Glass negative stereograph showing an illuminated Fountain Arch at the intersection of Flinders and Elizabeth streets. 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 negative 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.

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Illuminated Fountain Arch, Federation Celebration, Flinders and Elizabeth streets, Melbourne, May 1901. This night time photograph captures the arch with its huge curve of golden lights looking like 'an arch of gold'. The 40,000 candle-power electric lights shining on the 40 jets of water kept changing their colours: purple, scarlet, green, violet and cerise. The streaks of light on the left would be caused by the lights of passing vehicles and the photograph's long exposure time. The bright lights on the right belong to a waiting horse cab.

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