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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', [email protected], 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

2427 items with images

Photograph - Roseneath, Pakington Street, circa 1960

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Facade of Roseneath, Pakington Street, Kew.

Historical information

Roseneath is an A-listed house in the City of Boroondara. It was built between 1858 and 1860.

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

Roseneath, 37 Pakington St., Kew. Built between 1858-1860. E.J. Dunns home. & dogs all sold

Hat - Black Straw & Fabric

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Wide brimmed black coloured straw hat with net and black fabric flowers.

Postcard - Xavier College, Kew

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Postcard showing Xavier College quadrangle and side of main hall.

Significance

The item forms part of the Laurie Bennett collection of thirty-six postcards and photographs of Kew and early Melbourne, donated to the Kew Historical Society in 1980. The postcards in the Bennett collection, like other images in the Society's holdings date from the 1890s to the present and comprehensively indicate points-of-view or scenes considered historically, aesthetically or socially significant in the period in which they were produced.

Inscriptions & Markings

"Reg. No. KH-395 (obsolete number). Opened 1878. Xavier College! Donated by Mr. L. Bennett, 1980".

Photograph - Duncan R. McGregor, Mayor [of Kew] 1878-80

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Framed portrait of Cr. Duncan R. McGregor, Mayor of Kew 1878-80. The mounting and framing of the photograph follows a typical layout or style in that each is framed in dark wood, glazed, and laid down on an inscribed board. The inscription identifies the name of the mayor and the year/s that he/she served.

Significance

The collection of photographs presented by the former City of Kew to the the Kew Historical Society in 1987 is historically significant. It comprises 85 original photographs, and two portraits of the former Clerks of the Kew City Council covering the period from 1863 to 1969. The earliest photographs date from c.1906, when the Town of Kew Council commissioned the noted local photographer Josiah E Barnes to make copy photographs of earlier images of Kew mayors and to photograph the current mayor for a display in its Council Chamber in Walpole Street, Kew. The photographs are large format and handsomely framed. The collection also includes photographs by other well-known photographic studios such as Burlington Studios, Melba – Melbourne, Stuart Tompkins, Spencer Shier and Talma & Co - the majority of the photographs are signed by the photographer, and have the dates of office of the mayor inscribed on the mount. There are only three missing portraits in the series. 80 photographs are housed in their original frames – the early photographs were framed by Beaument's Art Gallery, Picture Framing and Mount Cutting specialists, a business previously located next to the Hawthorn Town Hall in Burwood Road.

Costume - Evening Dress: Black Crepe, Sliver Thread & Glass Beads, 1920s

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Black chiffon 'flapper' evening dress embroidered with silver thread using chain stitch and glass beads simulating Parisian jet.

Historical information

Short Evening Gown worn by Mrs Udora Freame to the Kew Mayoral Ball at Hawthorn Town Hall in the 1920s.

Photograph: Kew Cottages, Tent Dormitory

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Framed photograph, forming part of the Kew Cottages collection, donated by Dr Cliff Judge in 1993. Dr. Judge was a consultant psychiatrist at the cottages for 14 years, as well as an author and vocal advocate for the intellectually disabled and their families.

Historical information

The Children's Cottages at Kew were first opened in 1887 as the "Idiot Ward" of Kew Asylum. Located on the asylum's grounds, the children's cottages were established to provide separate accommodation for child inmates who had previously been housed with adult patients. Although the Cottages only admitted children as patients, many of those children remained in residence at the Cottages as adults. The function of the institution was to provide accommodation and educational instruction for intellectually disabled children. Some Wards of the State and other various "difficult" children were also admitted.Shortly after opening, the Idiot Ward began functioning separately from the Kew Lunatic Asylum, and became known as the Kew Idiot Asylum from 1887 until c.1929. From 1929 they have been known as the "Children's Cottages, Kew" or alternatively "Kew Cottages Training Centre". The institution was finally closed in July 2008. [Source: Wikipedia, 2016]

Significance

One of a series of framed historical photographs of the Kew Cottages that once formed part of the collection of the Kew Cottages Historical Society, founded by Dr. Cliff Judge and Fran Van Brummelen in the 1980s. The set contains both copies of originals in other collections such as the Public Record Office Victoria and photographs taken by Dr Judge for his books on intellectual disability in Victoria. The significance of the set of framed photographs is that they provide a curated collection of images of the development of the Cottages over a one hundred year period.

