Stratford Historical Society and Museum

News from the Stratford Historical Society and Museum, in Stratford, Gippsland, Victoria. We are open Tuesdays from 10am to 3pm, and the fourth Sunday of the month from 2pm to 4pm. Our postal address is P.O. Box 145, Stratford, 3862.

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Location: Victoria, Australia

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Footprints: The Exhibition is Coming

We are excited to announce that the PROV exhibition "Footprints: The Journey of Lucy and Percy Pepper" is coming to the Stratford Historical Museum for February and March.

Percy Pepper was a son of Nathanial Pepper, and born at Ramhyuck, just out of Stratford. Many will remember his son, Phillip Pepper, who wrote several books in the 1980s.

You can view the exhibition any Tuesday from 10am to 3pm, February to March, groups at other times by arrangement on 5145 6836. The Museum is also open 2pm to 4pm on the 4th Sunday of the month.

Warning: This exhibition contains images of deceased people. It also includes transcripts of records from the early 20th century which some people may find disturbing and offensive.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

PROV Workshop

Thursday 21st February
Stratford Historical Museum
Start 9.30am for 10am, finish 4pm

Training Workshop from PROV: 
Interpretation: Revealing the stories in collections.

Designed to improve skills in interpretation, this training workshop offer tips and ideas to engage visitors with museum objects.

Topics include: principles of heritage interpretation, making connections with audiences and use of media.

Learn techniques to help impart the messages you want to share. Enhance your visitors’ experience through meaningful and provocative interpretation of your collection and you will connect them to your region’s heritage forever!

Through activities in this workshop, you will have the opportunity to contribute ideas and knowledge of your area and collection to the development of Public Record Office Victoria's touring exhibition, 'What's in a Name'. This exhibition is about how land has been lost, lived in, named, bought, sold and altered in Victoria. The naming of places in Victoria is a story about our relationship to land. Through looking at how and why places are named, or renamed, we can explore the changing relationship Victorians have had, and continue to have, to land and country.

Bio of workshop facilitator:

Pam Enting is a director of Spellbound Interpretation which specializes in interpretation planning, design and implementation. Pam has a graduate diploma in natural and cultural heritage interpretation and a teaching qualification. She has taught Heritage Interpretation at university, TAFE and professional development level. Major interpretation planning projects include The Golden Pipeline, WA, the Collingwood Children's Farm, Warrnambool’s Lady Bay, Cape Otway Lightstation and Buchan Caves Visitor Centre. Between 2006 and 2010 Pam was Heritage Victoria's Outreach Co-ordinator, responsible for the development of the Victoria's Framework of Historical Themes and the Community Collections Conservation Support Pilot Project in South West Victoria.

Bookings essential  (e-mail if unable to negotiate booking form)

Lunch Supplied.     No Charge.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Opaltype Photographs


We are getting a little interested in opaltype photographs, and wonder if any of the other collections who read our blog have any in their collections? Typically they are printed on white "milk glass", and often hand-tinted with colours. As they are usually copies from photographs such as cabinet cards, they often have hand-painted detail such as that shown here on Mrs Maxwell's shoulder, and on Mr Maxwell's lapels. This appears to be a compilation from two photographs, probably not even taken at the same time, and the person wearing the darker outfit will be overlapped in front of the one wearing the lighter outfit.

However there are many other versions. If you go to the photographs site on Trove, and type "opaltype" into the search field, you can see a number of others.

Who are they?

They are believed to be James Maxwell, born in England 1820- buried in Maffra 1904, and his second wife Elizabeth Anne Symons, Born 1830- buried in Maffra 1911. They had 13 children.

We really want to identify the studio where this opaltype was produced - has anyone one in a similar pose? With a label on the back? They were typically sold by door-to-door salesmen, who collected the original photographs, and sent them off to a studio - possibly in Melbourne. Similar ones were also ordered from salsemen that had convex glass covering them. We don't have any like that, but have seen them around. Anyone able to name  studio for them?

Late edit: Thanks to Lenore, for pointing us to this opaltype, in the State Library of South Australia, where the lighter outfit has been superimposed on the darker outfit behind. Is that technique called "dodging", where they wave a little fly swat on the dark part as it is printed, to blend it out? Then the next photo is printed on the lefthand side?  But you can still see his jacket through the lighter print. Possibly the copy negatives had the backgrounds painted out, then the whole background was hand-touched onto the opaltype.

We are getting a little interested in the firm of Dimond Bros, who were in Richmond and various other places, doing opaltypes, with "country collectors" on bicycles. Has anyone any work by them? here is another nice opaltype by them, also in the State Library of South Australia.

Late Edit: here is a label for Dimond bros, from another Gippsland collection. They did have a Sydney studio at some stage, but it doesn't appear here.


Thursday, January 03, 2013

Cups and Saucers

Cups-and-Saucers are much on our mind at the minute. Like the ones above, because you wonder how many stories they could tell. Which is why knowing the provenance/story of an item is so important. We don't know a lot of history for this set - they were found in the kitchen cupboard at the museum (which before us was a Senior Citizens, and before that a Church - which would they have originated from?).

The important thing for these was that older members recognised them for what they were - the only type of crockery you could get during World War II - there was a distinct shortage of china, but you could get glassware, so that is what household crockery came in. 

War over - most of them were discarded or broken, so we are lucky to have this set.

This is one of the other sets we have in the collection  - from the coronation of our current Queen's parents. Many families had a cup and saucer or two to mark a significant royal occasion. Or a mug. How many are there out there locally? Because we are looking for another fifteen - can we find that many that are different?

Why do we want fifteen royal mugs or cup-and-saucer sets? In May, we have the "We Saw The Queen" exhibition coming from the Public Record Office. We have already worked out that we might be able to find  few hats - when the Queen came to Sale in 1954, all women going to see her would have dusted off their best hat, and been wearing that.

Now, we are thinking of filling a cupboard (from the courthouse, originally for documents), that has sixteen perfect pigeonholes, with royal drinking vessels. Cups and saucers only please. Or mugs. If we are really desperate, a tea pot or two might make it in there, but that is all.

This cup-and-saucer? Found in the RSL kitchen, much the same as our glassware ones were found in the museum. The RSL recognised it was too important to leave there, and passed it along to us.

Here is the empty cupboard - can you help fill it? We would need them for about two months - if you can find something else to drink out of for that time.

Thanks to Inside History for starting this off, by talking about having a cuppa with people.