page loading
Menu toggle

National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • Trevor Reed collection(3)

    Chart of the Murray River from Wentworth to above Danger Island
    Wentworth [Murray River]
    From above Gell's Island to Murrumbidgee Junction [Murray River]

    The Trevor Reed collection consists of three charts of the Murray River, drawn and used by paddle-steamer skippers. Two were drawn by Captain W.A.Cramsie in July 1885, and one by Captain A.Hart some time prior to 1926. They were purchased by Trevor's father, Bob Reed, one of the last skippers of the PS Enterprise.

    The riverboat era on the Murray, Murrumbidgee and Darling rivers was a significant period in the development of inland Australia. Founded in the early 1850s, the paddle steamer trade reached its zenith in the 1870s. Nearly 5200 kilometres of navigable river were utilised by the boats and their barges. Stores were carried to inland stations and wool transported from the stations to market. The riverboats greatly accelerated the speed of transport of goods and in so doing assisted the spread of inland settlement. Port towns like Echuca, Wentworth and Morgan developed into important centres. Negotiating the innumerable bends, changing sandbars, snags and other hazards required great skill and good charts. Bob Reed worked on riverboats for around sixty years, captaining about 20 boats. The charts in the Trevor Reed Collection are significant artefacts from a bygone era, and they have added importance by virtue of their strong personal story and its connection with PS Enterprise.

  • Dr Herbert Basedow collection(424)

    Glass plate negative - Ikey, Teddy and Jacky (Sunday Islanders, Western Australia) on board the 'Rita', as members of the crew, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1916
    Glass plate negative - Wagon crossing a stream bed, Victoria River district, Northern Territory, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1922
    Glass plate negative - Luritja men demonstrating use of weapons, central Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1920
  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7553)

    Postcard of the shop of H Matthews General Merchant
    Guthega Power Station
    Logs being hauled by a motor vehicle used as a timber jinker
    Table D'Hote room, Langham Hotel
  • Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) collection - Play School(10)

    Rocket Clock from Play School with dioramas and their components
    Butcher's Shop
    Flower clock from Play School
    Snowy landscape

    The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) transmitted the first episode of Play School in 1966, largely based on the format of the BBC production of the same name which had begun in 1964. For the first series, the set for the Australian show was copied from the British set, however it was soon revised and re-built. The sets on offer to the Museum includes the first and subsequent sets of 'magic windows' - which on the show offer glimpses of the outside world, short pre-taped pieces - as well as the two clocks used to accompany storytelling ('rocket clock' and 'flower clock') and a number of the dioramas used to dress each clock.

    The props used on the set of Play School, like the toys who regularly appear on the show, are instantly recognisable to viewers past and present. Play School itself has always maintained a fixed format and has sought to reflect Australian culture through the themes of the episodes, stories and activities.

  • Barry Cranston collection(7)

    Custom-made hay baling hooks
    Custom-made hay baling hook
    Five photographs of hay baling and carting
    Custom-made hay baling hook

    The collection consists of four hand-turned baling hooks, a pair of custom-made leather chaps, an oil painting by the donor, and photographs of the Cranston family's hay-carting heritage

    The pioneering ingenuity of Australian farmers to overcome seemingly insurmountable problems resulted in some of the first agricultural and farming implements and machinery to be devised in Australia. The Barry Cranston collection is an important addition to the Museum's representation of Australian farm labour and associated industries. It references the ingenuity of individual manual labourers in the face of increasing mechanisation of agricultural practices.

  • National Sports Information Centre collection(37)

    Black and white photograph of US swimmers Leslie Bunyan, Charlotte Boyle, Alice Lord and Ethelda Bleibtrey
    Black and white photograph of Randwick Junior Rugby Union Football Club, 3rd Grade Premiers, 1920
    Black and white photograph of Randwick Junior Rugby Union Football Club, 2nd Grade Runners-Up, 1920
    Black and white photograph of US swimmer Ethelda Bleibtrey receiving Olympic trophies from the King of Belgium, 1920
  • Timothy Millett collection(314)

    Convict love token from T. Jones to Mary, 1819
    Convict love token from C. Perkins., 1843
    Convict love token from George Morris, 1817
    Convict love token from J.M., 1838

    The Timothy Millett collection comprises 307 convict love tokens dating from 1762 to 1856, and seven contemporary documents relating to the criminal justice system including: recommendations to commute the death sentences of Hester Sampson and Thomas Hayes to life transportation; a calendar of prisoners awaiting trial in the goals of Durham, Newcastle and Northumberland; a request to the Middlesex assizes for rewards to be paid; a printed copy of George Skene's last speech prior to execution; a printed broadside listing prisoners in Dorchester jail awaiting transportation; and a 60 page handwritten account of the life of Thomas Jones, who was transported twice and finally hanged at Winchester Prison in 1856.

    Convict love tokens, typically made from smoothed-down coins and engraved or stippled with a message, derive from traditional sailors' farewells. The production of these 'leaden hearts' rose as criminal indictments increased in Britain, with the majority produced during the 1820s and 1830s. As mementos made by or for convicts facing transportation (or death) to leave behind for their loved ones, the tokens provide a poignant, personal insight into the transportation system.

  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3501)

    Exercises for Ladies to Improve and Perfect Beauty
    Pencil sketch depicting four deer
    Hand-drawn family tree of the Pitt family

    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.