Sunday, October 26, 2014

George Goodman - Australia's First Commercial Photographer

Entrepreneurial Jewish settler, George Baron Goodman, was Australia's first professional photographer. Having taken lessons in Paris from Louis Daguerre, the inventor of the Dagerreotype process, on his return to London Goodman purchased a licence from Richard Beard (holder of the English patent for the process) to take photographs within specific British colonies.

Arriving in Sydney in November 1842, Goodman quickly set up his 'Daguerreotype Gallery' at the Royal Hotel in George Street, and immediately began capturing 'faithful miniature likenesses' of the town's leading citizens.

Goodman's daguerreotype portrait of Doctor William Bland is the earliest known surviving photograph taken in Australia. It is probably that mentioned in the Sydney Morning Herald 14/1/1845.

Dr William Bland, ca. 1845 / photographed by George Goodman. Dr William Bland, an ex-convict, was a prominent surgeon, humanitarian, social reformer and inventor. This daguerreotype is the earliest known surviving photograph taken in Australia.

In April and May of 1845, Goodman had travelled to Bathurst at the request of 100 subscribers and spent three weeks there taking daguerreotypes at the Victoria Hotel. On the way back to Sydney, in May 1845, Goodman took a series of photographs of the William Lawson family, probably at their property 'Veteran Hall' in Prospect. He producing a set of six or more exquisite daguerreotype portraits. Dressing up for the occasion, the Lawson girls all wore similar dresses highlighting the remarkable family resemblance between them.

Sarah Ann Lawson, May 1845 / photographed by George Goodman. She was the third daughter of William and Caroline Lawson and a grand-daughter of Lieut. William Lawson, pastoralist and Blue Mountains explorer.

Maria Emily Lawson, 1845 / photographed by George Goodman. She was the fourth daughter of William and Caroline Lawson and a grand-daughter of Lieut. William Lawson, pastoralist and Blue Mountains explorer.

Susannah Caroline Lawson, May 1845 / photographed by George Goodman. She was the second daughter of William and Caroline Lawson and a grand-daughter of Lieut. William Lawson, pastoralist and Blue Mountains explorer.

Sophia Rebecca Lawson, May 1845 / photographed by George Goodman. She was the fifth daughter of William and Caroline Lawson and a grand-daughter of Lieut. William Lawson.

Eliza Lawson, May 1845 / photographed by George Goodman. She was the eldest daughter of William and Caroline Lawson and a grand-daughter of Lieut. William Lawson, pastoralist and Blue Mountains explorer.

Caroline and son Thomas James Lawson, 1845 / photographed by George Goodman. William Lawson (1804-1861) was the son of the Blue Mountains explorer and pastoralist Lieut. William Lawson.

(All images © State Library of New South Wales)

Pin It Now!

No comments :

Post a Comment

Top