# 43170

BIRTLES, Francis (1881-1941)

[NORTHERN TERRITORY] Fossicking for gold.

[Title from handwritten caption verso]. Gelatin silver print, 110 x 180 mm; verso with caption in fountain pen: ‘159. “Fossicking” for gold. / Primitive Gold Mining, Northern Territory, at the winch hauling up the tub. / Francis Birtles, Copyright’; with printed label of Birtles’ London publisher, Mondiale; unmounted; small loss at lower left corner, otherwise in fine condition.

This photograph was taken by Australian adventurer, photographer, cyclist and filmmaker Francis Edwin Birtles (1881-1941), probably on one of his trips through the Northern Territory in the 1920s. This appears to be a copy print made at the time by Birtles’ London publisher, Mondiale.

Across the first three decades of the twentieth century, Birtles set many long-distance driving and cycling records in Australia, but perhaps his most famous accomplishment was in 1927, when he became the first person to drive a car from England to Australia.