1933/16 – an old acquisition of photographs

 

E. S. Richards, Original Post Office, Featherston Street, circa 1865,

E. S. Richards, Original Post Office, Featherston Street, circa 1865, Gift of Mrs E W Gibbs, 1933. Te Papa

One of my favourite groups of photographs in the collection is a series of carte-de-visite prints all bound together by the number ‘1933/16’. From this number we know that this small group of photographs was the 16th group of objects acquired by the Dominion Museum in 1933. We also know that they were gifted by Mrs E. W. Gibbs but beyond that we don’t know much more because it wasn’t practice to record much about an acquisition of photographs in those days.

Wrigglesworth & Binns. E. W. Mills Premises, corner Customhouse Quay and Waring Taylor Street, circa 1870, Wellington. Gift of Mrs E W Gibbs, 1933. Te Papa

Wrigglesworth & Binns. E. W. Mills Premises, corner Customhouse Quay and Waring Taylor Street, circa 1870, Wellington. Gift of Mrs E W Gibbs, 1933. Te Papa

Mrs Gibbs’s gift to the museum is a selection of interesting photographs from a variety of different sources and places around the country. There is E. S. Richards view of the original Wellington Post Office (top) plonked on the ground and looking like a cardboard model. While the industrial photograph (above) shows the building (and presumably the owners and staff) of the iron foundry of E. W. Mills, which was located on the corner of Customhouse Quay and Waring Taylor Streets in Wellington.

Herbert Henry Vorley, The First Engine Employed on a Public Railway, circa 1875, West Coast. Gift of Mrs E W Gibbs, 1933. Te Papa

Herbert Henry Vorley, The First Engine Employed on a Public Railway, circa 1875, West Coast. Gift of Mrs E W Gibbs, 1933. Te Papa

The selection makes me wonder at the possible connections Mrs Gibbs might have shared with the views and subjects depicted in the photographs. Did the donor or her family have a particular interest in colonial industry? Perhaps she too had thrown snowballs in Reefton at some point?

Herbert Henry Vorley, Reefton, Winter, circa 1875, Reefton. Gift of Mrs E W Gibbs, 1933. Te Papa

Herbert Henry Vorley, Reefton, Winter, circa 1875, Reefton. Gift of Mrs E W Gibbs, 1933. Te Papa

 

Thomas Pringle, Franz Josef Glacier, 1867-1870, New Zealand. Gift of Mrs E W Gibbs, 1933. Te Papa

 

Burton Brothers, Port Chalmers, circa 1870, Dunedin. Gift of Mrs E W Gibbs, 1933. Te Papa

Burton Brothers, Port Chalmers, circa 1870, Dunedin. Gift of Mrs E W Gibbs, 1933. Te Papa

 

Unknown photographer, Untitled, circa 1870, New Zealand. Gift of Mrs E W Gibbs, 1933. Te Papa

Unknown photographer, Untitled, circa 1870, New Zealand. Gift of Mrs E W Gibbs, 1933. Te Papa

An earlier blog post of early views of Christchurch features more of the photographs from the 1933/16 acquisition group.

 

Lissa Mitchell – Curator Historical Documentary Photography

3 Responses

  1. Margaret Lines

    As part of my family history research I have just discovered that photographer Thomas Pringle is my 2 x great uncle. I would love to find a photo of him – are you able to help? Many thanks

    Reply
  2. Tony Rackstraw

    This photograph is one of the first taken of Franz Josef Glacier.

    The photograph “Unknown photographer, Glacier, 1870s, New Zealand. Gift of Mrs E W Gibbs, 1933. Te Papa” is the same photograph that the Alexander Turnbull Library has titled “View of the Franz Josef Glacier, taken between 1867 and 1870 by Thomas Pringle (d 1873).” ref – Alexander Turnbull Library Reference Number: PAColl-1379-1-20. Object #40727.

    This photograph is one of the first taken of Franz Josef Glacier.

    Thomas Pringle – born circa 1831 possibly in Cockburns-path, Haddingtonshire, Scotland, died 7 March 1873 at Donoghue’s, Westland, New Zealand aged 42 years, buried Hokitika Cemetery 9 March 1873. Record No: 16142. Plot 1087, block: 41, Warrant No: A551.

    Mr T. Pringle, of Hokitika, started on the 10th of March, to take some photographic views of the country south of the Mikonui. The principal object of the trip was to obtain a faithful picture of the glaciers on the Waiho, Mount Cook. The Ross Guardian reports the return of Mr Pringle, and states that the views reflect the highest credit upon him as a photographer. The first picture shows a general view of the Francis Joseph glacier on the Waiho. The next view is taken from the highest point that can be attained, and the Waiho river is represented rushing underneath the glacier. The third view is the Waiho, about 200 yards from where it opens out. There is also photographer’s camp, where the tents were pitched about 600 feet above the level of the sea.
    Grey River Argus, Volume X, Issue 843, 10 April 1871, Page 2

    With sincere regret for the death of a good man, much esteemed and respected of all other men, we record the decease of Mr Thomas Pringle, at Donoghue’s, in the Ross district, last Friday afternoon. He was one of the early business men located in Hokitika, where he carried on trade for some time before he removed to the Totara. In Hokitika he was ever ready to assist in any movement for the good of his fellow men, and being a Freemason he took an active interest in the formation of a Masonic Lodge here in the early days. He was one of the founders of the Pacific Lodge, and remained a member to the last. More lately, when a Royal Arch Chapter was formed in Hokitika he became a Companion. His funeral, yesterday, was therefore conducted with Masonic ceremonial. The body was removed from Donoghue’s in funeral procession early in the morning, and being brought to the Masonic Hall was placed there for the usual exhortations at the death of a brother. The Lodge having been opened in due form, the brethren were called off to assist in the ceremony for which they had assembled. The funeral cortege was headed by a band playing the “Dead March in Saul.” The members of the Pacific Lodge (of which the deceased was a member) followed, the entered apprentices first, then the fellow-crafts and then the Master Masons. The Kilwinning Lodge joined with the Pacific Lodge, and the officers of the two lodges followed after the members. These were succeeded by the officers of the District Grand Lodge, the Royal Arch Masons, and the three principals of the Chapter; Companion Lazar, D.G.M., and Past Z, acting as Chief Principal. The hearse followed with four brothers as pallbearers, then the chief mourners, and after them the general public on foot, on horseback, and in carriages. Companion Osborne marshalled the Masonic portion of the procession, which was one of the largest of the kind that has taken place in Hokitika. At the grave, after the church service was performed by the Rev. Mr Kirkland, Mr Lazar read the beautiful Masonic service more impressively than we have ever heard the same service delivered. The brethren then returned in procession to the lodge. We may mention that Mr Hudson, as W.M. of the Pacific Lodge, took a very active part in the Masonic ceremony, and was very ably assisted by his officers. The arrangements for the funeral, otherwise (including the removal of the body from Donoghue’s) were conducted by Messrs Ker and Ecclesfleld.
    West Coast Times , Issue 2322, 10 March 1873, Page 2

    Refer to my Blog – http://canterburyphotography.blogspot.co.nz/2009/07/pringle-thomas.html

    Reply

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