Inscriptions & Markings

"An old dormitory in the year 1973. It is still in use as a therapy room and store. Originally these buildings were called tents. Open air treatment was used to cure bad cases of insanity."

Photograph - Dr. Henry Rogerson, Medical Superintendent, Kew Mental Hospital, 1938-1949

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Formal photograph used for exhibition purposes at the Willsmere Hospital of past medical superintendents. Each photograph is framed with a white mount on which the name of the superintendent and his term of office is recorded.

Historical information

The new Kew Lunatic Asylum was completed in 1871 and opened in 1872. The year 1972 marked it's centenary. Over the years, members of staff at the asylum collected records, photographs, publications and plans of the asylum, later hospital. The Society has a number of important collections relating to the asylum and the Children's Cottages. These include the Dr Cliff Judge, the Irena Higgins and the Dr Fred Stamp Collections. This portrait photograph is one of a number of items donated by the family of the late Dr. Fred Stamp who was the last medical superintendent of the Hospital. Dr Frederick Stamp graduated from Bristol Medical School (UK) in 1968. He and his family emigrated to Australia in 1977 to Goulburn (NSW), moving to Melbourne in 1980. He became Superintendent at Willsmere in 1981 until its closure in 1988.

Significance

Following their closure, the medical records of the Kew Mental Hospital and the Children's Cottages Kew were relocated to the archives of Victorian Government departments and ultimately to the Public Records Office of Victoria. Other collections, such as the Fred Stamp Collection, were assembled by staff who worked at the hospital. The years leading up to the closure of Kew must have been fraught, and many of the items in the hospital were probably destined for hard waste disposal. Dr. Fred Stamp, the last medical superintendent, kept aside or rescued a number of these items, of which this is one. Following his death, his family donated these to the Kew Historical Society. The Society recognises these items to be of lasting historical significance, essentially due to their provenance and to their rarity. Together they (and the Judge and Higgins Collections) are an invaluable aid for researchers of the institutions' histories.

Photograph - Early automobile, circa 1916

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Oval photograph showing three men outside a garage with a car.

Inscriptions & Markings

Nil

Tool - Moulding Plane, 5/8” Beading, Moseley & Son London

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Plane - Wooden Moulding, Beechwood & Metal, 5/8” Beading, Moseley & Son London

Historical information

In woodworking, a moulding plane is a specialised plane used for making the complex shapes found in wooden mouldings. Traditionally, moulding planes were blocks of wear resistant hardwood, often beech or maple, which were worked to the shape of the intended moulding. The blade, or iron was likewise formed to the intended moulding profile and secured in the body of the plane with a wooden wedge. A traditional cabinetmakers shop might have many, perhaps hundreds, of moulding planes for the full range of work to be performed.

Significance

Bertie Robert Edgar Greenwood was born c. 1880/81 and died aged 82 in Hawthorn in 1963. His father and possibly his grandfather were also carpenters. Bertie’s work as a cabinetmaker required precise planing to give lovely edges and other elaborate decorations. The major item in the tool collection is Bertie’s wooden box, which houses 45 different moulding planes. Later in his life, he used these skills extensively when he worked as a patternmaker for a plastering company. Bertie worked through his seventies, retiring when he lost a finger. The tool collection was donated to the Kew Historical Society by Bertie’s granddaughter, Pamela Webster Bloom, a former resident of Kew.

Inscriptions & Markings

Stamped ‘5/8’, and owner name ‘G. Greenwood’ with ‘G’ subsequently over-stamped with ‘B’. Later engraved number ‘5’ added on entering the collection in 2010.

Medallion - Kew Cricket Club KCC 1931-1932

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

One of three blue and gilt enamel on metal membership medallions produced by the Kew Cricket Club for the year 1931-32 and which belonged to Francis Horace Rigg (1882-1946). The medallion is enameled in shades of blue and gold with the initials of the Club at centre, the full name of the Club at top and the period for which the member would gain access to games at the base.

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.

Postcard [and Envelope] - Field Service Postcard from James Leonard Foley, 1915

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Single page Field Service Postcard and Envelope from James Leonard Foley to Mrs Eliza Foley of 3 Foley Street in Kew. Private J.L. Foley (1600) served during World War one with the 24th Battalion. He died on the Western Front. His parents were Edward and Eliza Foley of 3 Foley Street, Kew.

