Insane], April 1907".

First Aid Kit - Outfit First Aid Individual

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Olive green first aid tin. On the lid in black writing is 'OUTFIT / FIRST AID / INDIVIDUAL'. On the inside of the lid written in black on a gold back ground is the 'DIRECTIONS OF USE'. Below the title is: 'BANDAGE 2 INCH Cut fingers and small wounds. / PLASTER ADHESIVE Cuts. / ANTISEPTIC PENCIL Apply to cuts and abrasions. / ANTISEPTIC JELLY Apply to burns. / TAB APC Take 2 tablets to relieve pain. / TAB ATEBRIN Directions on inside of Atebrin tin. / APERIENT PILLS 1 tablet to relieve constipation.' Remaining in the kit though not named in the list is a box of Sulphanilamide tablets with directions of use on the front. Also two used tubes of antiseptic jelly.

Inscriptions & Markings

Nil

Booklet - Guide to Knitting: Australian Comforts Fund (Victorian Division), 1940

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

20-page booklet issued by the Australian Comforts Fund (Victorian Division) in World War II, providing advice on how to knit a range of articles for this on 'Active Service'. The instructions provided are textual rather than graphical.

Inscriptions & Markings

Signature of owner (?): "Elizabeth Clifford"

Photograph - Boiler Room (?), Kew Mental Hospital, 1954

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Black and white photograph of boilers or hot water tanks in the Kew Mental Hospital.

Historical information

This photograph is one of approximately 43 original photographs and photocopies of buildings, patients and staff assembled in a red covered, spirally bound photograph album (the album itself is now discarded and the images stored separately). The images in the album cover the period from the 1870s to 1965. A few photographs have inscriptions on the reverse; others had later separate labels in the album. The album was presumably compiled as a public record. It and other items came from the collection assembled by Dr Fred Stamp, the last medical superintendent of Willsmere Hospital before its closure in 1988. Original photographs have been uploaded to and described on Victorian Collections. The album itself is listed and linked separately showing the photographs in situ.

Significance

A number of the photographs from the Willsmere Hospital album are confronting, especially given the condition of the buildings and facilities depicted, as well as the casual photographs of patients, which some viewers may find distressing. The album and its photographs are however an historically significant visual record of the Kew Mental Hospital, especially in the years 1951-1965.

Inscriptions & Markings

"1954"

Theatre Programme - Celebratory Variety Performance / by the Kew Light Opera Company, circa 1953

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Souvenir programme issued for a celebratory variety performance. The programme forms part of a scrapbook that includes programmes, photographs and theatre reviews for the Kew Light Opera Company and later "Q" Theatre Guild.

Manuscript - Scrapbook, Newspaper Articles / coiled by Dorothy Rogers, 1964

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

A scrapbook compiled by the historian Dorothy Rogers comprised largely of 15 articles that she wrote for the Eastern Suburbs Standard between January and August 1964. In contrast to DOC.0014 only one of the articles has additional typed material that was cut at the time of publication. Like DOC.0014 the author notes that the scrapbook is covered with wall paper from her now demolished family home.

Significance

This work forms part of the collection assembled by the historian Dorothy Rogers, that was donated to the Kew Historical Society by her son John Rogers in 2015. The manuscripts, photographs, maps, and documents were sourced by her from both family and local collections or produced as references for her print publications. Many were directly used by Rogers in writing ‘Lovely Old Homes of Kew’ (1961) and 'A History of Kew' (1973), or the numerous articles on local history that she produced for suburban newspapers. Most of the photographs in the collection include detailed annotations in her hand. The Rogers Collection provides a comprehensive insight into the working habits of a historian in the 1960s and 1970s. Together it forms the largest privately-donated collection within the archives of the Kew Historical Society.

Toy - Cat [soft toy]

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Royal blue stuffed toy cat with a red bow at the neck.

Photograph - The Maid of the Mountains / by Harold Fraser-Simson, 1957

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Photograph of a performance or a rehearsal of The Maid of the Moutains, performed by the Kew Light Opera Company in the Kew Recreation Hall in 1957.

