“There is again another argument in favour of a shorthand writer which I am sure the Attorney-General will appreciate, even if it does not commend itself to the Colonial Treasurer; and that is there is at the present moment no record of important criminal trials, or the judgments of the Supreme Court, beyond what can be found in newspapers. Now, I should be the last man to impugn in any way the accuracy of newspaper reports, but I am sure that every reporter will agree, and every thinking person will see, that it is often necessary to cut down reports in order that matter of varied kind may also find a place in the columns of the paper, and that perhaps a point of vital importance to a lawyer may be cast aside for its dry, abstract, unreadable character. Besides this, the files of a newspaper are not a handy book of reference to a student or a professional man. To be of use to him the authorities he refers to must be in a collected form, and to be used by him they must bear the stamp of accuracy and official compilation I venture to assert that if the Government were to publish as is done in some other colonies, the judgments delivered in the Supreme Court, the legal profession would readily purchase the same at a price which would go a long way to recoup the Government the cost of production.” … More Shorthand, Hansard, Port Arthur, corruption and laughter in Parliament 18th July 1873.
Robert Smith was known to Mrs Esther Mather. She was not happy about the colouring he had applied to a portrait of her brother when he visited the studio she called “Smith’s” in Hobart. She said so in a letter to her step-son, dated 1865. Nothing was known about this partner of Thomas J. Nevin called Robert Smith until recently when portraits and stereoscopes bearing the business name NEVIN & SMITH came to light. Robert Smith may have been an independent photographer prior to forming a partnership with Thomas J. Nevin at Alfred Bock’s former studio. The partnership lasted less than a year and was promptly dissolved in February 1868 following the Royal visit to Hobart, Tasmania of Alfred Ernest Albert, Duke of Edinburgh, second son of Queen Victoria, in late 1867 on his first command, H.M.S. Galatea. Thomas J. Nevin continued the photographic business in his own name at Alfred Bock’s former studio, 140 Elizabeth St. Hobart Town, while Robert Smith departed for Goulburn NSW where he set up a photographic studio before taking to farming and politics. … More NEVIN & SMITH, 1868: the client with white fingernails
This carte-de-visite print of Charles Woolley’s original photograph of three Tasmanian Aborigines – Truganini (seated on left), William Lanne (centre, standing) and Bessy Clarke (on right), taken in 1866, was reprinted by another photographer’s studio, possibly Thomas Nevin’s, before Truganini’s death in 1876. The owner of the cdv print after purchase attempted hand-colouring of the drape and carpet with crimson. Similar inept hand-colouring was applied to a series of cdvs bearing Nevin’s name inscribed as “Clifford & Nevin” or his studio stamp with provenance in the north of Tasmania (QVMAG, Launceston; McCullagh Private Collection, etc). The provenance of this particular print is from the private collection of Thomas and Elizabeth Nevin’s grandchildren. The word “living” on the printed label, verso of this print, which appears to have been pasted over the back of the original cdv and probably bearing the stamp of another photographic studio, uses the present tense to indicate that Truganini was still alive in April 1869, while Bessy Clarke had died, 12th February 1867, and William Lanne had died, 3rd March 1869, thereby dating the first reprint of this photograph to April 1869 but not necessarily any subsequent prints which could have been produced in every decade until the early 1920s in the name of tourism, especially by John Watt Beattie, when this particular trio was heralded to represent the “Last Aborigines of Tasmania”. … More Reproductions of Charles A. Woolley’s portrait of Tasmanian Aborigines 1860s-1915
This photograph taken by Thomas J. Nevin at his studio, the City Photographic Establishment of Elizabeth Allport (1835-1925) is arguably the finest portrait taken of her in her mature years. There is no other photograph – and there were many taken throughout her life – which reveals her sublime grace and character to this extent, a quality due in no small measure to the professional expertise of Thomas J. Nevin. Elizabeth Allport was the elder daughter of Lieutenant Thomas Ritchie, wife of Morton Allport (1830–1878), mother of Curzona (Lily), Minnie, Cecil, Evett and Henry Allport, and a friend to the family of Thomas J. Nevin, his wife Elizabeth Rachel Day and his sister Mary Anne Nevin. … More Elizabeth Allport nee Ritchie at Thomas J. Nevin’s studio 1876