Historical information

James Leonard Foley’s family lived at ‘Warringal’, 3 Foley Street, Kew. Like many other soldiers from Kew, he was educated at the Kew State School. He enlisted at the age of 19 in March 1915. His previous occupation is recorded as 'Blacksmith'. James sent a postcard to his mother in 1915 saying that he was ‘quite well’. He was to be killed in action on the Western Front on 24 August 1916 and is buried in the Villers-Bretonneux cemetery.

Plaque: The Jubilee of the Municipality of Kew, Brass, Decr. 1910

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Brass plaque, originally attached to the first rotunda in the Alexandra Gardens in Kew, commemorating the Jubilee of Kew in 1910.

Inscriptions & Markings

Erected by / Public Subscription to Mark / The Jubilee of the Municipality of Kew / Opened by Sir Thos. Gibson Carmichael / Bart. K.C.M.G / Governor of Victoria / 8th Decr. 1910. / H.H. Harrison, Town Clerk / J.F. McCrae, Mayor

Photograph - Ceiling fresco, Drawingroom, ‘Southesk’, Cotham Road, Kew (dem. 1970)

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

The most significant decorative aspects of Southesk (formerly ‘Ordsall’) were the murals in the front two rooms. An article in the Melbourne Argus in 1882 records that Mr Vandenbrandt and Signor Rizzi created these under the supervision of Cullis Hill. This fresco from the ceiling of the drawingroom was described by the reporter as ‘done in the quaint old 14th century style … The second panel represents a hawking party. The ladies hold aloft the natural perches for their falcons. The men, seated in picturesque variety of attitude, hold their cross-bows, and a boy is relieving a heron from an arrow which has pierced its bosom.’

Historical information

Colour enlargement of a photograph (slide) of Southesk (formerly Ordsall) in Cotham Road, Kew (demolished 1970).

Photograph

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Black and white photograph of Stanley Wilson or Howard Bell, who performed on different nights as Frank, the governor of the gaol in the "Q" Theatre Guild's performances of Gay Rosalinda, an arrangement of Johann Strauss' Die Fledermaus. The performance took place in the new Kew City Hall, with scenery created by Robert Jewell and Claud Ward. Costumes were designed and made by Marion Tilley.

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.

Book - After the First Hundred Years 1900-1950 / by Helen G Palmer (1912- ) & Jessie McLeod (1909-1996); illustrated by Mary MacQueen

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

203p. : illus.

Significance

The volume formed part of the professional library of the historian Dorothy Rogers.

Inscriptions & Markings

Owner signature: Dorothy Rogers

Clock

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

A wooden mantel clock presented to Mr F. McArdle by the Kew Catholic Young Men’s Society on the occasion of his marriage. The date engraved on the plaque is 29 June 1936. F. McArdle was the father of the three McArdle family members who are donating the item. The donors were born at 3 Wills Street, Kew.

Photograph - Kew Municipal Baths, [1929-33]

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Small B&W photograph of a crowd of onlookers watching swimming events in the old Kew Swimming Pool in High Street. The photograph can be dated to the years 1929-33, as the wooden grandstand was not erected until 1929 and it was before a new high swimming platform was erected in 1933.

Historical information

W.D. Vaughan in 'Kew's Civic Century' (1960) has a chapter (XXII, pp.103-105) on the Kew Swimming Pool (aka Kew Baths). In the chapter he recounts debate in Council from 1912 about the need for a swimming pool. The first concrete step toward achieving this occurred in 1914 when Council purchased the Tramways Sheds on the corner of High and Disraeli Streets in 1914. Further adjoining land in High Street was compulsorily acquired in 1923. The final plans were accepted in 1925 and following public tender, Messrs. Weavill and Keast were appointed to construct the pool at a cost of 5,418/9/-. The baths were formally opened on 18 November 1925 by George Ramsay, Mayor of Kew. (The Kew Swimming Club was founded in the same year.) Vaughan notes that "mixed bathing was not permitted at the Kew Baths until January, 1928, when it was allowed every evening (except Sundays) and Friday afternoons. A few years later these restrictions were removed altogether".

