Erskineville: Our Neighbourhood – Saturday 3 September 2016

Erskineville - Our Neighbourhood - Header.png

A celebration of Erskineville to kick off History Week on Saturday 3 September 2016 from 10:00am. There will be kids activities, history tours and talks, film screenings, great food, a display of Erskineville history and much more.

Hosted by the History of Erskineville Public School group, come along for a fascinating trip through time including the early days of convict labour, doing it tough in the depression, local Indigenous history and even how the natural landscape has shaped Erskineville’s past and present.

Discover local heroes, including pioneering activist Lucy Woodcock (Girls Headmistress 1933-1955), an early spokesperson for womens’ rights.

Eveleigh Blacksmiths will be on site all day and will hold live demonstrations at 11:30am and 1:30pm.

History walking tour at 12:30pm, repeated at 2:00pm.

Bush Tucker walking tour at 1:00pm, repeated at 2:30pm.

Speakers start from 11:00am and include:
Dr Heather Goodall – Erskineville hero Lucy Woodcock
Aunty Norma Ingram – Indigenous Erskinevillians
Matt Murphy – author of Weight of Evidence – colonial history of Erskineville
Dr Paul Munro – environmental history of Erskineville
Dr Sandie Wong & Dr Frances Press – history of the Lady Gowrie Child Centre in Erskineville

Films start from 1:00pm and include:
‘Saving of Erskineville School’
‘Erskineville Stories’
‘Binning Street’

All who love Erskineville are invited! For more details and to keep up with updates check out the Erskineville: Our Neighbourhood event page.

Erskineville - Our Neighbourhood - Program.png

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Doan’s Backache and Kidney Pills – Mr. John Loaney – A permanent cure after three years’ suffering

Doan’s Pills cure aching back, rheumatic pains, gravel, swelling of the limbs,
impure blood, dizzy spells, sleeplessness, irregular heart, and counteract
the harmful effects of beer, spirits and tea

Doan’s Backache and Kidney Pills brought peace and health to Mr. John Loaney of Swanson Street Erskineville, who attributed a remarkable return from death’s door to the wonders of Doan’s Pills – a special medicine for the kidneys and bladder. Continue reading

Posted in 1900-1909, 1910-1919, Advertising, Good for what ails you, Swanson Street | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Arnott’s Living Pictures – Milton King – 19 Malcolm Street Erskineville

Milton King, (Son of Mrs. F. V. King) aged seven months of 19 Malcolm Street Erskineville first appeared in an advertisement for Arnott’s in about October 1900 and appeared regularly in newspapers across the country for the duration of 1901 and into 1902. The advertisements were reprised briefly in late 1904. In all, young Milton made well over 40 appearances. Here is an early version from December 1900:

Milton King 1900.png

Newcastle Morning Herald and Miner’s Advocate Friday, 14 December 1900

Early advertisements featured the testimonial of Mrs. F. V. King, but these did not appear for long, or seemed to have been replaced with the testimonial of George Harrison of Montefiores Street, Wellington NSW, with the additional claim that his child had been brought up on nothing else but Arnott’s Milk Arrowroot Biscuits!

Geo Harrison.png

Queanbeyan Age Saturday, 2 March 1901

Around the same time, courtesy of the Temora Star came the additional indignity of the imposter baby:

Temora Star.png

Temora Star (NSW) Wednesday, 27 February 1901

Avoid imitations! The picture is actually of Rita Dulcie London (daughter of Mrs. London), aged three months and three weeks, of Marsden and Crimea Streets South Parramatta.

A check of the Sands Directories shows Thomas King – baker, residing at 19 Malcolm street from 1898 to 1906. A check of the NSW registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages shows Milton King was born to Thomas V. and Elizabeth King in the District of Newtown in 1900.

19 Malcolm Street Erskineville.png

19 Malcolm Street Erskineville

This extract of a map published in 1894 shows the location of number 19 Malcolm Street has remained unchanged:

Malcolm Street 1894.png

1984 – City of Sydney Section Erskineville – Sheets 5 & 7

The Arnott’s celebrates 150 years website describes the ‘Living Pictures’ advertising campaign as running from 1892 until the 1950s and involving tens of thousands of proud mums sending in testimonials with portraits and photographs of their well–fed babies. The lucky few would have portraits of their children featured in print.

