Photographic prints , Colonial Sugar Refinery Company's mills, paper / albumen / bromide / silver / wood, various photographers including Freeman Brothers, J Check and J Stephenson, Queensland, New South Wales, Australia and Fiji, 1891-1930
These photographs all depict early commercial activities of the Colonial Sugar Refining Company (CSR); one of Australia's oldest and most successful companies. Set up in 1855 it intially refined sugar imported from overseas but in the 1880s the company began to expand its operation to cover the milling of locally grown sugar. Some of these photos, including a framed panorama, cover CSR's establishment of the first sugar refining mills at Broadwater and Harwood in Northern New South Wales in the 1890s. Others depict the mills CSR established at New Farm, and Childers in Queensland.
The 1880s expansion of CSR's sugar mills into Queensland and New South Wales was accompanied by its development of mills in Fiji where the sugar and cotton industries had been established as cotton production declined during the American Civil War in the 1860s. By 1890 two mills had been completed, the Nausori mill on the Rewa River near Suva and the Rarawai mill built by company in 1885 as a joint venture with NZ Sugar Company. This collection contains 1890s images of the Nausori Mill and the construction of a mill at Lambasa, on Vanua Levu, which began operations in 1894.
Other significant photographs inlcuded in this collection are a signed portrait of the CSR Director E.W. Knox taken by Freeman Borthers Studio, the aftermath of the flooding of a sugar mill, and the last cane load taken by train out of Childers Mill.
Geoff Barker, Assistant Curator, March 2010
The Colonial Sugar Refining Company, South Pacific Enterprise, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1956
These photographs are printed on albumen paper and silver gelatin or bromide papers. Some have been mounted unframed on board while others, like the panorama are still in their original frames.
These photographs were once owned by the Brisbane office of the Colonial Sugar Refining Comapny (CSR) Keith Roberts worked as the Sugar Sales Manager at the Brisbane office between 1976 and 1978 and during a cleanup of the stores in 1976 these photographs discarded and subsequently recovered by Keith. He has since kept these photographs in his possession until donating them to the Museum in March 2010.