Saturday, August 13, 2016

Oz Fun Facts and History, continued

Continuing a look at some of Australia’s past through images. Text and images are from:

Bonus items are from me.
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Blackboard notes in university biology class


The University of Sydney, Australia’s first, opened in 1852. It was envisioned as a modern and progressive institution, offering studies in the classics, sciences and mathematics, as well as select languages and political thought. When William Charles Wentworth proposed it, he imagined "the opportunity for the child of every class to become great and useful in the destinies of this country". While the manner in which they are taught to become "great and useful" has evolved drastically since the days of detailed blackboard diagrams, the university’s dedication to inclusivity has not. After all, the campus was one of the first in the world to admit female students in 1881. 

Bonus items:

SinnyUny (as it’s often pronounced) in the 1860’s:

. . . and in the 1870’s, shown from Parramatta Road:

Mary Brown, one of the first two women Bachelor of Arts graduates at the University, in 1885, print from a wood-carving, 'Illustrated Sydney News', 6 June 1885, NLA Newspapers.

Isola Thompson, one of the first two women Bachelor of Arts graduates at the University, in 1885, print from a wood-carving, 'Illustrated Sydney News', 6 June 1885, NLA Newspapers.

Jane Foss Russell (later Barff) was the third female BA graduate and first female Honours graduate, in 1886, and the first Tutor to Women Students, in 1892. She is pictured wearing her cap and gown on 29 November 1890, photo by Falk, State Library of NSW. She married University Registrar Henry Ebenezer Barff in 1899. (Unfortunate name, that).

A group of women students in front of the Women's Common Room in 1892. This was a temporary weatherboard building which had been built as a laboratory for classes in practical chemistry and in 1889 was handed over to women as the ‘New Ladies Common Room'.
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SS Austral sinks, November 11 1882


While anchored in Sydney’s Neutral Bay, receiving coal in the early hours of a November morning, the Orient liner Austral listed over. Her ports were open at the time, and water poured in so rapidly that she sank within minutes. Between 70 and 80 men were on board, most of them sleeping when the alarm was raised. Five perished. It was not the end of the SS Austral. The liner was successfully refloated, and it went on to travel between England and Australia for the next 22 years.

Bonus item:

Hand coloured engraving by an unknown artist of the sinking of the Austral.
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Actress's fierce beauty captured by renowned photographer
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Pamela Bromley-Smith was aged 19 when she was awarded runner-up in the Miss New South Wales contest in 1947. By then, she had already begun to make a name for herself as an actress-dancer. Despite a number of stage credits, she is better remembered for marrying ballet dancer Valentin Zaglovsky in 1949. The two moved from Sydney to London that year, where they raised three sons, the eldest, Leo, and identical twins, Mark and Paul. Zaglovsky and Bromley-Smith divorced not long before his death in 1985.

Bonus item:

A portrait of Pamela Bromley-Smith by photographer Max Dupain, who also took the above image.
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Doomed plane photographed before fatal crash


In 1948, the nation’s leading airline, Australian National Airways, suffered four major accidents in as many months. First, the Lutana vanished flying from Brisbane to Sydney in a thunderstorm. Its wreckage and 13 deceased occupants were later found. Then the Kanana, flying Melbourne to Sydney, suffered a fiery malfunction mid-flight. Those on board escaped harm after an emergency landing. Servicing the same route in misty conditions, the Kurana (pictured) crash-landed on the southern slopes of Mt Macedon. Passengers evacuated the aircraft as it caught on fire. The captain and first officer were pulled from the crushed nose, but were fatally injured. Ending the airline’s string of bad luck, the Kyilla was damaged beyond repair after a crash-landing in total darkness.

Bonus items:


Wreckage of the Kurana

The wrecked Kyilla
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Renowned ballerina greeted by 10,000 strong crowd in Sydney


When renowned ballerina and choreographer Anna Pavlova braved the five-week journey to Australia, the nation embraced her and her art. Pavlova’s initial season in Melbourne was the city’s most successful ever, netting £30,000 in box-office receipts in just four weeks. Arriving at Sydney’s Central Station soon after, she was welcomed by an estimated crowd of 10,000. Pavlova’s performances attracted ballet fans from around the country. One evening, a couple travelled 283km, and someone else, 725km, to see her. Upon hearing this, Pavlova invited them back to her dressing room for tea after the show to thank them.

Bonus Items:



From Wikipedia:
Pavlova is a meringue-based dessert named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. It is a meringue dessert with a crisp crust and soft, light inside, usually topped with fruit and, optionally, whipped cream.

The dessert is believed to have been created in honour of the dancer either during or after one of her tours to Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s. The nationality of its creator has been a source of argument between the two nations for many years. In 2008, Helen Leach published The Pavlova Story: A Slice of New Zealand's Culinary History, in which she argued that the earliest known recipe was published in New Zealand. Later research by Andrew Wood and Annabelle Utrecht suggested the dessert originated in the United States and was based on an earlier German dish.

The dessert is a popular dish and an important part of the national cuisine of both Australia and New Zealand, and with its simple recipe, is frequently served during celebratory and holiday meals. It is a dessert most identified with the summer time, but is eaten all year round in many Australian and New Zealand homes.

Kiwi chef Aaron Campbell and Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker, and the world's biiggest pavlova

The world’s largest pavlova, 50 square metres and capable of feeding 10,000 people. The giant pavlova - made with 10,000 egg whites and more than 600kg of sugar - was made in the shape of a rugby field, and timed to coincide with the Bledisloe Cup rugby match in Christchurch in 2010.

Btw, the first desert made for Anna Pavlova was delivered to her door by the chef who created it.  However, when he rang the doorbell and left it, Pavlova's dog began salivating and ate it.


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