The original of this photograph of W. Snelling’s family butcher shop featuring five smiling individuals posed out front at the curb may have been taken by commercial photographer and government contractor Thomas J. Nevin ca. 1872-1874 shortly before former coach maker William Snelling’s death from lung disease in January 1875. The image has been disseminated widely across the internet and even offered for sale, in every instance purloined from the Archives Office of Tasmania’s Flickr collection of photographer James Chandler (1877-1945). Since James Chandler was not yet born when this photograph was taken in the 1870s, its inclusion by the AOT among dozens of his works taken in the 1900s on their Flickr page might suggest the date – 1870s – is incorrect, especially as there is no photographer attribution given to suggest another, earlier photographer. However, a number of works – stereographs as well as cabinet and cdv portraits – which Thomas J. Nevin produced in the 1860s-1880s were not imprinted with his stamp if they were one of several taken in the same sitting or of the same view in the endeavour to obtain the best shot. The fact that Thomas J. Nevin was required to attend William Snelling’s inquest on January 25, 1875, strongly suggests the date given to the photograph is correct, in the first instance, and that William Snelling and Thomas Nevin were closely acquainted. In the second instance, it is the photograph’s provenance which supports Nevin’s attribution. It was in the possession of James Chandler, a distant relative and beneficiary of Thomas J. Nevin’s collections and indeed of his expertise, in the wider family network. James Chandler was related to Thomas J. Nevin by virtue of his mother Mary Chandler nee Genge’s sister’s late marriage – his aunt Martha Genge – to Thomas’ father, John Nevin snr. … More Thomas J. Nevin at William Snelling’s inquest 1875
A boy and his photograph: no longer “Anon”
Item no. NS434-1-121 – “Photograph – Anon – boy – c. 1870s” from the series “NS434 Photographs of the Chandler, Genge and Hooper Families 01 Jan 1860 31 Dec 1960” was listed online at the Archives Office of Tasmania but without the digitised image when a Nevin family descendant recently requested a preview and scan. It was a stab in the dark, a random choice from the two dozen family photographs of the Nevin, Genge, and Chandler families from the Chandler/Hooper collection, more so since neither the “boy” nor the photographer was named. The scan provided by the AOT revealed this fine portrait of a very handsome eleven year old boy in uniform, immediately identifiable as a portrait taken by Thomas J. Nevin ca. 1871 at his studio and business, the City Photographic Establishment, 140 Elizabeth St. Hobart Town, Tasmania. The Archives Office has since placed the image online … … More Lost originals: the Nevin, Genge and Chandler family photographs
“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.