Posted in 1900-1909, Arnott's, Malcolm Street | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

The Macdonaldtown Station Picasso

Macdonaldtown station commuters.png

Tragedy and the suffering inflicted upon individuals, particularly innocent civilians
(and Picasso’s Guernica)
(article: News Local Friday, 4 December 2015).

Poor Macdonaldtown Station. It really has copped some flak over the years.

On the opening day of the Macdonald Town platform on 28 March 1878 the Sydney Morning Herald lamented the potential inconvenience of the new station arising from the loss of time inflicted on others for the convenience of the residents of Redfern, Waterloo and Macdonald Town:

New Railway Platform - Macdonaldtown.png

Sydney Morning Herald Thursday, 28 March 1878
(The advertisement referred to detailing the 17 services a day is available here).

Within a month, further complaint had been raised in the letters section in relation to the useless and miserably small platform:

McDonald Town Platform 1878.png

Sydney Morning Herald Wednesday, 17 April 1878

By 1885 it was described as a ‘shanty’ and ‘not fit for dogs:’

Macdonaldtown Station Not Fit For Dogs

Evening News Wednesday, 15 April 1885

With the Railway Duplication and Quadruplication works of 1891-2 the platform was relocated from its original location (depicted in this map of 1886)  to its present location on Burren Street:

Macdonaldtown Station.png

Macdonaldtown Railway Station – State Library of NSW d1_09202
(prior to the sextupling of the main suburban line in 1925)

Sadly the relocation did nothing to improve Macdonaldtown Station’s lot.

On 19 February 1947 police officers used Macdonaldtown Station to set a trap to recapture two escapees from the Redfern Police Station, with an unnamed ‘high police officer’ quoted as saying “Macdonaldtown is the loneliest railway station near the city:”

Escapees Recaptured in Police Trap.png

Sydney Morning Herald Thursday, 20 February 1947

And more recently? Well, little has changed, with Macdonaldtown Station continuing to be on the receiving end of derogatory comments:

I'm getting off at Macdonaldtown Station.png

Facebook: Marrickville 2204 v Republic of Newtown

Fear not! For thirty years ago something wonderful happened to the platform at Macdonaldtown Station. In the words of the artist/vandal (depending on your position)  the ‘large grey scar on the landscape in  the middle of an even larger scar, an immense industrial wasteland’ had been ‘enhanced.’

On Sunday 13 July 1986 travellers arrived for their morning journeys to find the platform of Macdonaldtown Station had been painted pink. Whilst the perpetrator initially escaped the clutches of railway police, he later handed himself in for questioning by railway detectives. Two months later on 18 September 1986 the station Picasso appeared on a charge of ‘maliciously injuring railway property’ at Macdonaldtown station:

Victory for John, station Picasso 1986.png

Sydney Morning Herald Friday, 19 September 1986

Consider the planning involved! Pre-painted chairs, a table, a pot plant and an accomplice! And the outcome – the prosecuting Sergeant questioning the size of the compensation claim, and the magistrate acknowledging that the paint job ‘may have created something which was more aesthetically pleasant that what it replaced.’

Discharged! Without a conviction!

Rumours have circulated ever since as to the perpetrators, timing and even the colour of the repainting of the station:

SOMEONE has doctored police signs near Sydney University and Homebush, so that instead of SEATBELTS, or SPEED, they read, in Dayglo:
POLICE are targeting
AN anonymous fax we’ve received claims this is the work of a group calling itself The New Extremists. They accept responsibility for painting Macdonaldtown station purple three years ago “to pacify the alarmingly aggressive and ill-tempered Sydney public using pastel shades”. Now, the fax says, “Sydney faces a far greater threat … wigs and hairpieces are one of the vilest means by which the temple of humanity can be desecrated and we firmly believe they should be outlawed. People must learn to accept and cherish their own identity, instead of attempting to conform to the expectations of magazine editors and television producers.”

