Locomotive No. 1, Sydney, 1858 - 1860 (4091215204)
Rights Info: No known restrictions on publication.
Part Of: Powerhouse Museum Collection
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Locomotive No. 1, Sydney
Made by Hetzer, William in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1858-1860.
This photograph was published in one of the earlier sets of William Hetzer’s stereoviews, and his blind stamp can be seen imprinted on the right-hand side of the mount. This image is especially relevant to the Powerhouse Museum collections as it is the earliest photographic record of Australia’s first Locomotive. Appropriately named Locomotive No. 1, this train is now part of the Powerhouse Collection. This locomotive arrived in Sydney in February 1855 and worked on the NSW rail lines until March 1877 when it was withdrawn from operation after having travelled more than 250,000 kms.
In 1850 William Hetzer arrived in Sydney, with his wife Thekla, where they immediately set up a photographic studio at 15 Hunter Street. Hetzer initially specisalised in calotypes but soon adopted the new collodion based positive/negative processes, like the ambrotype and albumen prints, which were appearing in the early 1850s.
In 1858 Hetzer embarked on what is now his best known enterprise, the publication of a set of 36 albumen prints taken with a stereo-view camera. The success of the first series encouraged Hetzer to keep publishing Sydney views and by 1859 he had over 60 different views. Hetzer’s views of Sydney - “... its harbour, principal buildings, streets and neighbouring scenery, &c.” were among the earliest outdoor photographs taken in Sydney. The sets sold well and Hetzer continued to publish stereo-views of Sydney and its harbour, right up until 1863.
In 1867, Hetzer left Australia and returned to England, auctioning off his photographic equipment, and about 3500 registered negatives, to the photographer Joseph Degotardi.