Photo of the Day

photos and stories from the Powerhouse Museum

City views with clocktowers from Lavender Bay

August 15th, 2013 by

Positive image from a scan of a Powerhouse Museum, Tyrrell Collection, glass plate negative


This image from Kerry & Co shows a ‘million dollar’ view of  Sydney Harbour and the city taken from Lavender Bay, probably in the 1890s.  The scene shows a sandstone house in the foreground, a small paddle wheel ferry crossing the harbour and rain approaching from the South.

Today this view would be dominated by high rise towers, including the much maligned Blues Point Tower and of course the Sydney Harbour Bridge.  In this image, the ‘skyscrapers’ are the clock towers.  The General Post Office tower in the centre, the Town Hall to the right and Sydney Observatory with it’s time ball are all clearly visible.  At this time and for many years before and afterwards personal watches were a luxury certainly not available to everybody, so the city clocks were a vital resource for people and businesses trying to keep to a co-ordinated.

Post by Lynne McNairn, Digital Media

Photography: Kerry & Co (85/1284-48)
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