Significance

The Arthur Dear Collection is a comprehensive collection of theatrical ephemera relating to performances by theatrical and musical organisations from within and outside the former City of Kew who performed at venues in Kew during the 1950s and 1960s.

Photograph - Stationary Engine, circa 1910-20

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Stationary engine, ca. 1900-ca. 1920. An early stationary engine that might have been used to drive a piece of immobile equipment, such as a pump, generator, or mill or factory machinery. The photo was printed from a glass negative in the collection. The original glass negative is part of a set donated to the Society by Ian McKenzie.

Photograph - Robin Vanser and Six-Piece Band, Hawthorn Town Hall, 1995

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Colour photograph of Robin Vanser (aka Robin Kelly nee Vandersluys) taken while performing at Hawthorn Town Hall in 1995.

Historical information

Robin Kelly was born Robin Vandersluys in Mary Street, Kew. As a child, she sang in backyard concerts run with her brother, Leslie. The family moved to Deepdene in 1949 and Robin joined church and school choirs. Later she was to study classical singing with Stella Power, modern singing with Jack White, TV Presentation with Natalie Raine of Crawford Productions and acting/singing with Jessie Matthews. Following her victory in a talent quest at the Orama Ballroom, she was invited to join the Orama Big Band with singers Harry Cox and Arlene Forrest. She also sang with the Kerm Jones Jazz Band at Power House and with Frank Johnson's Jazz Band at Jazz Junction. Robin became resident band vocalist at the historic Federal Hotel in Collins Street with the Rudi Laquer Trio. She also sang at The Savoy Plaza with the George Cadman Trio. A year later she became resident vocalist at the Ress Oriental Hotel with the Lennie Holmes Trio. Later, Robin married pianist Peter Jones, singing under the name 'Robin Vanser' in clubs in Sydney and regional New South Wales. She was booked for a Vietnam War tour and also sang in Tahiti. Returning to Melbourne, her agent booked her to appear in shows in Tasmania including West Point Casino and Melbourne country venues. Another agent, John Bishop, booked her to do floor shows in Melbourne, including Xmas Seasons at the Hampton Hotel where she entertained audiences with her comedy and audience participation routines. In 1971, Robin Kelly retired to run her Robin Hood Antiques business in Canterbury, during which time she was married to tenor Glenn Kelly. Later she joined Sing Australia Camberwell Choir, performing as a soloist at their Melbourne Town Hall Concert.

Significance

The Vandersluys-Kelly Collection of photographs, costumes and musical performance memorabilia was donated to the Kew Historical Society by Robin Denise Kelly in 2018. The collection is an important record of stage and recorded performances in Australia in the second half of the 20th century. This new nationally-focused and artistically significant collection augments and contextualises the local performing arts materials in our collection.

Women's Clothing - Dress : Bodice & Skirt, 1895-1900

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Late Victorian black silk damask outfit comprising a flared skirt and a short bodice. The high necked bodice reflects changing fashions at the turn of the 20th Century in that the silk fabric on the bosom is lightly gathered. The sleeves are pleated at the elbow. The skirt is lined with a black cotton lining. The neckline of the bodice includes a narrow band of pale cream lace. The outfit was owned by one of the donor's maternal ancestors.

Fashion Plate - History of Fashion - Republic from 1790 to 1792, Republic from 1793 to1794

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Framed fashion plate showing the 'History of Fashion' from 1792-94 in France.

Photograph - Charles Grimes Re-enactment, Yarra River, Kew, 1978

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Charles Grimes Re-Enactment, Yarra River, Kew, 1978. The photograph is of a student of Trinity Grammar School and the Mayor of Kew, Cr. Whiting.

Inscriptions & Markings

Inscription on reverse: "KH-161. Society's contribution to the 1978 Festival of Kew. Re-enactment of first white man's journey and discovery of the Yarra River and the area now know (sic) as Kew. 1978. This was in the year 1903 when Grimes and party came upon the Yarra to seek a possible site for a new convict settlement. Cr. Whiting, Mayor of Kew, receiving the report from Grimes, 'Andrew Allen'. Cr. Hutchinson in top hat 'town cryer'. Bush band in backround." Ripped stamp on reverse: "Standard N[ewspapers]."

