One of the most astonishing photographic documentations ever undertaken.
February 24, 2013 5:02 PM   Subscribe

More than a century before a Californian search engine sent cars to record houses for Google Street View, a German-born prospector entrepreneur employed photographers to rove Australia's boom gold towns with large format cameras, capturing every aspect of the rapidly developing colony of New South Wales to attract early migrants. The collection has now been digitised by the NSW State Library. Samples. Then and now comparison.
posted by Mezentian (11 comments total) 45 users marked this as a favorite
Oh this is good.

I always forget just how much of a difference the gold rush made to Australia. It's fantastic to drive through the Victorian goldfields and see the evidence of the boom.
posted by awfurby at 5:30 PM on February 24, 2013


Dieter Roth

Reykjavik Slides
Every View of a City

(31,035 slides)

1973 –1975 / 1990 – 1998

Featuring 31,035 slides shown on multiple projectors, ‘Reykjavik Slides’ was inspired by the distinctive character of Icelandic architecture and documents every building in the capital.
posted by R. Mutt at 5:54 PM on February 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

Oh, amazing. I wish more of the Victorian goldfields shots from the collection were online; I've just been doing a family history project on ancestors who came out for the gold rush and were on the goldfields around Ballarat, Clunes & Creswick at this time. But even these samples give a great view of what life on the goldfields in the 1870s must have looked like.
posted by andraste at 6:03 PM on February 24, 2013

It was amusing to see the crude streets flowing with mud, and then the 1872 pictures were pretty funny too.
posted by charlie don't surf at 6:20 PM on February 24, 2013

The bark hut undertakers would have had a particular perfume.
posted by mattoxic at 6:34 PM on February 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Just adding the fact that they were shot using olde time plates means you can zoom in to some amazing levels of detail in the digitised link.
posted by Mezentian at 7:04 PM on February 24, 2013

I love how, in the 'then and now' images, half of them show nothing much has changed at all.
posted by Flashman at 7:06 PM on February 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

Thanks for these links, I love seeing Australian content here on metafilter.
posted by MT at 12:36 AM on February 25, 2013

Yay, there can't be too much of this kind of thing on the internet.
posted by marxchivist at 7:46 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

Everybody sure had a lot of time to stand around in the street back then.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:06 AM on February 25, 2013

Well, yeah, union labour.
posted by Mezentian at 6:16 PM on February 25, 2013

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