Inscriptions & Markings

"Old Swimming Pool. D1. 92"

Women's Clothing - Bodice : Silk Velvet & Lace, 1880s

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Black silk velvet, long-sleeved, waisted padded winter bodice with black lace and beading at cuffs and at basque.

Historical information

Netta Fuller and her husband Alec were long-term residents of Kew. As a boy, Alec had attended East Kew Primary School and was later highly involved in the Kew Presbyterian Church during the 1950s and 60s. Netta's passion was for historic clothing and its exhibition. In 1985, Netta Fuller and Elizabeth Pace launched a parade of garments sponsored by Kew Historical Society at Holy Trinity Church, Kew. The parade was called 'Downunder Dressmakers' and included a collection of over fifty items of clothing dating from 1800 to 1984. The collection included dresses, hats, scarfs, capes, sporting costumes etc. The core of the parade consisted of a collection of 19th century costumes worn by the ancestors of a Miss Gertrude Murray, a resident of Blackburn. In sourcing items for her collections, Netta Fuller collected costumes stored in old trunks and wardrobes, or even purchased from opportunity shops. (During the period in which she collected and exhibited costumes, the latter could often be a reliable source for the purchase of historic and aesthetically significant costumes.) Not satisfied with purchasing authentic costumes of the period, Netta also used these as models for artistic recreations. Following her retirement from both collecting and exhibiting, Netta Fuller donated a number of 19th Century garments to the Kew Historical Society's costume collection. A number of garments were parts of costumes such as bodices, while others were complete outfits. Some of the latter exhibit signs of old damage, however very few of the costumes had been modified to enable them to be worn in exhibitions. Provenance, apart from that the costumes were donated by Netta Fuller after 1985 is limited to donor information, although some of her donations may have originally been part of the collection owned by the Murray family. While the costumes are old and therefore historic, provenance is less important than the representativeness and/or rarity of the costumes. Similarly, the costumes need to be evaluated as a group and separately, considering their aesthetic and artistic significance as well a their age.

Musical Toy - Zinga Zoo

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Zinga Zoo - small plastic musical toy in a cardboard box.

Inscriptions & Markings

Exterior of box - "Zinga Zoo Regd. The Packet Band. An R.M. Precision moulded product by Rose Morris & Co.Ltd. London England" Plastic toy - "Zinga Zoo Regd. The "Pocket Band" RM&Co L79 London"

Women's Clothing - Evening Dress : Black Silk & Georgette, 1920s

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Long black silk georgette dinner dress.

Historical information

An item forming part of a collection of costumes, photographs and documents relating to the Weir family who lived in the mansion originally named Illapa, 84 Princess Street, Kew, from c.1917 to 1950. This historically significant collection includes items relating to both George Weir (1866-1937) and his wife Edith Mary Weir (1867-1948). George Weir attained national prominence in the mining industry, becoming General Manager of the North Broken Hill Silver Mining Company in 1903 (later renamed North Broken Hill Mining Company 1905-12, and North Broken Hill Ltd 1912-1988), and subsequently President of the Mine Owners Association. He was to remain General Manager of North Broken Hill Ltd until his retirement in 1926.

Significance

This garment is significant as it is part of 25-piece collection of women’s clothing owned by Edith Mary Weir (nee Betteridge), who was born in Clare, South Australia in 1867 and who died in Kew at the age of 81 in 1948. The items of clothing in the collection date from the 1880s to the 1940s and constitute outstanding examples of dressmaker’s skills from each of these decades. The collection includes day dresses, evening dresses, evening coats, capes, and undergarments. As the wife of a mining engineer, and later mine manager, Edith Weir’s clothing has historic significance as examples of clothing worn by upper middle class Australian women in domestic circumstances and at social and civic events. The costumes in the collection represent the periods when Edith Weir lived in Broken Hill, New South Wales, and in Kew, Melbourne. A number of the costumes from the 1920s to the 1940s are of a particularly fine quality, being both rare, representative and intact examples of Australian fashion of the period. The garments in the Weir Collection were donated to the Kew Historical Society by the granddaughter of Edith Weir.