Sydney Morning Herald 9 August 1996

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Rob and Skindog, 26 November 2003

Macdonaldtown Station comments

Comments section – Stay in Touch blog Sydney Morning Herald 13 March 2007

Macdonaldtown why does that station exist

Twitter – 14 March 2013

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Memoirs of a Go-Go Dancer (2014), by Justin Sheedy

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Oxford Street Rainbow crossing lamentations – 2013; 2015.
(My Darling Darlinghurst Blog)

Brilliant and hilarious indeed.

In the words of the Macdonaldtown Picasso, ‘I think the SRA should paint Macdonaldtown Station pink again.’  Please, Sydney Trains?

Pink and Grey

Posted in 1870-1879, 1880-1889, 1890-1899, 1940-1949, Burren Street, Charles Street, Random Erskineville | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Weymouth Terrace – 60, 62, 66 and 68 Albert Street Erskineville

Weymouth Terrace Erskineville 2016

Weymouth Terrace
North side of Albert Street – Number 60 on left

Weymouth Terrace (60, 62, 66 and 68 Albert Street Erskineville) is a row of four, two-storey terraces on the northern side of Albert Street. Working backwards from the 1884 edition of the Sands Directory, which places Weymouth Terrace between the residences of Charles Ingram and Isabella Orrock (1880: Isabella ‘Harricks’), the first appearance of Weymouth Terrace might be in the 1880 edition:

Weymouth Terrace 1880 1882 1883 1884.png

Weymouth Terrace, Albert Street Macdonaldtown 1880; 1882; 1883; & 1884
(there was no 1881 edition of the Sands Directory)

Whether the fruiterer John James was a resident of Weymouth Terrace in 1880 and 1882 cannot be known for certain from the Sands Directories alone. However, this early reference from the Sydney Morning Herald provides some certainty that Weymouth Terrace was completed prior to April 1880:

Weymouth Terrace Macdonaldtown 1880

Sydney Morning Herald Thursday, 8 April 1880

Weymouth Terrace continued to be referred to in the 1885; 1886; and 1887 editions of the Sands Directory. The name was not included in subsequent directories, and street numbering appeared from 1891 onwards in Macdonaldtown in place of the names of houses.

Weymouth Terrace Macdonaldtown 1885 1886 1887

Weymouth Terrace, Albert Street Macdonaldtown 1885; 1886; 1887

This extract of the Sands Directory from 1891 published with street numbering for Macdonaldtown for the first time; and a map published in 1894 shows Weymouth Terrace as it is numbered today: 60, 62, 66 and 68:

Macdonaldtown Sands Directory extract 1891

Albert Street – North Side 1891

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1894 – City of Sydney section Erskineville – Sheet 10

The Weymouth Terrace name appears to have continued on for some time. The terrace was offered for sale in 1923 following the death in August 1922 of its owner (Mrs. Hannah Todd of Hurlstone Park ). The sales notice also connects the original terrace name to the modern day street numbering :

Weymouth Terrace Erskineville 1923.png

Sydney Morning Herald Wednesday, 11 April 1923
(also appearing Saturday 14 April 1923)

Weymouth Terrace Erskineville.png

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Don’t Neglect Your Skin! – Mr Albert Nutt – Tortured By Chilblanes

‘Don’t neglect your skin! Rub Zam-Buk in and avoid winter skin troubles.’

Mr. Albert Nutt, of 65 Ashmore Street Erskineville could no longer attend work for the pain he experienced in his feet from chilblains. Mr. Nutt’s mother let a brick fall on her foot. They both found relief in Zam-Buk’s wonderful ‘protective and corrective treatment:’

Tortured by chilblains - Albert Nutt 1914

Sydney Morning Herald Wednesday, 18 June 1913

This first appearance of Mr. Albert Nutt extolling the virtues of Zam-Buk in an advertisement of June 1913 was timed to coincide with ‘a very critical month for the skin.’ Mr. Nutt’s personal endorsement was just a small part of a large advertisement dedicated to the wonders of Zam-Buk:

