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Loading Abermain coal, Newcastle, New South Wales

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CollectionsAdelaide Steamship Company Limited
Date created: 1925
Scene in which a crane holds a skip over the deck of a ship berthed alongside a wharf. The skip has ABERMAIN 45 painted on its side. There are a number of men in workman's clothes on the wharf and more watching the loading from an upper deck of the ship. In the distance is a view of Newcastle. The city's significance for the collieries was as port of shipment for coal from the northern New South Wales coalfields. Cazneaux printed this image from a photograph he took for one of the many projects assigned to him by the art firm of (Ure) Smith and (Harry) Julius. He and artist, Albert Collins (died 1951) created the illustrations for a souvenir volume for Abermain Seaham Collieries. This image differs from that on page 55 by being more closely cropped. Cropping was one of the techniques used by Pictorialist photographers like Cazneaux to create compositions that resembled artworks made in more traditional media. The print is in the Adelaide Steamship Company's collection because in 1905 the company acquired large interests in the Abermain Colliery (near Cessnock), the Seaham Colliery (near Newcastle) and the North Bulli Mine (near Wollongong) in order to secure its source of bunkering coal - a move that was to prove advantageous when the price of British steamering coal rose dramatically in 1908. The interests of the Abermain and Seaham collieries merged in 1922 and in 1931 a further merger created J. & A. Brown & Abermain Seaham. The Adelaide Steamship Company remained the mining company's largest shareholder.
Location: Newcastle, New South Wales


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