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Albury Views

Many places are recognisable for their vistas and Albury is no different. Images of Albury’s streets, grand buildings, gardens and monuments have long been used to promote and celebrate the city.

The objects in this exhibition, drawn from the AlburyCity Collection and private lenders, provide an insight into Albury throughout the twentieth century. These early photographic views of Albury record a developing city and reflect the image it wanted to share with the rest of Australia and beyond.

These views capture a community proud of their civic buildings and streetscapes, engineering achievements, monuments, amenities and setting on the Murray River. This imagery, repeated throughout the years on postcards and souvenirs, suggest a reinforcement of these values both within Albury and to its visitors.

Have these Albury Views stood the test of time?

Picturesque Albury
Pusterla Bros. Photographers, Albury, c. 1900
AlburyCity Collection ARM 12.726

“The above is the title of a splendid leaflet of views of all the principal buildings, streets, scenery, etc., surrounding and in Albury. The production is really well got up, the blocks being first class, and the photos call for special mention on behalf of the photographer, Mr. Pusterla” (The Border Morning Mail and Riverina Times, 17 December 1903).

Albury Illustrated
J. B. Thompson, Albury, c. 1913
AlburyCity Collection ARM 92.042

John Brown Thompson, born in Launceston in 1873, arrived in Albury in the 1890s. He joined the firm Messrs TF Hughes & Co. before opening his own business in 1904. The Olive Street store was a newsagency and mixed business selling books, stationery, leather goods, music and instruments. In 1908 J. B. Thompson’s is reported to have been carrying 17,000 picture postcards including his self-published series of local views.

Albury (Illustrated) Present Day Views
P. W. Blake
Albury, c. 1916
AlburyCity Collection ARM 90.020

Peter Wesley Blake, born in Ontario, Canada in 1860, immigrated to Australia in 1881. He moved to Albury in 1896 after purchasing the newsagency and stationery business of Messrs TF Hughes & Co. Described as ‘enterprising’, his store named Blake’s Busy Book Bazaar, stocked “everything required in books, newspapers, stationery, leather and fancy goods, music, musical instruments etc” (Border Morning Mail and Riverina Times, 16 May 1906). Like J. B. Thompson, Blake published a series of local pictorial postcards in the early 1900s. Blake sold the store in 1912 to Arthur Hewish who retained the name of the store.

Greetings from Albury New South Wales to Our Kinsfolk Overseas
Adams, Cooper and Adams Printers, Albury, 1928
AlburyCity Collection ARM 95.329

Greetings from Albury
Valentine Publishing Co. Melbourne, Date unknown
AlburyCity Collection ARM 13.750.01

From ‘Matchless’ Albury
Valentine Publishing Co. London, Date unknown
AlburyCity Collection ARM 17.848

Vuelets of Albury
Rose Stereograph Co. Armadale, c. 1930-1940
AlburyCity Collection ARM 16.020

Postcards

Postcards were introduced into Australia in October 1875, six years after originating in Austria. These early postcards had no pictures and were produced mostly by the Post Office, with strict regulations on size and placement of address. It was in 1905, with the growing popularity of pictorial postcards, that the format we are familiar with today was allowed by the Australian Post Office.

Between 1900 and 1920, picture postcards were incredibly popular in Australia. In 1905, T H Mate & Co Ltd carried a selection of 13,000 different postcards, at a time when Albury’s population is estimated to have been 6,414. The Albury Banner and Wodonga Express reported that in November 1906, no less than 7,254 postcards had been posted at the Albury Post Office and that 5,655 had been received.

They were popular not only as a cheap and informal way to send messages, but as inexpensive souvenirs. It was noted that despite the small price, “in this particular instance the some-time accompaniment of cheapness – nastiness – is not apparent...not infrequently it is a gem of which the artist may well be proud” (Albury Banner and Wodonga Express, 15 February 1907).

In addition to those produced by large firms such as Rose Stereograph Co. and Valentines Publishing Co. Pty Ltd, postcards were also published by local businesses including P W Blake and J B Thompson up until c. 1910.

George Rose (1861-1942) was described in his obituary as “one of the pioneers of photographic art in Australia” (The Age, 21 January 1942). A hobby in photography led to experimentation with three-dimensional stereoscopic work and the establishment of the Rose Stereograph Co. in 1880.

After the popularity of stereographs declined, in 1913 he turned to the production of postcards. The company, which was sold to Herbert Cutts in 1940, continued to produce postcards until 1967 when the company switched to machine manufactured postcards printed by an external company.

Rose Series Picturesque Views of Albury
Rose Stereograph Co.
Armadale, c. 1950-1960
AlburyCity Collection ARM 91.076, ARM 14.900, ARM 90.025.03, ARM 11.068

Valentine Publishing Co. was originally a branch of the Scottish lithographic company Valentine & Sons established in 1851. In 1923, when the company closed most of its overseas branches, the Australian branch was acquired by Percy George Watkins and John Faull Palamountain and set up as a new company. The close relationship between the companies continued however, with many of the cards published by the company being printed in Great Britain up until 1955. The company ceased operations in 1963.