The skin is one of the most sensitive parts of the human body, and because it is also the most exposed to injury and disease, it ought to get more attention than most people think is necessary. One should be exceptionally careful just now, because June is a very critical month for the skin. It has been fighting against big odds all through the summer, and the odds are bigger just now, both because of the trying weather and because the first crop of early winter pimples and nasty eruptions may be expected -unless the skin is corrected and fortified by Zam-Buk.
A sudden chill, dirt in a cold-crack or small abrasion, and skin weakness, are all likely to lead to trouble. Neglected chafings, “chaps,” chilblains, cold sores, or cuts may also cause more serious disease in the shape of festering wounds, ulcers, or itching sores, or even chronic Excma is often traceable to neglect in the early stages of a simple affection.
Smearing the skin with Zam-Buk has an almost instantaneous cleansing effect. So PURE ARE THE JUICES IN ZAM-BUK THAT THEY SINK DEEP INTO THE PORES, PERMEATING ALL THE MINUTE “MACHINERY” OF THE TISSUES and they end the trouble thoroughly and efficiently.
Zam-Buk treatment gives proper moisture and a working flexibility to the tissues, and so induces the blood to circulate better. Thus the outer skin gets properly fed, normal strength and activity are restored and the whole tissue is made sound and strong. June winds are now powerless to hurt, and blotches, pimples, sores, usually so common in early winter, are either quickly banished or entirely avoided.
In advanced stages of skin disease Zam-Buk destroys germs, acts as a powerful antiseptic, allays irritation, takes out inflammation, and finally aids Nature in the replacing of new, healthy skin.
The Zam-Buk protective and corrective treatment is ideal because it is natural, and Natural because Nature’s saps and juices enter Zam-Buk’s composition. Don’t increase the odds against the skin by resorting to coarse, fatty ointments and cold creams or liniments and embrocations containing poisonous minerals. Such crude preparations often have a distinctly harmful effect, and in no case do they accomplish real and lasting good, as Zum-Buk undoubtedly does.
The Zam-Buk treatment can reasonably claim to be a revival of one of the LOST ARTS of the old Grecian days, when proper care of the skin was universal.

Just in case one thought the above statement of claim did not cover off on a sufficient number of conditions treatable via the application of Zam-Buk a small aside informs the reader:

In winter Zam-Buk is unsurpassed for Chapped Hands, Chilblains, Cold Sores, Sore Lips, Raw Faces, Frost Bite, Chafings, Winter Excma, Stiff Neck, Sprains, Stiffness, Rheumatism, Back Pains, Chest Pains, Sore Throat, and other aches and pains. Zam-Buk is also excellent for Cuts, Burns, Bruises, Sores, Ulcers, Bad Legs and Ankles, Abscesses, Children’s Scalp Troubles, Poisoned Wounds, Boils, Rashes, Barbers’ Rash, Raw Chins, Inflamed Patches, and other irritated conditions of the skin and tissues.

Here is the advertisement in full:

Zam-Buk June 1914.png

Sydney Morning Herald Wednesday, 18 June 1913

There do not appear to be any other instances of this advertisement, however this was not the last that would be heard of Mr. Albert Nutt as he  was set to make a reappearance several years later in 1918. From July 1918 to September 1918 Mr. Albert Nutt’s story would be repeated across Australia, with over 70 appearances identified from Australian newspapers in the National Library of Australia’s Trove  database to date. Mr. Nutt’s tale even found its way across the seas, retold in the newspapers of New Zealand (see the Marlborough Express 30 July 1918; the Southland Times 1 August 1918; and the Star 7 August 1918). The advertisements were far more restrained and did not contain the product claims and illustration of the 1913 version, comprising only of Mr. Nutt’s story:

Zam-Buk advertisement Erskineville 1918

Lachlander and Condobolin and Western Districts Recorder
Wednesday, 31 July 1918

A check of the Sands Directories allows for the identification of Mr. Albert Nutt in residence at Ashmore Street Erskineville in the 1912 to 1916 editions of the directory. Presented here are extracts of a section of Ashmore Street. The 1912; 1913; and 1914 editions of the Sands Directory list Mr. Albert Nutt at 65 Ashmore Street:

