Show & Tell meeting on Friday 18 June 2021.
After setting up the room and laying out refreshments, Amanda Bede absented herself because we had a strict cap of 10. Ed Jewell officiated and described some recent additions and oldies re-discovered in sorting and re-organising his discrete collections which include an intriguing array of undertakers’ memorabilia.
Face masks could be put aside while eating and drinking. (Apparently when the person who invented fairy bread died there were hundreds and thousands at the funeral.)
Counterclockwise round the table:
Tim G showed a fascinating album of colourful cards issued in sets of six by a nineteenth and early twentieth century German beef extract manufacturer.
Peter Williams produced the 1840s Title Deed to the Old England Hotel, Heidelberg (previously known as Warringal). A dealer had mistakenly identified it as from Warragul. Also a long-sought portrait of the engineer from Dorman, Long & Co. responsible for the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Making the train and bicycle trek from Ballarat, John Kerr had an eclectic array of mostly small paper items, including a couple of lovely folded pop-up style advertisements. As he noted many were still housed in card-backed, plastic film covered packaging as presented by the late Richard Berry. Most of us had stories about the enticing treasures to be found, and sometimes prized away from that eccentric gentleman.
For some time John had encouraged me (the writer) in collecting representations of Australia’s Sun. Inspired by two books: The English Sunrise (1972) and The American Sunrise (1980), I showed a few examples on the theme. Another interest is represented in “DOWNBEAT!” Reproductions of Melbourne Trad Jazz programs and EP record sleeves from the early 1960s compiled by John Nixon in 2003. The recently deceased visual artist often used discarded materials in his compositions.
John Dean had a wide range of things to Show & Sell not least some souvenir fold-out views ‘Join us in a Trip around … ‘ various Victorian Tourist spots. A tongue-in-cheek pamphlet Winnie-the-Pooh, Capitalist Lackey?, was first printed by the very collectable Whittington Press in 1976.
Previously displayed as part of Cabinets of Wonder in 2016, Andrew Hillier presented his album of postcards of Victorian Hospitals. Surely the most comprehensive in this specialty area, as I think Peter Williams remarked.
Debra Parry brought along a range of WW2 items that belonged to her father and grandfathers. The first was the RAAF “Standard Notebook for Initial Training Schools” and RAAF “Engineering School Fitters IIA Course Notes”. These were both from 1942 and cheaply bound with card covers tied with cord in the same binding style as one of Peter Williams Items from the 1950s. There was also the booklet “Join the RAAF Air Crew” which repeats throughout that “this is a man’s job”. Another item was the “ELSA” Aircraft Recognition Card. Debra also showed envelopes posted during the war with ink stamps ‘Passed by Censor”. Most posted within Australia, but one coming from PNG (1941) and a 1944 illustrated souvenir from South Africa with V for Victory on the front. And for something completely different a 1975 tourist brochure for Melbourne, where every second ad was for a massage or brothel.
Always finding quirky or unexpected aspects in the otherwise mundane, John Young did not disappoint with a selection of postcards. Some because of the person at either end of the correspondence, others for the subject matter. The advertising card for dolls houses size Places of Worship takes the cake (or sacramental wafer.)
David G. Harris