Left to right

Photographic Souvenir of Albury
J. B. Thompson, Albury, date unknown
AlburyCity Collection ARM 17.830

Albury Photographic Souvenir
Valentine Publishing Co. Melbourne, c.1930s - 1950s
AlburyCity Collection ARM 16.060

Albury Photographic Booklet No. 1 and No. 2
Valentine Publishing Co. Melbourne, c.1930s - 1950s
AlburyCity Collection ARM 09.135, ARM 14.015

A Souvenir of Beautiful Albury
Nucolorvue Productions, Melbourne, c. 1947
AlburyCity Collection ARM 17.829

Albury N.S.W Favourite Views
Murray Views. Gympie, Queensland, c. 1949
AlburyCity Collection ARM 11.097

Modern Views in Colour
c.1950
AlburyCity Collection ARM 16.060

A Colorful Souvenir of Albury
c.1950
AlburyCity Collection ARM 13.151

Beautiful Views in Colour of Albury and Vicinity, N.S.W
Valentine Publishing Co. c. 1940s
AlburyCity Collection ARM 11.067

Albury
Nucolorvue Productions, Melbourne, c. 1950
AlburyCity Collection ARM 11.296

Albury
Nucolorvue Productions, Melbourne, c. 1950
AlburyCity Collection ARM 11.066

Beautiful Views in Colour of Albury, N.S.W
Valentine Publishing Co. c.1965
AlburyCity Collection ARM 17.055

Souvenirs

The birth of leisure tourism occurred in Europe in the mid 1800s from the custom of the Grand Tour. As more travellers sought out items to bring home from their journey, spoons etched with names of cities and famous landmarks gained popularity. Seeking to expand its selection of products for the new market of middle and lower-class travellers, the souvenir industry branched into tableware.

This collection of souvenirs features examples of the extensive range of fine bone china tableware patterns produced by manufacturers in Czechoslovakia and England, c.1930s - 1940s. The manufacturers were provided with photographic transfers which were applied to the china and tinted by hand before a final glazing.

The glassware pieces, c.1950s, were made more economically by adhering photographs, often colourised, to the base of clear glass pieces.

More contemporary souvenirs from the region show a move to smaller objects of more durable materials such as handkerchiefs, key fobs and cloth badges.  Some items are intended not for visitors, but for residents such as the This Is Your City board game. What can be seen from these objects is that whilst the form and function may have differed, it is the same views of Albury being celebrated.

Left, top row, left to right

Dish ‘Bridge Over The Murray, Albury’
c.1930
AlburyCity Collection ARM 17.016

Spoon rest, ‘Souvenir from the Bridge of the Murray River, Albury N.S.W’
Willow Art, England, c. 1930
AlburyCity Collection ARM 17.014

Dish, ‘Union Bridge, Albury’
Porzellanfabrik Victoria AG, Czechoslovakia, c.1930
Courtesy of Ron Boadle

Left, bottom row, left to right

Dish ‘Bridge Over The Murray, Albury’
c.1950
Courtesy of Ron Boadle

Dish, ‘River Murray, Albury’
Royal Stafford, England, c.1940-1960
AlburyCity Collection ARM 19.047

Right

‘The Murray River Near Albury’
The Weekly Times Annual, Melbourne, 1933
Courtesy of Ron Boadle

Top row, left to right

Souvenir dish, ‘Hume Weir, Albury’
c.1940s, AlburyCity Collection ARM 19.048

Stubby cooler, ‘Albury’
Australia Post, c.2019

Middle row, left to right

Tile, ‘The Hume Weir near Albury N.S.W’
Kookaburra China Co. Lavington, c. 1950
Courtesy of Ron Boadle

Ashtray, ‘Hume Weir’
England, c.1950s, AlburyCity Collection ARM 19.046

Postcard
Australia Post, c.2019

Bottom row, left to right

Bowl, ‘Hume Weir – Albury’
Westminster Fine China, Melbourne, c.1960
Courtesy of Howard Jones OAM

Dish, ‘Hume Weir, Albury N.S.W’
Crown Devon, England, c.1940s
Courtesy of Ron Boadle

Woven badge, ‘Albury Wodonga’
Nucolorvue Productions, Melbourne, date unknown
AlburyCity Collection ARM 19.008.02

Postcard
Rose Stereograph Co. Armadale, date unknown
Courtesy of Ron Boadle

Left, top to bottom

Plate, ‘Albury Town Hall’
Sampson Hancock & Sons, England, c.1935
AlburyCity Collection ARM 15.284

Postcard
1907
AlburyCity Collection ARM 90.032

Right, top to bottom

Vase, ‘Dean Street, Albury N.S.W’
Porzellanfabrik Victoria AG, Czechoslovakia, c.1930
AlburyCity Collection ARM 13.311

Jug, ‘Dean Street, Albury’
Sampson Hancock & Sons, England, c.1935
Courtesy of Ron Boadle

