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Showing posts from August, 2014

Food, alcohol and other common household products & photos

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Did you know that many early photographic processes involved the use of common types of food such as egg, potatoes and other household products including salt, alcohol and lavender oil, that we all have in our cupboards? Ref: Green and Hahn for Auckland Weekly News, a duck with eggs, 1930, Papaui, Christchurch, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19301022-46-5 Ref: Green and Hahn for Auckland Weekly News, gathering lavender in a Christchurch garden, 1932, Christchurch, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19320106-46-3 Ref: J.A. Slack for Auckland Weekly News, testing spirits at H.M. Customs, Auckland, 1899, Christchurch, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-18990707-2-1 Ref: F.A. Hargreaves for Auckland Weekly News, A crop of potatoes being harvested in the Waiapu County, Auckland, 1911, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19110518-7-3

Rua Kēnana - Māori prophet

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Rua Kēnana (1868/1869 - 1937), who was also know as Ruatapunui, was a Tūhoe prophet. He called himself the Mihaia / Messiah and claimed to be Te Kooti Arikirangi 's successor Hepetipa (Hephzibah) who would reclaim Tūhoe land that had been lost to pakeha / European ownership. Rua's beliefs split the Ringatū Church , which Te Kooti had founded in around 1866/1868. Ref: George Bourne for Auckland Weekly News, Rua Kēnana, c. 1900-1909, no location, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 7-A3324 In 1907 Rua formed a non-violent religious community at Maungapōhatu, the sacred mountain of Ngāi Tūhoe, in the Urewera. By 1900, Maungapōhatu was one of the few areas that had not been investigated by the Native Land Court . The community, also known as New Jerusalem, included a farming co-operative and a savings bank. Many pakeha believed the community was subversive and saw Rua as a disruptive influence. Ref: Auckland Weekly News, the settlement of Maungapohatu

Hand coloured photographs

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There is an immediately accessible quality about hand coloured or tinted photographs, which brings the past alive in a way that is perhaps more intimate than black and white photographs. Ref: Photographer and colourist unknown, hand coloured photograph of David Clark driving the Northcote Borough Council's dray, c. 1910, North Auckland Research Centre, Auckland Libraries, N0101008 Converting images of varying shades of grey i.e. black and white photographs, into coloured images literally involved the application of colour onto the photographic image. There were two methods by which this could be done. Hand colouring or tinting involved painting very lightly onto the surface, so that the photograph underneath was still visible. The more clumsy method of the two was over painting, whereby a heavier pigment was applied, often completely obscuring the original photograph. Prior to the start of either process, a layer of varnish was usually applied to ensure that the absorption of

Love, kiss and home

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Embroidered silk postcards from the First World War are known as WWI Silks. An estimated 10 million were made by French and Belgian girls and women and sold to Allied servicemen on duty in France. The cards were mailed home at no charge to the sender in Military Mail pouches, and became treasured mementos from "the boys over there”. Ref: First World War silk embroidered card from the Ephemera Collections, c. 1914-1918, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries Many of the Silks featured symbols and greetings important to Allied troops: fern fronds for New Zealanders, maple leaves for Canadians; flags; battalion and regimental crests; and patriotic messages such as 'United We Stand' or 'Victory and Liberty'. Especially favoured were cards with Sister, Mother, Father, and the words love, kiss and home.

Mt Roskill’s Victory Estate

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It is always fascinating to discover why the street you live in is given a particular name, and for residents of a block in Mt Roskill, Auckland, there is a marvellous history behind theirs. It is a group of streets that was known as the Victory Estate – located up at the Mt Roskill end of Dominion Road in Auckland. The subdivision was purchased by a syndicate in 1920, as reported in the NZ Herald newspaper . The land had been held for the past 50 years by the Wesley Training College who had possessed huge amounts of land in the area. It was described as “beautiful high green slopes …. Commanding magnificent views over Mount Eden” ( New Zealand Herald , Vol. LVII, Issue 17412, 6 March 1920, p.9 ). Ref: DP Plan 16857, North Auckland Land District, Plan of Auckland Suburb, IV Titirangi S.D., Mt Roskill Road District, 1923

NZ Women who fought against WWI

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The declaration of war was greeted so enthusiastically in NZ that many anti-militarist groups lowered their profile. This included the National Peace Council, whom in 1914 suspended all public work, saying “the war fever is too acute to allow of any meetings being held” (Hutching, M., 2007, see full reference below). Most NZ women supported the war effort, but some were bold enough to agitate for international arbitration and an end to war. The Canterbury Women’s Institute , the Women’s International League and The Housewives Union formed part of the nucleus of the anti-war movement in NZ. Ref: Front cover of Women for Peace & Freedom by Betty Holt (1985) 

Lopdell House Revisited

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Ref: Auckland Libraries, front exterior view, Lopdell House, Titirangi, 2014, West Auckland Research Centre, Auckland Libraries, TITI-D-2014-0033 Several months have passed since the great unveiling of plastic wrap from the exterior of Lopdell House, Titirangi, which is part of the newly named Lopdell Precinct. I was curious to see inside the building following its renovation, restoration and seismic strengthening. The entrance foyer, with its floor of decorative tiles and sweeping circular staircase provided an impressive welcome. Ref: Auckland Libraries, spiral staircase, hanging lights and tiled entrance foyer viewed from level 2, Lopdell House, Titirangi, 2014, West Auckland Research Centre, Auckland Libraries, TITI-D-2014-0004