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National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

Collection Explorer



  • Keith Goddard collection(252)

    Kimberley point
    Kimberley point
    Kimberley point
    Kimberley point
  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3501)

    Calendar for 1912 and a dog at a typewriter
    King & Queen Oaks, New Forest
    The Swan Family Christchurch
    Hope Faithfull standing in a garden with her husband and another man

    The Springfield Collection comprises about 1550 artefacts from Springfield station, south of Goulburn. It includes colonial era costume, a bushranger medal, surveying instruments, a late-19th century landau, firearms and edged weapons, wool samples and Joseph Foveaux's pocket watch and bible. The objects are complemented by over 400 photographs. This diverse collection reflects the growth and economic success of the property, responses to changes in the wool market and the daily lives of the people who have lived on Springfield.

    Springfield has grown from a 518-hectare land grant given to William Pitt Faithfull in 1828 to the current 3183 hectares with ownership remaining in the one family. William Pitt Faithfull established the Springfield Merino Stud in 1838 with ten rams selected from the Macarthur Camden Park stud. The stud evolved slowly over the years until the early 1950s when, under the management of Jim Maple-Brown, a scientific approach to wool-growing was adopted and the stud's name was changed to Fonthill to reflect this.

  • John Collinson Close collection(26)

    Handwritten poem titled A
    Registered envelope addressed to J H Collinson Close, Mosman, NSW
    Letter acknowledging gifts, addressed to Mrs Alice Close, 1951
    Two page letter from John Close to Alice Close, 1911

    This collection comprises objects belonging to John Henry Collinson Close, a member of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE) of 1911-1914, led by Dr Douglas Mawson. It includes a telescope and case; pocket compass; Bryant and May matchbox (used to keep Close's Morse code); diary entries and letters from Close to his wife Alice (three on AAE letterhead); a hand-stitched canvas pouch with a label written by Close in ink, containing two rock samples collected in Antarctica and sent to Alice by supply ship in 1912; a copy of Life Magazine from September 1914; newspaper cuttings of eight articles written by or referencing Close; three typescript letters, including correspondence from Douglas Mawson; handwritten copies of two poems, including one by Tennyson; a newspaper cutting of a Douglas Stewart poem; and a registered envelope addressed to Close.

    The John Collinson Close collection dates from the 'heroic era' of Antarctic exploration, perhaps the last great period of geographical discovery on Earth. It demonstrates key events in a story that led to Australia's claim over 42% of the continent. Linked to this story, and to this collection, are simultaneous ties to the old notions of Empire and the assertion of a new national identity. Close's private letters and journalism reveal the contrast between the personal experiences of a lesser-known expeditioner and a venture, overshadowed by a mythologised leader, now abstracted into the national memory and imagination.

  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7551)

    Appointment card for MacRobertson Ltd Sydney
    Once on a huge Dragon-Fly
    Bulletin Post Cards
    Farmhouse with cattle in the foreground and a man on a horse-drawn plough
  • David Allen medals collection(111)

    Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society of South Australia 1903 'Suffolk Punch Entire'
    Aldinga Annual Ploughing Match 1853 'Best Man'
    Coonamble P & A Association 'Best Hogskin Saddle'
    Port Phillip Farmers Society 1859 'Hay Cart'

    The David Allen medals collection comprises 111 prize medals awarded at rural and urban agricultural shows across Australia from the mid-19th to the early 20th centuries. Medals in the collection are in good to reasonable condition.

    Agricultural and industrial associations formed across rural and urban Australia to foster the development of modern farming systems by promoting new scientific and technological methods. The annual show emerged as a key arena in which the hard work and skill of primary producers were acknowledged and rewarded. Shows also served significant social functions, providing regular occasions to develop and celebrate community ties. Show prizes record the spread and character of rural activities. Medals in the David Allen medals collection feature diverse representations of industrial equipment and rural produce, suggesting the role of the show in characterising agricultural activity as a process of making fruitful the unruly and unfamiliar 'natural' terrains of Australia.