Postcard
A Riverina Commercial Press Colour Production, Griffith, N.S.W, c.1963
Courtesy of Ron Boadle

Postcard, ‘Dean Street, Albury
Nucolorvue Productions, Melbourne, c1970
Courtesy of Ron Boadle

Left and centre

Cup and dish,Bandstand in the Gardens, Albury N.S.W’
Royal Stafford, England, c.1920-1940
Courtesy of Ron Boadle

Dish, ‘Botanic Gardens Albury’
c.1950s
AlburyCity Collection ARM 19.049

Dish, ‘Botanic Gardens, Albury, N.S.W’
Royal Stafford, England, c.1920-1940
AlburyCity Collection ARM 19.049

Right

Cup and Saucer, ‘High School Albury N.S.W’
Porzellanfabrik Victoria AG, Czechoslovakia, c.1920-1930
AlburyCity Collection ARM 19.045

Ashtray, ‘High School Albury N.S.W’
Porzellanfabrik Victoria AG, Czechoslovakia, c.1920-1930
AlburyCity Collection ARM 15.018

These ‘High School Albury, NSW’ objects, in addition to the manufacturer’s mark, are stamped with ‘C.C Potts, Albury’. Potts ran a mixed business in Albury in the 1920s-1930s.

Top row

Dish and jewellery box, ‘Soldier’s Memorial, Albury, N.S.W’
Porzellanfabrik Victoria AG, Czechoslovakia, c.1936-1945
AlburyCity Collection ARM 10.037

Dish, ‘Soldier’s Memorial, Albury, N.S.W’
Porzellanfabrik Victoria AG, Czechoslovakia, c.1936-1945
AlburyCity Collection ARM 07.200

Ashtray, ‘War Memorial. Albury’
c. 1930s
AlburyCity Collection ARM 17.015

Spoon, ‘Albury N.S.W’
Hansen & Berry Ltd, New Zealand, c.1995
AlburyCity Collection ARM 10.039

Bookmark, ‘Albury N.S.W’
c. 1950s
AlburyCity Collection ARM 16.303

Key fob, ‘War Memorial Albury’
Stokes (Australasia) Pty Ltd, Melbourne, date unknown
AlburyCity Collection ARM 19.007

Bottom row

Plate. ‘War Memorial, Albury’.
Alfred Clough Ltd., England, c.1935-1950s
Courtesy of Howard Jones OAM

Handkerchief, ‘Souvenir of Albury’
c. 1950s
Courtesy of Howard Jones OAM

Top row

Vase, ‘Albury War Memorial’
RKG under license for Royal Sydney China, Czechoslovakia, c.1920
Courtesy of Howard Jones OAM

Cup, ‘Albury War Memorial’
Mayer & Sherratt, England, c. 1925-1941
Courtesy of Howard Jones OAM

Cup and Saucer, ‘War Memorial Albury N.S.W’
Alka Kunst, Bavaria, c1955-1960
Courtesy of Ron Boadle

Cup, ‘War Memorial. Albury’
IBC Royal Scenic China, Czechoslovakia, c.1925-1940
Courtesy of Ron Boadle

Salt and Pepper Shakers, ‘War Memorial. Albury’
Royal Stafford, England, c. 1925-1940
Courtesy of Ron Boadle

Bottom row

Plate, ‘War Memorial. Albury’
Royal Stafford, England, c. 1925-1940
AlburyCity Collection ARM 12.908

Dish, ‘War Memorial. Albury’
Royal Stafford, England, c. 1925-1940
Courtesy of Howard Jones OAM

Ashtray, ‘War Memorial Albury’
Taylor & Kent, England, c. 1925-1940
Courtesy of Howard Jones OAM

Jug, ‘The Hovell Memorial Tree, Albury N.S.W
Porzellanfabrik Rudolf Kämpf G.m.b.H
Czechoslovakia, c.1918-1938
Courtesy of Ron Boadle

Jug, cup, bowl and dish, ‘The Hovell Memorial Tree’
Porzellanfabrik Rudolf Kämpf G.m.b.H
Czechoslovakia, c.1918-1938
AlburyCity Collection ARM 10.036, ARM 10.035, ARM 10.034, ARM 10.031

Ashtray, ‘Hovell’s Tree, Albury’
Royal Stafford
England, c. 1925-1940
AlburyCity Collection ARM 92.093

Your Albury Views

When you think of Albury, are these the pictures that come to mind?

In the early twentieth century, carefully selected vistas were used to shape an image of Albury. In the twenty-first century, photography has been democratised by the advent of camera phones and social media. With a simple hashtag, anyone can contribute a view of Albury.

Many of the sites celebrated by the original Albury Views series still stand today, however social media demonstrates a move away from images of our built heritage.  The focus now leans towards Albury’s magnificent natural settings and perhaps unsurprisingly for social media, food.

We invite you to share your favourite view of Albury #visitAW #AlburyViews


We would like to acknowledge the generous assistance of Howard Jones OAM, Ron Boadle and Richard Lee.

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