Photograph - Cr. J. Lewis Carnegie, Mayor [of Kew] 1908-9; 1924-5; 1934-5

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Framed portrait of Cr. J. Lewis Carnegie, Mayor of Kew 1908-9; 1924-5; and 1934-5. The mounting and framing of the photograph follows a typical layout or style in that each is framed in dark wood, glazed, and laid down on an inscribed board. The inscription identifies the name of the mayor and the year/s that he/she served.

Significance

The collection of photographs presented by the former City of Kew to the the Kew Historical Society in 1987 is historically significant. It comprises 85 original photographs, and two portraits of the former Clerks of the Kew City Council covering the period from 1863 to 1969. The earliest photographs date from c.1906, when the Town of Kew Council commissioned the noted local photographer Josiah E Barnes to make copy photographs of earlier images of Kew mayors and to photograph the current mayor for a display in its Council Chamber in Walpole Street, Kew. The photographs are large format and handsomely framed. The collection also includes photographs by other well-known photographic studios such as Burlington Studios, Melba – Melbourne, Stuart Tompkins, Spencer Shier and Talma & Co - the majority of the photographs are signed by the photographer, and have the dates of office of the mayor inscribed on the mount. There are only three missing portraits in the series. 80 photographs are housed in their original frames – the early photographs were framed by Beaument's Art Gallery, Picture Framing and Mount Cutting specialists, a business previously located next to the Hawthorn Town Hall in Burwood Road.

Photograph - Willsmere Bridge, 1934

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

A view of flooded areas in North Kew in the flood of 1934.

Historical information

Several boathouses were built in Kew and Fairfield in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They included Chipperfield’s ‘Moorings’ and floating pontoon. The substantial two-storey house was named the Moorings, and incorporated an upper storey residence. The Moorings was almost washed away in the 1916 floods, and in 1934 almost totally submerged when the Yarra River rose 26 feet in 14 hours. Following the 1934 flood, the house was restored. The floating pontoon, sometimes referred to as a ‘kiosk’ or ‘canteen’, was used to store canoes. Both were removed in 1972 for the construction of the Eastern Freeway.

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

Willsmere Bridge. Chipperfields. 1934 flood

Photograph - James Vernon McCreery, Medical Superintendent, Kew Lunatic Asylum, 1883-1889

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Formal photograph used for exhibition purposes at the Willsmere Hospital of past medical superintendents. Each photograph is framed with a white mount on which the name of the superintendent and his term of office is recorded.

Historical information

The new Kew Lunatic Asylum was completed in 1871 and opened in 1872. The year 1972 marked it's centenary. Over the years, members of staff at the asylum collected records, photographs, publications and plans of the asylum, later hospital. The Society has a number of important collections relating to the asylum and the Children's Cottages. These include the Dr Cliff Judge, the Irena Higgins and the Dr Fred Stamp Collections. This portrait photograph is one of a number of items donated by the family of the late Dr. Fred Stamp who was the last medical superintendent of the Hospital. Dr Frederick Stamp graduated from Bristol Medical School (UK) in 1968. He and his family emigrated to Australia in 1977 to Goulburn (NSW), moving to Melbourne in 1980. He became Superintendent at Willsmere in 1981 until its closure in 1988.

Significance

Following their closure, the medical records of the Kew Mental Hospital and the Children's Cottages Kew were relocated to the archives of Victorian Government departments and ultimately to the Public Records Office of Victoria. Other collections, such as the Fred Stamp Collection, were assembled by staff who worked at the hospital. The years leading up to the closure of Kew must have been fraught, and many of the items in the hospital were probably destined for hard waste disposal. Dr. Fred Stamp, the last medical superintendent, kept aside or rescued a number of these items, of which this is one. Following his death, his family donated these to the Kew Historical Society. The Society recognises these items to be of lasting historical significance, essentially due to their provenance and to their rarity. Together they (and the Judge and Higgins Collections) are an invaluable aid for researchers of the institutions' histories.

Women's Clothing - Day Dress, Brown Silk Bodice and Skirt, 1860s

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Tan/Rust-coloured silk bodice and skirt. The silk used in the garment is self-patterned with a leaf design. The bodice has extensive gold and silver coloured glass beading. The silk used in the sleeves of the bodice and the skirt is badly degraded/‘shattered’.