  • Ian Metherall collection(2)

    Vehicle compliance plate for Prototype No. 1 Holden sedan
    1946 Prototype No 1 Holden sedan

    The Ian Metherall Collection comprises the first prototype Holden sedan motor vehicle. It was hand-built at Fisher Works, Detroit, in 1946 and, after extensive testing, was brought to Australia with two other prototypes for road trials under local conditions. Following release of Holden sedans for sale to the public in March 1949 the prototype passed into private hands. It has since been substantially restored.

    This vehicle is a reflection of national aspirations, a representation of post-WWII industrial development in Australia and an icon of 1950s Australian society. It is the only survivor of the first three prototypes of 'Australia's Own Car'. It marks the beginning of the Australian automobile industry, contributing significantly to the increasing prosperity of Australians in the post-war years. A Holden was the first car owned by many Australians. They have been celebrated in popular culture, including music, film and even pin ball machines.

  • David Davis collection(1)

    Photo album owned by David Davis, owner of Phar Lap, featuring each of Phar Lap's Australian race wins

    The collection consists of the personal photograph album of Phar Lap's owner, David Davis, which includes thirty-six black and white photographs, featuring each of Phar Lap's race wins in Australia, mounted in pairs on white card on right hand pages, each with race details inscribed to mount. This is the only photo album known that features each of Phar Lap's Australian wins.

    Phar Lap is Australia's most famous racehorse and one of the nation's most significant sporting icons. After failing to place in eight of his first nine starts, Phar Lap won 36 of his next 41 races, including the 1930 Melbourne Cup and the Agua Caliente Handicap, North America's richest race. American businessman David Davis bought Phar Lap sight unseen, on the recommendation of trainer Harry Telford, who was impressed with the horse's pedigree. Although he was unimpressed when he first saw it, Davis soon grew fond of the horse, and the album in this collection speaks to the relationship of the owner and the horse. Davis arranged for Phar Lap to race in America, and when the horse died, he arranged for its hide, heart and skeleton to be preserved.

  • Eric J Treloar collection(56)

    Receipt for one pound, one shilling from the Royal Aero Club of the United Kingdom, 1914
    Photograph of Bob Hart in De Soutter aircraft VH-UPR of Victorian Interstate Airways
    Curriculum Vitae listing the education and employment history of W H Treloar
    Training agreement between W H Treloar and The British and Colonial Aeroplane Company Limited, 1914

    The collection consists of 56 items related to the career and interests of William Harold Treloar, including photographs, magazines, newspaper clippings, documents and a cartoon by Tom Shield. The material was donated his son Eric J Treloar, and is drawn from Harold Treloar's employment and flight training before the First World War, and his commercial flying activities in Australia after the war.

    Born in Hamilton, Victoria in 1889, Harold Treloar was employed as a driver for Young Bros Auctioneers in Horsham from 1908, and then a motor mechanic and driver at McDonald's Garage in Hamilton from 1911. During 1912-13, Treloar was employed as a mechanic and driver at the Ballarat Motor Works. Treloar developed an interest in aviation and travelled to England where he was accepted as a pupil at the British and Colonial Aeroplane Company Limited in June 1914 for training in piloting and maintenance of aircraft. Treloar continued his training at the Point Cook aviation school after enlisting with the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) in 1914, and began service with the Australian Flying Corps (AFC) in 1915. Treloar was one of the first members of the AFC to enter war service as part of the 'Half Flight' sent to assist the Indian Government against Turkish forces in April 1915. In August 1915, Treloar was reported missing and then confirmed a prisoner of war, remaining in captivity until November 1918. After returning to Australia, Treloar explored a number of commercial aviation interests, entering aerial races and offering joy flights during tours of Victoria and parts of New South Wales. He was employed as an aviation officer for the British Imperial Oil Company Ltd in Adelaide, a subsidiary of the Shell Transport and Trading Company (becoming the Shell Company of Australia Ltd in 1927), from 1920 to 1940.