Black and white 5" x 4" negative showing a group of male and female textile workers cutting out fabric for garment construction at a textiles factory in the 1950s. The workers are standing at large work benches, and are using electric powered machines and hand tools to cut the fabric, guided by industrial patterns.
This image is part of the Laurie Richards Collection at Museum Victoria comprising approximately 85,000 negatives taken by the Melbourne based Laurie Richards Studio between the 1950s -1970s. These negatives are all mostly large format [5"x 4"/ 12.5 x 10 cm], black and white images, though a significant number are in colour. The many photographic jobs that were undertaken in the course of thirty years are itemised in a set of log books, copies of which are also held by Museum Victoria.
Laurie Richards was a professional photographer who began his career as a photo-journalist, working for the Advertiser newspaper in Adelaide, and the Argus and the Herald newspapers in Melbourne. In 1953, he opened his own business and set up a photographic studio at his home at 4 Tower Avenue, Alphington, an inner suburb of Melbourne. At its peak, in the late 1960s, the Laurie Richards Studio was one of Melbourne's pre-eminent commercial photographic studios, employing twelve photographers. The Laurie Richards Studio worked mainly in advertising and public relations, and had a broad clientele which included commercial companies, government institutions and the entertainment industry.
Description of Content
View of a factory showing a group of male and female textile workers cutting out pattern parts. Electrical cords drop from the ceiling to power the cutting machines. Banks of electric lights hang over each work bench. A sign saying 'Danger' hangs in the top right hand corner of the photograph.
Black and white 5" x 4" cellullose acetate negative.
Because of the breadth of both the subject matter photographed and the diverse businesses which commissioned the work, and the excellent documentation that accompanies the collection, the Laurie Richards Collection at Museum Victoria is an invaluable record of Melbourne’s commercial and industrial past and as such gives an insight into the social history of that period.
Place & Date Depicted
Negative, 5 in. x 4 in., Black & White
Type of item
103 mm (Width), 100 mm (Height)