Ashmore Sands Directory Extract 1912-14

Fortuitously Mr. Nutt’s time in Ashmore Street coincided with a renumbering of the street. The 1915 and 1916 editions list Mr. Albert Nutt at number 36 Ashmore Street:

Ashmore Sands Directory Extract 1915-16.png

The numbering of Ashmore Street from 1915 onwards appears consistent with the numbering of the street today, so it seems likely that number 36 Ashmore Street Erskineville is the former home of Mr. Albert Nutt:

36 Ashmore Street Erskineville

36 Ashmore Street Erskineville
(formerly number 65 Ashmore Street)

In 1909 the British Medical Association took an interest in Zam-Buk, incorporating details of their analysis within the publication ‘Secret Remedies: what they cost and what they contain:’

In a circular enclosed in the package it was related how:
‘Certain medicinal plants were taken, and from them were extracted gums and juices possessing considerable healing and curative power. Costly experiments at last secured the right blending of these juices; and to the final product, a preparation virtually capable of growing new and healthy skin, the name of Zam-Buk was given…

Zam-Buk practically contains those substances which nature has intended for the use of man ever since she bequeathed to him the instinct to rub a place that hurts…’

The British Medical Association’s analysis was as follows:

Zam-Buk British Medical Association Analysis 1909.png

In 1910 the journal of the Melbourne Medical Students’ Society Speculum  issue 77, May 1910 p13-19 described the various modern patent medicines available at the time and provided the following succinct assessment of Zam-Buk:

Zambuk, which screams aloud to be rubbed in, contains eucalyptus oil and vaseline. The former I should think would be about the last thing any one would rub into a sore or cut.

Zam-Buk Rub It In

For more on the history of Zam-Buk take a look at the blog Bytes for some great examples of advertising images. Zam-Buk is available today from Rose & Co. in the UK. The following comes from their blog The story of Zam-Buk:

The Zam-Buk Company was formed in the early 1900s by C. E. Fulford in Leeds, Yorkshire.  The name suggests that it is African in origin, and although rarely heard today, it was used in Australia and New Zealand to describe the first-aid officers present on the rugby pitch who would administer healing antiseptic ointment to wounds and injuries. It quickly became available in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa and was a household name for the majority of the 20th Century.

Every Home Needs Zam-Buk.png

Posted in 1910-1919, Advertising, Ashmore Street, Good for what ails you, Remedies | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Scott’s Emulsion – Dorothy Downes – A long and continually increasing record of mothers’ successes

In 1909 advertisements appeared around Australia telling the story of little Dorothy Downes of 7 George Street Erskineville (now 7 Charles Street Erskineville). From around May to November 1909 the following story was published of the return to health of the daughter of Mrs. Downes via the constant use of Scott’s Emulsion for her ailing baby:

Dorothy Downes Scotts Emulsion.png

The Advertiser (Adelaide) Friday, 27 August 1909

Scott’s Emulsion (‘cod liver oil with glycerine and the hypophosphites of lime and soda’) is still commercially produced today. There is a very good history of Scott’s Emulsion (The Man with a Fish on His Back: Science, Romance, and Repugnance in the Selling of Cod-Liver Oil) published in Chemical Heritage Magazine in 2010 available here.

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7 Charles Street Erskineville

A map of Erskineville published in 1894 shows 7 George Street as part of a row adjacent to the Cosmopolitan Hotel (Number 11). Number 3 and 5 have since been demolished for the widening of the railway.

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1894 – City of Sydney Section Erskineville – Sheet 10

A check of the Sands Directories for 1908 and a few years either side does not allow for the identification of the Downes family in George Street, with William Day listed in 1907; Samuel Scanes in 1908; and Herbert Spicer in 1908. It may be supposed that the Downes family rented a room or resided at 7 George Street only very briefly. A Family History Search of the NSW Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages provides a potential match, returning a result for Dorothy M. Downes, born in 1904 to Frederick and Clara Downes in the district of St. Peters.

Posted in 1900-1909, Advertising, Charles Street, Remedies | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment