Summary

Glass negative stereograph showing the pedestrian crowd in front of the Fountain Arch, Elizabeth Street. It is part of the G. H. Myers Collection which consists of 73 photographs taken by Godfrey Henry Myers, an electrician and amateur photographer, in Melbourne during May 1901. 72 of these photographs depict preparations for the celebrations that surrounded Federation; all but one are glass stereographs. This collection represents Myers' one venture into commercial photography. It is significant for its images of the crowds, which do not feature so prominently in commercial photographs. The remaining photograph is a family portrait.

The opening of the Australian Parliament on May 9 1901 was an occasion for great celebrations in Melbourne. Ten days of festivities (from 6-16 May) were planned to mark the Federation of the new nation and honour the Royal visitors, the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York. The city was transformed with decorations - flags, bunting, colourful lights and festive arches - and a series of public events were held, including a military tattoo and several street parades. Unprecedented numbers of people arrived in Melbourne from the rest of Victoria and throughout Australia to take part in the celebrations.

Description of Content

Fountain Arch, Federation Celebrations, Flinders and Elizabeth Street, Melbourne, May 1901. Beneath the arch was a fairy dell of flowers and ferns and a pond with a fountain of 40 jets. The women in the crowd wear fitted jackets, the men capes, all wear hats. And all in somber colours due to the recent death of Queen Victoria. Enclosed Hansom Cabs wait in a line.

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