• 85/1497 Crucibles (6), ceramic, used at Sydney Observatory workshop, maker unknown
  • 85/1498 Ladles (2), (metallurgists), iron, used at Sydney Observatory workshop, maker unknown, c 1950
  • 85/1499 Pit saw, steel blade, wooden handle, used at Sydney Observatory workshop, maker unknown, 1950-1960
  • 85/1500 Pitch-fork, (garden or hay), used at Sydney Observatory workshop, 1930-1950
  • Two rain gauge measuring cylinders.
    85/1913 Rain gauges (2), measuring cylinders, glass, made by Angelo Tornaghi, used at Sydney Observatory, New South Wales, Australia, 1861-1900
  • 85/1914 Sieve, cylindrical, copper, used at Sydney Observatory workshop, [Australia]
  • 85/1915 Funnel, conical, ceramic, size 6 (or 9), used at Sydney Observatory workshop, [1930-1950]
  • 85/1916 Mortar & pestle, ceramic, used at Sydney Observatory workshop, made in [England]
  • 85/1917 Cylinder, glass, graduated, used at Sydney Observatory
  • 85/1918 Cylinder, glass, graduated, stoppered, used at Sydney Observatory, Australia, 20th century
  • 85/1919 Measuring vessel, possibly rain gauge, glass with spout, used at Sydney Observatory
  • 85/1920 Tubing (2 pieces), chemical glassware, used at Sydney Observatory
  • 85/1921 Watch glasses (2), used at Sydney Observatory
  • 85/1922 Test tube, fused silica, used at Sydney Observatory
  • 85/1923 Tube, sealed glass, containing liquid, used at Sydney Observatory
  • 85/1924 Glass discharge tube, used at Sydney Observatory
  • 85/1925 Discharge tubes (3), glass, (containing powders), used at Sydney Observatory
  • 85/1926 Vessels (5), glass, handblown, used at Sydney Observatory
  • 85/1927 Filter flask, glass, used at Sydney Observatory, Crown, Australia
  • 85/1928 Boiling flasks (2), glass, used at Sydney Observatory
  • 85/1929 Funnel & filter chamber, porcelain/glass, used at Sydney Observatory, Buchner's, Japan/England
  • 85/1930 Roentgen tubes (2), X-ray, used at Sydney Observatory, Newton & Co, London, England


Illustrations of China and Its People by John Thomson



Offline Only


This collection consists of volumns 1 to 4 of the publication, 'Illustrations of China and Its People: A series of Two Hundred Photographs with Letterpress Descriptive of Places and People Represented', by John Thomson FRGS, in four volumes, published by Sampson Low, Marston, Low and Searle, Chiswick Press, printed by Whittingham and Wilkins, London, England, 1873-1874

In 1877 at the age of 40 John Thompson published 'Street Life in London' the work which made him famous in England. This book was co-authored with Adolphe Smith and was the first major sociological text of British life to be illustrated with photographs. Throughout the twentieth century this work overshadowed much of Thomson's earlier work, particularly the time he had spent travelling through Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and China from 1862 to 1872. During his stay there Thomson travelled by elephant, boat, horse, salon chair, and rickshaw covering thousands of kilometres and as a result he was often the first to photograph the extraordinary scenes he witnessed. Recognising the importance of these images Thomson sought to publish these works and as a result was an early adopter of photo-mechanical methods for creating reproductions of his works. In 1874 he published the work on what many now recognise as his most impressive work: a four volume publication entitled 'Illustrations of China and its People'. The Powerhouse Museum collection includes all four volumes of 'Illustrations of China' which contain all 218 collotype reproductions of his photographs. Most of these have been enlarged or contact printed from stereoscopic or single-view glass plates which had been taken between 1870 and 1871. Unlike 'Street Life in London' this earlier publication was very expensive and printed in a very limited run which perhaps accounts for it playing second fiddle to 'Street Life'. Reproductions of the entire book and a growth of interest in China have since popularised the book and increased the significance of this collection of early views

By appointment


Chinese Culture; Photography; Travel

John Thomson

Photographs; Travel books

Coverage Spatial


Coverage Temporal



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2012-05-30 23:40