A very quiet day on Collins Street, taken in 1858, looking West along Collins Street, from the Swanston Street intersection. The town looks deserted, similar to many other photographs from this period, but in fact anything that wasn't completely stationary for at least 2-5 minutes was registered as a blur in these early days of photography.
Victoria was in the middle of a major gold rush and Victoria's population had grown from 75,000 in 1851 to over 500,000 by 1861, making up 47% of Australia's population. Obviously most residents of Melbourne were out on the goldfields when this image was captured.
Looking at this image, it's hard to believe that Melbourne was barely 20 years old. Three years before this photo was taken the Melbourne Cricket Club were settled in at the MCG. Just 3 years after this photo was taken the first Melbourne Cup was run. The first Australian Rules Football match was played in Melbourne in the year this photo was taken, 1858.
Notes from the State Library of Victoria tell us that the image shows a "View of Collins Street looking west across Swanston Street." Photograph by Richard Daintree 1832-1878; Antoine Fauchery 1823-1861.
This is a digitally retouched reproduction of the original held by the State Library of Victoria. All prints are reproduced without the HOTPRESS watermarks.
Our team of conservators have worked on a high resolution digital image in order to remove blemishes and artifacts such as stains, mould, scratches and damage caused by the handling of the original. We strive to provide authentic representations of the original work that are suitable for enlargements that retain the tones and character of the original.
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