Thomas Nevin had operated as a commercial photographer and government contractor since 1868, when W. R. Giblin acted on behalf of his interests in the dissolution of his partnership with Robert Smith advertised as the firm “Nevin & Smith” at 140 Elizabeth St.Hobart. In June 1872, for example, Nevin provided the Lands and Survey Department with a series of stereographs recording the damage caused by the Glenorchy landslip. As likely as not, he also provided lengthy witness reports to the officials at the Municipal Council, to reporters at the Mercury, and to Public Works Department contractors who regularly gathered at James Spence’s hotel The Royal Standard, next door to Nevin’s studio, 142 -140 upper Elizabeth St. Hobart Town (looking south from the corner of Patrick St.). As a contractor himself, he would have taken a keen interest in the meetings at which James Spence’s cohort of contractors’ aired their “grievances received at the hands of the Public Works Department”. … More Contractors Thomas J. Nevin and “dog on the chain” James Spence 1872
“The Flying Squadron arrived at Hobart Town on Sunday 2nd January. The Squadron consists of H.M.S. Liverpool, 30 gun steam, frigate, 2,056 tons; -H.M.S. Endymion, 21-gun steam frigate, 2,480 tons; H.M.S Scylla, 10-gun steam- corvette 1,467 tons; H.M.S. Liffey, 30-gun steam frigate, 2,654 tons; H.M.S. Barrosa, 17-gun steam corvette, 1,700 tons; H.M.S. Pheobe, 30-gun steam frigate, 2,800 tons. Large numbers of spectators assembled in various spots to watch the little fleet coming up the harbour under full sail. His Excellency the Governor and suite paid a visit to Rear-Admiral Hornby on board the Liverpool. During the stay of the Squadron, the vessels were thrown open for public inspection and thousands of persons availed themselves of the opportunity. The Liverpool was of course the ship which attracted the greatest number of visitors. The officers had a gay time of it during their eight days stay. They were entertained by the Governor to several dinner parties, to a grand ball at Government House, to a lawn party at the same place, followed by an old colonists’ ball, a regatta, a cricket match, in which both the Governor and Admiral Hornby took part, concerts theatrical entertainments, a picnic at Fern Tree Gully, &c., so that time did not by any means hang heavily on their hands, and they must have left the “tight little island” with the impression that they had a jolly time of it, and had been exceedingly well treated….” … More Thomas Nevin, Sam Clifford and the Flying Squadron at Hobart, January 1870
During the 1970s publishers John Ferguson of Sydney commissioned established authors to research and collect old photographs to be published as a series of books called “Victorian and Edwardian [insert name here of an Australian city, e.g. Sydney, Adelaide etc] from old photographs”. Patsy Adam-Smith, for example, compiled the Melbourne edition, Victorian and Edwardian Melbourne from old photographs in 1979. Dan Sprod was commissioned by Ferguson publishers to compile the Hobart edition in 1976. The draft papers of his research for this book, published in 1977 as Victorian and Edwardian Hobart from old photographs , are held at the National Library Australia, Canberra, where he was Chief Librarian during the 1960s. The impetus behind this emergent interest in Australian 19th century and early 20th century photography was money. Old photographs and early cameras were commanding large prices at auctions. The Tasmanian Saturday Evening Mercury published this article – “Your old photos could be valuable” – on November 15th, 1975, listing the handsomely high prices fetched for old prints and photo equipment at Christies of London in the previous two years. Prints by Tasmanian photographers of the 1880s – Spurling, Anson and Beattie – were touted here as worthy collectables: … More Dan Sprod and Thomas Nevin’s photography in the 1970s
The view of this church,St Mary’s Cathedral (R.C.), Hobart, Tasmania, was taken by Thomas J. Nevin on commission for Police Superintendent Frederick Pedder (1841-1923), Nevin’s colleague at the Municipal Police Office, Hobart Town Hall. It was passed into the hands of his son, solicitor Alfred Pedder (1881-1977) whose name appears on the verso and whose daughter Sylvia in turn may have donated it to the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery in the 1970s. Other stereographs in this series inscribed verso with “A. Pedder” is a view of Harrington Street and the cathedral from Lime Kiln Hill and a view from across the Huon River to the town known as Victoria. Thomas Nevin’s photograph of this church, St Mary’s Cathedral, 164 Harrington Street, Hobart, was taken a few years before 1876, the date when the lantern tower was removed and a substantial part of the cathedral rebuilt. It was closed for five years, re-opening in 1881. … More Thomas Nevin’s stereo view of St Mary’s Cathedral, Hobart, ca. 1874
A full-length carte-de-visite studio portrait of a young girl, possibly nine years old wearing a dark dress with a white collar and braiding along the sleeve, showing the lace of her bloomers at the hem against her bare legs. Spats cover her shoes. Her hair hangs loose in ringlets, and her gaze is slightly dropped and held steady to the viewer’s left. The studio decor includes an occasional table on wheels to the viewer’s right of frame on which sits a book, and a dining chair on the left on which the child rests her right arm. In her left hand she holds a thickly folded card. Charles Woolley’s signature technique was to produce prints in rich dark tones which made his portraits especially appealing. The verso bears Woolley’s “Advance Tasmania” studio stamp with emu and kangaroo animal iconography flanking the Tasmanian colonial insignia. His studio address for more than two decades was 42 Macquarie St. Hobart where he also ran a furniture business with his father. He must have supplied furniture, carpets and wall-hangings to all the Hobart photographic studios during the 1860s, and even sold items from his own studio when he ceased professional practice in the 1870s, because the same items appear in different photographers’ studio portraits. … More Portraits and landscapes from T. J. Nevin’s cohort
