Best of friends: Emma PITT and Liz O’MEAGHER 1866

The verso inscription on this carte-de-visite – “I say Captain Mackie is not to show his face in Nelson without you Liz O’Meagher” – signed by Emma Pitt, dated 6th June 1866, has created differences in perception as to the identity of the young woman in the photograph, first by the seller (DSFB) on the one hand, and second by the purchaser (KLW NFC Imprint) on the other. Is it a photograph of Emma Pitt’s addressee “you Liz O’Meagher”, or does it represent the sender Emma Pitt herself? The cdv as a multimodal message is quite complex in tenor and text. Emma’s single sentence is a powerful theatrical gesture. She uses the deictic “you” as a cataphoric pointer forward to the name “Liz O’Meagher” without reference to the photograph itself or to the name of the woman it portrays. “This is you” or “this is me” are absent pointers which could identify the subject of the photograph. Liz O’Meagher is clearly intended as the receiver, the addressee, the “you” in script, in textual form on the verso of the cdv but there is the addition of a visual signifier in the message, the photograph of a young woman on the recto of the cdv, whose identity is not altogether straightforward despite comparisons with extant photographic records taken in the same decade and into the 1880s of (potentially) both young women … More Best of friends: Emma PITT and Liz O’MEAGHER 1866

Trout and salmon ova for New Zealand 1873

Stephen Budden, commercial agent from Lyttleton, New Zealand for the Canterbury Acclimatisation Society arrived at New Wharf, Hobart, Tasmania, on 4th August 1873, the sole passenger aboard the brig Chanticleer under command of Capt. G. A. Phillips. His mission was to superintend a shipment of salmon and salmon trout ova back to New Zealand. With assistance from the Tasmanian Acclimatisation Society and naturalist and amateur photographer, Morton Allport, who was instrumental in the introduction of salmon ova and European fish to Tasmania in the 1860s, two shipments were sent: the first of salmon trout ova was accompanied by Stephen Budden on the Clematis, departing 29th August; and the second of 500 brown trout ova destined for the Auckland Climatisation Society left on the Bella Mary on the 23rd August 1873 . As a result of Stephen Budden’s successful mission, Morton Allport was made an honorary life member of the Otago Acclimatisation Society. … More Trout and salmon ova for New Zealand 1873

The Albumen Process: examples by Thomas J. Nevin ca. 1874

“I always prepare my albuminized paper with the pure white of eggs, which I believe to be preferable to all the cheaper compounds that have been substituted for it. Take any quantity of albumen with double the quantity of water, adding eight grains of chloride of ammonium to each ounce of the mixture. Whip up with a bunch of quills into a froth. The albumen will subside in an hour or two, then filter through a piece of fine linen cloth that has been previously slightly singed over a spirit lamp. Pour the albumen into a flat dish and float the paper for about three or four minutes, having previously folded back one of the corners of the sheet in order to keep it from coming into contact with the albumen. If the paper is pinned up by this unalbuminized corner, it will dry without the least streak or imperfection, but if the albumen conies into contact with the pin. a drip will begin which will end in innumerable streaks. By this precaution much paper may be saved…” … More The Albumen Process: examples by Thomas J. Nevin ca. 1874

T.J. Nevin’s portraits of the McVilly children 1874

Laura (on left) and Richard (centre) were photographed by Thomas J. Nevin at his studio, 140 Elizabeth St. Hobart, a week before Christmas, 18 December, 1874 (per date on verso). Both photographs are hand-tinted. The versos of these two photographs of Laura and Richard bear Nevin’s Royal Arms studio stamp used primarily to indicate photographs taken for the Municipal Police Office within the Hobart City Corporation, and at the Hobart Gaol. Their father, William Thomas McVilly was a constable and later clerk for the Lands and Works Department, HCC and Clerk of Papers, etc., of the Legislative Council in 1883. The unidentified toddler on the left may be a boy rather than a girl, another brother of Laura and Richard called Albert Francis, born 1873. The verso of his/her photograph bears Nevin’s most common commercial studio stamp, unlike the other two, and may have been taken earlier or later than 1874. … More T.J. Nevin’s portraits of the McVilly children 1874