44 Vintage Photos That Show How Fast Australia Has Changed

Today marks 175 years since the invention of photography.

1. Today is World Photo Day, marking 175 years since the invention of photography.

Bega Women’s cricket team, NSW. Date unknown.

ID: 3622047

2. This is the oldest known surviving photograph taken in Australia, snapped in 1845.

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.

ID: 3621892

3. The first druggist’s shop in Melbourne: Collins Street, circa 1857.

ID: 3622176

4. Daguerreotype of Stephen King and a young woman, circa 1859.

“Daguerreotype in embossed leatherette case of Stephen King junior and a young woman, possibly his sister Matilda, who is doing needlework. King was a member of the John McDouall Stuart Expedition.” Source: State Library of SA.

ID: 3622241

5. Kidney Brothers Boot & Shoe Warehouse, Collingwood, 1861.

ID: 3622193

6. Members of the South Australian Volunteer Forces, 1860.

ID: 3622259

7. The first Aboriginal cricket team, and the first Australian cricket team to tour England, 1867.

ID: 3622002

8. Miner and photography pioneer B.O. Holtermann (second from left) with reef gold from Star of Hope mine, 1873.

American & Australasian Photographic Company / Flickr: statelibraryofnsw
ID: 3621965

9. Teacher and children outside the school, Blacklead, 1873.

American & Australasian Photographic Company / Flickr: statelibraryofnsw
ID: 3621976

10. Burdekin River in flood, 1875.

ID: 3622330

11. The Carandini ladies, one of Australia’s first opera performing families, 1875.

Charles Hewitt / Flickr: statelibraryofnsw
ID: 3622112

12. Swanston Street, Melbourne, 1872.

“Shows buildings including Cavanaugh’s and The Star Hotels, and carriages parked in the street, some without horses at front.” Source: State Library of Victoria.

ID: 3622138

13. Harris family, Sydney, 1877.

ID: 3622115

14. Tram for North Carlton and St. Kilda traveling east past Queen Victoria Hospital, Melbourne, 1880.

ID: 3622187

15. Studio reenactment of Ned Kelly’s capture, 1880.

ID: 3622146

16. Queensland cyclist, R. James on a rear-steering rotary tricycle, circa 1884.

ID: 3622327

17. Macquarie Lighthouse, Sydney: old and new side by side, 1884.

ID: 3622018

18. Reading the proclamation of annexation, Mr Lawe’s house, Port Moresby, New Guinea, November 1884.

John Paine or Augustine E. Dyer / Flickr: statelibraryofnsw
ID: 3621924

19. Australian South Sea Islanders at their Sunday School in Mackay, Queensland, circa 1890.

ID: 3622312

20. Bridget Darmody on a camel, 1892.

ID: 3622269

21. Dr Frances Dick, first woman to practise medicine in New South Wales, Sydney, 1892.

J. Hubert Newman / Flickr: statelibraryofnsw
ID: 3621941

22. Studio portrait of S. Yee, Brisbane, circa 1895.

ID: 3622298

23. Kalgoorlie crowd waiting for the election results, 1900.

State Library of WA / Via catalogue.slwa.wa.gov.au
ID: 3622211

24. Family portrait of storekeeper Al Coy, his wife, and baby at St. George, Queensland, 1900.

ID: 3622309

25. Geelong AFL team, circa 1900.

ID: 3622156

26. Glenelg Beach, South Australia, 1901.

ID: 3622289

27. Imperial Army officers visiting South Australia during the visit of the Duke of York, 1901.

ID: 3622275

28. Perier family in de Dion voiturette, the first car imported into New South Wales, 1903.

ID: 3621951

29. Afghan cameleer escorts Mrs Walter Lawrence Silver on the wallaby track, circa 1904.

ID: 3622321

30. Sydney Cricket Ground, 1905.

Star Photo Co. / Flickr: statelibraryofnsw
ID: 3622065

31. A postcard from the 1906 Melbourne Cup, Flemington.

ID: 3622160

32. Chinese gardeners at the Cairns railway station, 1910.

ID: 3622308

33. First Australasian Antarctic Expedition, 1912.

ID: 3622028

34. A postcard of one of Wallona Aritta, one of Australia’s tattooed ladies, 1913.

ID: 3622130

35. Flinders Street Station, Melbourne circa 1914.

ID: 3622174

36. Patrons of the Eureka Hotel, Redhill, South Australia, 1915.

ID: 3622283

37. Spectators packing the verandas and rooftop areas of the pavilion at the end of the jetty at Henley Beach, South Australia, 1918.

ID: 3622292

38. Marie-Celeste de Villentroy in Australian flag, 1920.

Albert de Villentroy / Flickr: statelibraryofnsw
ID: 3622098

39. David Unaipon (1872–1967) the first Australian Aboriginal writer to have a book published in Australia, 1925.

Hungarrda was published in 1927 followed by Kinie Ger, the Native Cat in 1928 and his main work, Native Legends, in 1929.

ID: 3621980

40. Australia’s first “atmospheric” theater, the Capitol, intended for silent movies and live performances, opened in 1928.

ID: 3622011

41. First cars and trains across Sydney Harbour Bridge, 1932.

ID: 3622089

42. Open air wash house, Melbourne, 1935.

F. Oswald Barnett Collection / Flickr: statelibraryofvictoria_collections / Creative Commons
ID: 3622200

43. Visiting Native American Chief High Eagle talks with Johnny Schneide, White City, Sydney, 1935.

ID: 3621915

44. Arnotts’ Biscuits Albion van, Sydney, 1936.

ID: 3622095

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Simon Crerar is founding editor of BuzzFeed Australia and is based in Sydney.
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