Menu toggle

National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

Collection Explorer

4

Photograph of Hubert Opperman, 1937

2014.0047.0001.002

Photograph of Hubert Opperman, 1937

Object information

Physical description

A black and white photograph with a decorative scalloped edge, of a cyclist standing behind a bicycle and surrounded by people. On the reverse of the photograph, is the stamped text 'B 37' and 'KODAK PRINT', and a handwritten inscription in blue pen which reads 'Hubert Opperman when / he - passed through Wirrulla / ?'.

Statement of significance

This collection consists of a leather-bound black autograph book measuring 77x107x9mm and believed to have belonged to Miriam Lois Doley (1919-1997), a young woman living in Wirrulla, South Australia. One page was signed in ink by the champion cyclist Hubert Opperman (1904-1996) when he stopped in the town during his well-publicised Fremantle-Sydney transcontinental record attempt of November 1937. Loosely inserted in the book is a silver gelatine photograph measuring 85x63mm featuring Opperman and his bicycle. The collection as a whole is in a good to fair state of conservation.

The 'M.L. Doley collection' is a rare personal memento associated with one of the many extraordinary cross-continental overland journeys made by one of Australia's most famous cyclists. It provides evidence for the great public affection for 'Oppy' that existed across Australia during the 1920s and 1930s, as well as the important role the bicycle has played in Australia since the 1880s, both for sport and as means of transportation. It also lends insight into the early twentieth century practice of compiling autograph books recording community activities and connections.

Object information

When

Who

Back to top