[Sydney Street Life]. fl. c. Aust., s.
[Sydney Street Life]
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[Sydney Street Life]

c1895-1900. Collection of 40 albumen paper photographs, some numbered in negative, sizes from 8.3 x 6.4cm to 7.7 x 10.4cm. Foxing, discolouration, some with repairs, slight tears, creases or missing portions to edges.

This unusual and rare collection includes diverse images of street traders and labourers of various ethnicities, laundry-women, a person in a wheelchair, ferry terminals, trams, horse-drawn goods and passenger transport, parades and other gatherings of men, women and children in public.

Arthur Syer, brother of the artist Walter Syer, was a friend of cartoonist Phil May and supplied him with selected ‘snapshot’ photographs of ordinary people in daily life, which assisted Phil May in creating the life-like quality of his drawings. Syer’s low angle photographs were taken surreptitiously, using a pocket camera. Such cameras, sometimes concealed in parcels or portmanteaux, were made possible with the invention of daylight-loading roll film in 1891. Kodak was among the first to release its pocket camera in 1895. Syer’s larger format photography, which appears in other collections, would have been taken with the more traditional dry plate camera on a tripod. Ref: SLNSW.

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Item #CL174-63

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