Historical information

Netta Fuller and her husband Alec were long-term residents of Kew. As a boy, Alec had attended East Kew Primary School and was later highly involved in the Kew Presbyterian Church during the 1950s and 60s. Netta's passion was for historic clothing and its exhibition. In 1985, Netta Fuller and Elizabeth Pace launched a parade of garments sponsored by Kew Historical Society at Holy Trinity Church, Kew. The parade was called 'Downunder Dressmakers' and included a collection of over fifty items of clothing dating from 1800 to 1984. The collection included dresses, hats, scarfs, capes, sporting costumes etc. The core of the parade consisted of a collection of 19th century costumes worn by the ancestors of a Miss Gertrude Murray, a resident of Blackburn. In sourcing items for her collections, Netta Fuller collected costumes stored in old trunks and wardrobes, or even purchased from opportunity shops. (During the period in which she collected and exhibited costumes, the latter could often be a reliable source for the purchase of historic and aesthetically significant costumes.) Not satisfied with purchasing authentic costumes of the period, Netta also used these as models for artistic recreations. Following her retirement from both collecting and exhibiting, Netta Fuller donated a number of 19th Century garments to the Kew Historical Society's costume collection. A number of garments were parts of costumes such as bodices, while others were complete outfits. Some of the latter exhibit signs of old damage, however very few of the costumes had been modified to enable them to be worn in exhibitions. Provenance, apart from that the costumes were donated by Netta Fuller after 1985 is limited to donor information, although some of her donations may have originally been part of the collection owned by the Murray family. While the costumes are old and therefore historic, provenance is less important than the representativeness and/or rarity of the costumes. Similarly, the costumes need to be evaluated as a group and separately, considering their aesthetic and artistic significance as well a their age.

Bucket - Galvanised Metal

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Galvanised metal bucket

Postcard - The Port of Liverpool : The "Empress of Russia" At Prince's Landing Stage

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

The Port of Liverpool. Coloured postcard. The postcard was probably purchased by George and Edith Weir on a trip to England and Scotland, circa 1928.

Historical information

Collection of thirty-nine postcards donated by Jillian Rigby which had been owned by her grandparents, George and Edith Weir, who from c.1917 lived at 84 Princess Street, Kew. The mostly 'mint' postcards were purchased in Victoria and while travelling overseas. The sole dated postcard is dated from 1929. The postcards are numbered sequentially from 2017.0058.01-39. The remainder of the collection donated by Jill Rigby which was once owned by the Weirs of Broken Hill and Kew consist of costumes, costume accessories, photographs, and documents.

Significance

The postcards in the Weir collection, especially those purchased on a trip or trips to the mother country, i.e. United Kingdom, represent a representative sample of sites that were considered significant to those Australians undertaking a reverse grand tour by member of the erstwhile colonies. Those postcards which are early views of Melbourne must have been produced commercially for some decades from the early part of the 20th century.

Newspaper - The Boroondara Standard No.288 Vol.6, Thursday February 8th 1883

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Framed issue of the 'Boroondara Standard and Bulleen, Nunawading, and Lillydale Advertiser' - No.288 Vol.6, Thursday February 8th 1883

Historical information

The Boroondara Standard was published by W. Axford, Hawthorn, Vic. between 1884-1895

Photograph - Junction of the River Watt and Contentment Creek / by Nicholas Caire, circa 1876

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

Albumen Silver Photograph, mounted on Board.

Historical information

Nicholas Caire was born on Guernsey in the Channel Islands in 1837. He arrived in Adelaide with his parents in about 1860. In 1867, following photographic journeys in Gippsland, he opened a studio in Adelaide. From 1870 to 1876 he lived and worked in Talbot in Central Victoria. In 1876 he purchased T. F. Chuck's studios in the Royal Arcade Melbourne. In 1885, following the introduction of dry plate photography, he began a series of landscape series, which were commercially successful. As a photographer, he travelled extensively through Victoria, photographing places few of his contemporaries had previously seen. He died in 1918. Reference: Jack Cato, 'Caire, Nicholas John (1837–1918)', Australian Dictionary of Biography.

Significance

An original, rare photograph from the series 'Views of Victoria: General Series' by the photographer, Nicholas Caire (1837-1918). The series of 60 photographs that comprise the series was issued c. 1876 and reinforced a neo-Romantic view of the Australian landscape to which a growing nationalist movement would respond. Nicholas Caire was active as a photographer in Australia from 1858 until his death in 1918. His vision of the Australian bush and pioneer life had a counterpart in the works of Henry Lawson and other nationalist poets, authors and painters.

