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Photographs > Glass plate negatives

+ H10455 Glass plate negative, quarter pla...
+ P2067 One of a collection of 160 photogr...
+ P2775 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2776 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2777 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2778 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2779 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2780 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2781 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2782 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2783 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2784 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2785 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2786 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2787 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2788 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2789 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2790 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2791 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2792 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2793 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2794 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2795 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2796 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2797 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2798 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2799 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2800 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2801 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2802 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2803 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2804 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2805 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2806 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2807 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2808 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2809 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2810 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2811 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2812 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2813 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2814 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2815 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2816 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2817 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2818 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2819 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2820 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2821 Photographic glass plate and photo...
+ P2822 Photographic glass plate and photo...


Transit of Venus expedition 1874, 1874
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Images: 01 02

Object statement
Photographic negative, Transit of Venus expedition, collodion / glass, photographer unknown, used at Sydney Observatory, Woodford, Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia, 1874
In 1872 H. C. Russell was approved 1000 pounds by the New South Wales Government to make observations and photograph the 1874 Transit of Venus.

By 1874 the instruments were ready and Russell had selected astronomers and photographers to form four separate observing parties. Observation stations were situated at Woodford in the Blue Mountains, Eden on the south coast, Goulburn on the tablelands south of Sydney and at Sydney Observatory itself. The observers at these locations were made up from a mixture a mixture of government officers, scientists, amateur astronomers, photographers, and builders. At Woodford, P. F. Adams the Surveyor-General, George Hirst a well known amateur astronomer, Mr. L. A. Vessey of the New South Wales Trigonomical Survey and Mr. Du Faur of the Survey Department, were stationed at A. Fairfax's property in Woodford.

It was also at Woodford that the new De la Rue/Janssen photoheliograph (photographic telescope) was installed. This instrument was developed for a number of observatories across the British Empire by George B. Airy, the Astronomer Royal, and an amateur astronomer, Warren De La Rue.

De La Rue convinced the British contingents to use a photographic telescope similar in design to the one he used to photograph the total eclipse of the sun in 1860. Modifications were necessary however and De La Rue was aided in this by another astronomer Pierre-C├ęsar Jules Janssen. Orders were placed with J. H. Dallmeyer and the resulting instruments, complete with specially designed 6.5 inch circular plate holders which took 60 photographs on each one, were completed by 1874. One of these instruments was purchased by Sydney Observatory and set up at Woodford, in the Blue Mountains, in December 1874.

The photoheliograph, now held by the Powerhouse Museum (H10211), was operated by George Hirst. Another telescope used at Woodford was a 4.5-inch Schroeder telescope owned by Fairfax, but used by Vessey.

This collodion glass plate of the Woodford expedition captures this moment in Australia's scientific history. Taken in December 1874 on Fairfax's property, it shows the astronomers prefabricated buildings, tents and instruments as they were arranged for this historic event. This object is also significant as it is one of a relatively few large format collodion negatives taken in Australia to have survived.

Geoff barker, Curatorial, September 2008

References
Airy, G. B, Account of the Observation of the Transit of Venus, 1874, December 8, Made under the Authority of the British Government and of the reduction of the Observations, Her Majesty's Stationary Office, 1881
Lankford, John, 'Photography and the 19th-Century Transits of Venus', in Technology and Culture, Volume 28, Number 3, July 1987. John Hopkins University Press on behalf of the Society for the History of Technology, stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3104996,
Russell, H., C., Observations of the Transit of Venus, 9 December, 1874; made at Stations in New South Wales, Charles Potter, Government Printer, 1892

 This text content licensed under CC BY-NC.

Description
Photographic negative, Transit of Venus expedition, collodion / glass, photographer unknown, used at Sydney Observatory, Woodford, Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia, 1874

A rectangular black and white collodion glass plate negative in landscape format showing two canvas tents set up in a paddock near three round observation buildings. Two of the buildings have domed roofs while the other has a peaked roof. A wooden fence can be seen in the foreground and bushland in the background.
Made: 1874
P3548-796
Production date
1874
Height
255 mm
Width
308 mm

 This text content licensed under CC BY-SA.
Acquisition credit line
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{{cite web |url=http://from.ph/383274 |title=Transit of Venus expedition 1874 |author=Powerhouse Museum |accessdate=3 March 2015 |publisher=Powerhouse Museum, Australia}}


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