These two photographs of an unidentified woman who posed for photographer Alfred Bock ca. 1865-1867 in his Hobart studio were taken minutes apart. The provenance of the top cdv where the woman is gazing directly at the camera/photographer, was local: it was purchased for KLW NFC Imprint Private Collection on eBay in 2017 from a seller located in South Australia. The provenance of the second cdv in which the woman’s gaze is directed 15 degrees to the viewer’s left, was the United Kingdom, according to Douglas Stewart Fine Books (Melbourne) who catalogued it for sale in July 2017. Here, on this webpage, exactly 150 years after these two photographs were taken in Bock’s glass house at 140 Elizabeth Street, Hobart, and probably printed within the hour on the same day, they are reunited in the hope they may excite recognition from a descendant who can provide this striking woman with a name and an account of her travels. … More One session, two poses
The black and white print from another negative taken ca. 1872 of the same location from the same viewpoint with a telegraph pole (?) now evident in the centre of the image is correctly identified as the abbatoirs at Cattle Jetty, Queens Domain, owned and managed by the Hobart City Council. Thomas Nevin would have taken the original photograph a few years earlier under commission as government contractor for the Lands and Survey Dept. of the HCC, and supplied the Council with prints in various formats including a stereograph and unmounted cdv, with at least one photograph printed verso with the Royal Arms insignia of his official government contract stamp. The hand-coloured stereograph to survive bears no stamp verso, which suggests it was randomly saved from the HCC archives, or even studio rejects, and subsequently coloured by family members of a commercial client of Samuel Clifford’s (see stereo below) when reprinted from Nevin’s original sometime before 1878. … More The abbatoir and cattle yard stereograph ca.1870
In late March, 1866, photographer Alfred Bock was at the Port Arthur prison site on the Tasman Peninsula, 60 kms south of Hobart at the request of its Commandant, James Boyd. Alfred Bock’s studio – The City Photographic Establishment – at 140 Elizabeth Street, Hobart, was manned by his junior partner Thomas Nevin and his apprentice, younger brother William Bock, in his absence. Bock’s mission at Port Arthur was to provide a series of landscapes and portraits of officials. However, it was photographer Samuel Clifford, Nevin’s friend and mentor, of Liverpool Street, Hobart, who was the source and supplier of photographic materials to the Port Arthur prison administration, in this instance for Alfred Bock in March 1866, and again in August 1873, when Clifford himself visited the prison site. … More Photographers A. Bock, S. Clifford and T. Nevin at Port Arthur
DOUGLAS STEWART FINE BOOKS LTD HOBART BOOK FAIR was held on February 12 – 13, 2011 with three items on sale pertaining to Thomas J. Nevin’s commercial photography. The first was this stereograph attributed to Samuel Clifford but ostensibly showing Clifford’s camera. Who took the photograph? Did Clifford carry two cumbersome cameras with him into this dense bush setting at Brown’s River, or was he accompanied – as so often he was around Tasmania – by Nevin? If so, the stereograph deserves the double attribution of Clifford & Nevin, an inscription which appears on several portraits and stereographs items held in both private and public collections. … More Samuel Clifford, Thomas Nevin and two cameras
Tasmanian professional photographers Thomas J. Nevin and Samuel Clifford were close friends and business partners from the 1860s until Samuel Clifford’s death in 1890. On this tour, they travelled on the main road north from Hobart to Launceston via Bothwell. In the final week of September 1874, while passing through Bothwell, 45 miles north of Hobart, they were enjoined to photograph the procession of Templars attending a large meeting. The Mercury reported their arrival in the town in a long account of the meeting, published on 26 September, 1874 … More On the road with Sam Clifford and Thomas Nevin 1874
This is an interactive display at the Narryna Heritage Museum. The stereos are truly 3D. The visitor gains an immediate understanding of the Victorian fascination with this “advanced” photography. Three images can be seen, not just one: the central image appears in deep perspective, with the image split into halves on either side. … More Stereographs by Clifford & Nevin at ‘Narryna’