Photograph - Terrace Houses, Kew

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Terrace houses in Kew. Undated.

Laundry Equipment - Galvanised Iron 'Dipper'

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Cylindrical galvanised iron laundry dipper with handle.

Photograph - Studley House, Xavier Preparatory School, circa 1965

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

South façade of Studley House showing the protruding colonnaded veranda

Significance

This work forms part of the collection assembled by the historian Dorothy Rogers, that was donated to the Kew Historical Society by her son John Rogers in 2015. The manuscripts, photographs, maps, and documents were sourced by her from both family and local collections or produced as references for her print publications. Many were directly used by Rogers in writing ‘Lovely Old Homes of Kew’ (1961) and 'A History of Kew' (1973), or the numerous articles on local history that she produced for suburban newspapers. Most of the photographs in the collection include detailed annotations in her hand. The Rogers Collection provides a comprehensive insight into the working habits of a historian in the 1960s and 1970s. Together it forms the largest privately-donated collection within the archives of the Kew Historical Society.

Button - Wattle Day: For Children’s Charities

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

A ‘Wattle Day’ badge featuring the head of a young girl surrounded by sprays of wattle. In the design for this fundraising button the purpose of the fundraising – ‘for Children’s Charities’ is emphasised.

Historical information

Most of the civic and sporting ephemera assembled by Francis Rigg were patriotic buttons. The use of these buttons as a means of raising revenue through patriotic sentiment occurred soon after Australia pledged allegiance to Empire. Buttons reflected ‘public sentiment, courage, patriotism, generosity and several [un- named] virtues’ such as the martyred mother of a ‘fallen’ hero. Attention was paid to attractiveness of design, encoded symbolism and high quality of production. Expressing ‘loyalty’, they were tokens to be kept for perpetuity. Female labour was used to operate the die that compressed the tin backing, photographic print and celluloid cover together. The pin was applied by hand. Women, of all ages, entered into the spirit of voluntary sales. Often they were sold at the entry and exit points of major pedestrian thoroughfares. The women of Kew set up a kiosk in front of the Post Office and the Railway Station to solicit their round, oval and square shaped wares. Pride in salesmanship was affected by publishing the name of the woman and her fiscal achievement in the major newspapers of the day.

Significance

The buttons form part of a collection of ephemera assembled by Francis Horace Rigg (19/10/1882-05/03/1946) of 50 Belford Road, Kew (Vic.). Frances Rigg was a local business identity in Kew, ultimately managing the local branch of the English, Scottish and Australian (ES&A) Bank at 175 High Street, Kew from c. 1920 until the 1940s. After Francis Rigg’s death, the collection of buttons and medallions was inherited by his son, Ken Rigg (14/11/1922-19/01/2014). The collection was subsequently donated to the Kew Historical Society in 2015 by his grandson Adrian Rigg at the time of the Gallipoli & Beyond Commemoration. The collection covers a period of almost 40 years. The majority of the buttons are patriotic buttons, issued and sold during and immediately after the First World World War (1914-1918) to raise funds for national and overseas causes. The collection also includes a number of locally significant sporting event buttons and sporting club medallions, issued in the 1920s and 1930s.

Photograph - Monnington, Adeney Avenue

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Monnington in Adeney Avenue was built by James Griffiths in 1886. His family lived there till about 1917.

Significance

This work forms part of the collection assembled by the historian Dorothy Rogers, that was donated to the Kew Historical Society by her son John Rogers in 2015. The manuscripts, photographs, maps, and documents were sourced by her from both family and local collections or produced as references for her print publications. Many were directly used by Rogers in writing ‘Lovely Old Homes of Kew’ (1961) and 'A History of Kew' (1973), or the numerous articles on local history that she produced for suburban newspapers. Most of the photographs in the collection include detailed annotations in her hand. The Rogers Collection provides a comprehensive insight into the working habits of a historian in the 1960s and 1970s. Together it forms the largest privately-donated collection within the archives of the Kew Historical Society.

Inscriptions & Markings

"Monnington. James Griffiths House."