During WWI, monthly conscription ballots were drawn between November 1916 and October 1918 to make up for a shortfall in numbers volunteering for the army. History curator Kirstie Ross shares the stories of two Wellingtonians whose names were selected in the fourth ballot. On 13 February 1917, 100 years ago, marblesRead more

History curator Kirstie Ross explores the stories of four ‘Berry Boys’ who were conscripted in the first and second conscription ballots 100 years ago. In 1916, after two years of fighting, it was clear that New Zealanders’ loyalty to ‘King and Country’ was competing with other concerns – and fewerRead more

This photograph below was lost the moment it was taken in 1929 or 1930. Mary Sporle, known as Dolly, proudly showed off her son Leslie for the camera at Wellington’s Berry & Co. studio with the intention of giving his grandparents a photograph of him. But her family believes she never returned toRead more

Last week I posted a blog on the development of Poster Balls in New Zealand, along with a link to my Pinterest page where I am collating my finds. While I am particularly delighted with this photograph of a man dressed in a Dunlop tyre outfit from 1911 from the National Library’s collection, whatRead more

In September 1900, a new type of fund-raising ball caused a sensation in Australia, and made headlines across New Zealand – it was called a ‘Poster Ball’. While one reporter described it as a new ‘species of fancy dress’, another accurately called it ‘a new phase of advertising’. It was a novel combination both. In October 1900Read more

This family portrait has long been a favourite amongst the Te Papa History team. It stands out amongst the many Berry & Co soldier portraits due to the sitters’ magnificent winter dress. Draped in heavy woollen coats and luxurious furs, it is the one portrait in the collection that powerfully conveys a season. The portrait is simply inscribed ‘Brown’. AsRead more

Edward and Sarah Corner

One of the nicest things about having so much of Te Papa’s photography collection online is when people write in to say that we hold a photograph of some of their ancestors and are able to identify the people in the photographs. Until recently this large framed photograph of theRead more

 Gerald Gower (left) and Alfred Featherston Gower (right) are the two brothers who grace rather strikingly the cover of Berry Boys: Portraits of First World War Soldiers and Families by Michael Fitzgerald and Claire Regnault. The studio paraphernalia you see in the image above would have been cropped out inRead more

The Girl Peace Scout movement was developed in New Zealand by Lieutenant Colonel David Cossgrove and his wife Selina in 1908, in response to his daughter Muriel’s request for a scouting organisation for girls. Based in Christchurch, Cossgrove had been responsible for translating Robert Baden-Powell’s Scouting for Boys into aRead more

Early enlister John Jessen (above) was the first of the soldiers photographed by Berry & Co to enlist for service. The 23-year-old signed up on 8 August 1914, just two days after the Defence Department invited single men between the ages of 20 and 35, weighing not more than 12Read more

I don’t much like having my portrait taken. The longer the process goes on, and the more expectant I am of a good result, the worse it seems to get. So how much do you have to know about being photographed to get a good portrait? How many times do youRead more