Professional photographers Samuel Clifford and Thomas J. Nevin shared a long friendship and partnership from the early 1860s until Clifford’s death in 1890. They produced landscapes in stereographic format for the local and intercolonial tourist trade, both individually and collaboratively sharing their stock of negatives and prints from as early as 1865 while Nevin was still at his New Town studio. Several cartes-de-visite with the inscription on verso “Clifford & Nevin Hobart Town” which were reprinted by Clifford from Nevin’s stock after 1876, are held at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery and at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery. A few are held in private collections … More Thomas Nevin & Samuel Clifford’s partnership and identical views 1860s-70s
Published in London, The Photographic News contained a wealth of news and technical information about processes and equipmen. The 1863 issues covered a year in the development of dry-plate photography, solar photography, photolithography, glass house construction and a thousand other items of interest in advanced photophysics and photochemistry. Alfred Bock and Thomas J. Nevin had reconstructed Bock’s glass house at their studio, The City Photographic Establishment, 140 Elizabeth-street, Hobart Town, by 1865, and produced some extraordinary solar photographs. Samuel Clifford, also a partner of Thomas J. Nevin, applied information from such a source to produce his much praised dry plate photographs using Russell’s Tannin Process, which were exhibited at the Melbourne Intercolonial Exhibition in 1866. The pseudonymous “Sol” remarked of Clifford’s expertise: – “Surely no wet photography ever excelled these delightful representations of nature” … More Dry plate photography 1860s
Clifford & Nevin appears as a handwritten inscription on the versos of several studio portraits in public and private collections, but their collaboration was principally in stereography, especially in the late 1860s. Several stereographs held at the State Library of Tasmania, collated in “The Clifford Album”, whether unattributed or which bear Clifford’s stamp may be original photographs by Nevin produced during their partnership.
The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery holds a sizeable collection of Thomas Nevin’s stereographs dating from 1868. Nevin exhibited at the Wellington Park Exhibition in 1868, and at the Hobart Town Hall Bazaar in 1872. This stereograph titled Hobart from Lime Kiln Hill looking down Harrington Street carries his New Town studio stamp on verso, taken in the mid to late 1860s. … More Hobart Town from Lime Kiln Hill
“The Captain of the party pushed forward to the hut at a place called the Springs to have breakfast prepared for us. The water flows down the mountain to the city. It is conveyed by a channel cut in the earth (about three feet wide). The old man & woman who reside at the hut supply visitors with implements and cook what provender they may take with them for which 1/- per head is generally presented to them. We arrived there at 1/2 past eight & were glad to sit down to an excellent breakfast of cold lamb and coffee. We also enjoyed a draught of the cold crystal water from the murmuring spring….” … More Rocking Stone Parties on kunanyi/Mount Wellington
Neither man pictured is photographer Thomas Nevin or his brother Constable John (aka Jack) Nevin, nor their father John Nevin snr. None of these cdv’s was ever held in the family collections of Thomas Nevin’s descendants, and none was coloured in this way by Nevin or any of his family. The cdv of the two men was recently exhibited at the QVMAG and published in the catalogue The Painted Portrait Photograph in Tasmania (John McPhee 2007). … More Clifford & Nevin’s cartes:tints versus daubs
Samuel Clifford’s name appears only twice in the weekly police gazettes, called Tasmania Reports of Crimes Information for Police between the years 1866-1880, and in both instances because he was a victim of theft: some silver cutlery and a table cloth were stolen from his house and reported on 17th October 1873, and most wrenching of all, his camera was stolen while staying at the Wilmot Arms at Green Ponds, in the district where these stereographs of the Salmon Ponds were taken. No doubt Samuel Clifford and Thomas Nevin made many trips to the Green Ponds area, and since Clifford reprinted so many of Nevin’s commercial negatives from 1876, placing an accurate date and even a sole attribution to Clifford on the extant albums of views etc is far from straightforward. … More Clifford & Nevin at the Salmon Ponds and Plenty 1860s-1870s
Professional photographers Thomas J. Nevin (1842-1923) and Samuel Clifford (1827-1890) were close friends and colleagues over a period dating from ca. 1865 to Clifford’s death in 1890. Both maintained photographic studios in Hobart, producing commercial stereographs in significant numbers, as well as providing the local population with studio portraits. The colouring in this carte and others with a similar provenance (northern Tasmania and Victoria) is sometimes mistakenly assumed to be the work of the studio colourist, which was not the case (McPhee QVMAG, 2007). The colouring was applied after the purchase of the print by a family member, probably by a child playing with a small hand-held stereoscopic viewer. … More Clifford & Nevin portraits with hand-colouring
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