Inscriptions & Markings

printed in ink on support l.c.: JUNCTION OF THE RIVER WATT AND CONTENTMENT CREEK. / COPYRIGHT REGISTERED. printed in ink on support reverse c.: VIEWS OF VICTORIA. / (GENERAL SERIES.) / No. 1. / JUNCTION OF THE RIVER WATT AND CONTENTMENT CREEK. / This scene is situated about two miles to the westward of Fernshawe, a small but extremely romantic township. / The river, at this juncture, is crossed by a fallen tree, as may be seen in the illustration. The track which is seen on / the opposite side of the river leads to the summit of Mt. Munda (3,500 feet high), 4 miles distant, from which place / visitors can see the Australian Alps, in all their mighty grandeur, stretching for hundreds of miles on either side, / and, as far as the eye can reach, impressing a beholder with the appropriateness of their title, being that of the Great Dividing Range. printed in ink on support reverse l.c.l.: J.W. FORBES, Agent, printed in ink on support reverse l.c.: ANGLO-AUSTRALASIAN PHOTOGRAPHIC COMPANY, MELBOURNE. printed in ink on support reverse l.c.r.: 10 Temple Court, Collins Street West.

Artwork - 8. Kew: City of Parks and Gardens / by Joy Stewart, 1988

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

8. Kew. City of Parks and Gardens. A handcoloured cartoon created by the artist Joy Stewart as a template for the seventh of a series of embroidered panels depicting the history of Kew. Wool colour codes at left.

Historical information

Kew Tapestry The eight panels depict the history of Kew. This was a 1988 Australian Bi-Centennial Project carried out under the auspices of City of Kew Council and the Kew Historical Society Incorporated. Nearly 600 citizens including many children participated in the production by adding a few or more stitches. A book records their names and the panels upon which they worked. Artist: Joy Stewart Co-ordinator: Dorothy Benyei

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: "Proclaimed a Municipality - 18th December 1860 / Created a Borough - 1st October 1863 / Gazetted a Town - 14th December 1910 / Declared a City - 9th March 1921". Signed by the artist "(c) JStewart, 1988"

Photograph - Jebb's Pool, on the Erskine River, Near Lorne / by Nicholas Caire, circa 1876

Kew Historical Society Inc, Kew

'Jebb’s Pool, on the Erskine River, near Lorne’ : Views of Victoria (General Series) No.51 : Albumen silver photograph | Photo on card with Title and Description on reverse | Mounted 24 x 30 cm; Photo 12 x 17 cm.

Historical information

Nicholas Caire was born on Guernsey in the Channel Islands in 1837. He arrived in Adelaide with his parents in about 1860. In 1867, following photographic journeys in Gippsland, he opened a studio in Adelaide. From 1870 to 1876 he lived and worked in Talbot in Central Victoria. In 1876 he purchased T. F. Chuck's studios in the Royal Arcade Melbourne. In 1885, following the introduction of dry plate photography, he began a series of landscape series, which were commercially successful. As a photographer, he travelled extensively through Victoria, photographing places few of his contemporaries had previously seen. He died in 1918. Reference: Jack Cato, 'Caire, Nicholas John (1837–1918)', Australian Dictionary of Biography.

Significance

An original, rare photograph from the series 'Views of Victoria: General Series' by the photographer, Nicholas Caire (1837-1918). The 60 photographs that comprise the series were issued c. 1876 and reinforced a neo-Romantic view of the Australian landscape to which a growing nationalist movement would respond. Nicholas Caire was active as a photographer in Australia from 1858 until his death in 1918. His vision of the Australian bush and pioneer life had a counterpart in the works of Henry Lawson and other nationalist poets, authors and painters.

Inscriptions & Markings

On Reverse: ‘Jebb’s Pool is situated about four miles from the township of Lorne, and is so called in consequence of a gentleman named Jebb, whilst crossing the cataract, having fallen in and was swept down by the current into a whirlpool which is continually in motion, owing to the particular formation of the river and the powerful current of water. The depth of water in the pool must be considerable, as but for the timely assistance rendered his life would have been sacrificed.’