Photographic prints , Colonial Sugar Refinery Company, paper, various photographers, Queensland, Australia 1890-1930
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 initially refined sugar imported from overseas but, in the 1880s, the company began to expand its operation to cover the milling of locally grown sugar. One photograph is an exterior view of the New Farm mill in Queensland and another is of the management team at CSR in the early twentieth century.
There are also three rare images of South Pacific island labourers working in the sugar cane fields of Queensland which are from the 1890s, some ten years after the start of the Australian-Pacific Island labour. This trafficking in island labour was often referred to as blackbirding. It ended in 1901 when Australia introduced its White Australia policy and deported these labourers back to the islands.
Geoff Barker, Assistant Curator, March 2010
The Colonial Sugar Refining Company, South Pacific Enterprise, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1956
The photographs are printed on silver gelatin or bromide papers. The three ummounted prints are dated to the mid-1890s while the two framed prints date to the early 20th century.
The photographs were owned by the Brisbane office of the Colonial Sugar Refining Company (CSR). The donor worked as the Sugar Sales Manager at the Brisbane office between 1976 and 1978. During a cleanup of the stores in 1976 these photographs discarded but subsequently recovered by the donor. He kept them in his possession until donating them to the Museum in June 2010.