# 26486

TOOSE, Henry

Children and teachers outside their school building. South coast of New South Wales, 1873.

$330.00 AUD

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Albumen print photograph, carte de visite format, 62 x 102 mm; verso with imprint of H. Toose, Photographic Artist, [the printed address, Corrimel Street, Wollongong, A few doors from Crown Street, has been crossed out by the photographer], and contemporary inscription in ink ‘Nov. 1st 73’; the albumen print has a little mottling in the negative, but is in very good condition, as is the mount.

Although we have not been able to identify the precise location of this southern New South Wales public school, further research by local historians will surely reveal its name. According to Davies & Stanbury (The Mechanical Eye) the photographer, Henry Toose, was the sole proprietor of the Corrimel Street studio in Wollongong during 1872 only. In 1873, when this photograph was taken, he is recorded as being active in both Bega and Bombala, so the school might well have been in one of these townships, both of which are situated in the far south coast hinterland. Davies & Stanbury note that Toose was also working as a travelling photographer around this time, so the location is possibly in a district slightly further north, such as Cobargo.

There are approximately 80 children in the photograph – presumably the entire school body – with fifty boys on the left, and around 30 girls on the right. Their ages range from around 6 to 14 tears of age. At far left stands the schoolmaster, top hat in hand, and in a doorway on the left, behind a wooden fence, two female teachers can be seen. The school building itself is a clapboard construction, with a shingle roof and brick chimney. The school bell, atop a tall post, is prominent, just left of centre.