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Lizars Challenge stereo half-plate camera

2005.0075.0030

Lizars Challenge stereo half-plate camera

Object information

Physical description

A leather covered wooden box camera with bellows and a leather side strap. The camera has metal dials for adjustments and a sprung door at the front which reveals twin lenses, with a metal and bone plate inlaid with handpainted f-stops in white reading "6.3 8 11 16". There is an external small circular manufacturer's plate with text "J. LIZARS / 'Challenge' / GLASGOW / EDINBURGH / LONDON BELFAST ABERDEEN LIVERPOOL". The camera has a sprung rear door for film and a flip-up viewfinder with handpainted cross-hairs mounted in the centre, top. Handwritten notes in pencil are on inner surface of the door and camera. The camera is loaded with film.

Statement of significance

The Robert and Irene Goard collection comprises cameras and other photographic equipment owned and used by prominent Australian photographers and businessmen Charles Kerry, George Rose and Frank Hurley and amateur photographer and engineer Ernest Macartney de Burgh. The collection includes a dry whole plate field camera and a wet plate sliding box camera used by Kerry, a Lizars Challenge stereo camera owned by George Rose and a 35mm Debrie Parvo cine-camera acquired by Frank Hurley for the 1929-30 British, Australian and New Zealand Antarctic Research Expeditions. It also includes a Sanderson folding plate camera awarded to de Burgh by the Institute of Engineers to recognise his securing the prestigious Telford Premium award in 1903-04.

From the 1880s to the 1920s, professional Australian photographers such as Kerry, Rose and Hurley created an extensive record of urban and rural life in eastern Australia and developed highly successful businesses producing and selling portraits, landscape views and news and event photographs as prints, postcards and stereocards. These photographers also exhibited overseas and imported views of the world, including, for Hurley, of Antarctica, for Australian consumption. Through these practices, photographers such as Kerry, Rose and Hurley shaped both Australians' understanding of and interest in their own social and natural environments and Australians' perception of their place in the world.

Object information

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