Glass negative stereograph showing Illuminated Ships anchored off Port Melbourne. 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.

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On 13 May 1901, 14 warships from Britain, America, Russia, Holland, Germany and Australia were anchored off Port Melbourne. That night the ships were illuminated in the last big public event of the Federation celebrations. Ships included The Brooklyn, Gromoboi, Hansa, Kormoran, Noordbrabant, Ophir, Cerberus and Protector. The illuminations, the bands, and the singing and dancing by the Russian sailors, reputedly attracted an excited crowd of a quarter of a million.

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