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Angus McNeil

Angus McNeil operated as a professional photographer in Murwillumbah from 1912 to 1927. McNeil was apprenticed to his father, who s a well known photographer with a studio in Kempsey. Angus opened his first studio in the old Imperial Hotel building opposite the Post Office in 1912. After a few years, he decided to purchase some land and establish a new studio in Broadway, Queen Street in 1917. He worked out of this studio until he sold his business in 1927. Angus built up a historical record of the district, including taking the very first aerial photograph of the Tweed in 1920. He also recorded thousands of local residents, who had their portraits taken in his studios against a wide variety of scenic backdrops.

L to R: Hector Clark, 1915. US000040. Heather and Merle Boxell, C.1915. US000227. Mary and Iris Solomons, 1915. US000040. Archie Wall and LionelMitchell, C.1915. UXS000217. Bill Seymour, C.1915. TH46-02.

W J Hannah

It is suggested that W J Hannah purchased Angus McNeil’s photography business in 1927. In 1928, he notified the general public about his new studio and that he was working in conjunction with local pharmacy Whittles. Photography services could be booked through the pharmacy, where a car would be ready to transport clients to and from Hannah’s studio. In the late 1920s Hannah produced some beautiful hand coloured postcards featuring scenic landscapes of the local area. Some examples of these postcards, which are in the Museum’s collection, are shown here.

Left top to bottom: Murwillumbah, M3-22., Mount Warning, M25-32., The Peak of Mount Warning, M25-33. Right top to bottom: Mount Warning and the Tweed River, M25-36., Tweed River from Byangum, M25-29., Tweed Heads and Greenbank Island, M25-27.

Frederick Hobbs

Some of the earliest photographs of the Tweed district were taken by Frederick Peden (F. P. ) Hobbs in the early 1900s. Hobbs had set up a business in Main Street, Murwillumbah called Joyland. He advertised as a book seller, stationer and photographer, and called himself the Ringmaster of Joyland. The business sold everything ranging from toys and gifts to glass-covered funeral wreaths. Hobbs was a keen photographer and best known for his scenic postcards of Murwillumbah and the surrounding region as well as images of Murwillumbah’s prominent buildings. His obituary in 1946 claimed: His mountain and cloud studies of the Tweed have rarely been equalled.

Left: Advertisment for baby photographs. M6-11. Top right: Murwillumbah C.1915. M3-33. Bottom right: Sunset over Murwillumbah. M7-30

Douglas Solomons

Douglas Solomons was a local photographer in the early 1900s. He carried his camera, often on horseback, and recorded the lives led by neighbouring selectors and their families in the dense rainforest as they toiled to settle the tough terrain. His photographs, dated and signed D. S. S., were sent to his friends as Christmas cards and mementos of gatherings in the bush and holidays at the Fingal Caves. Douglas enlisted in the Army in 1916 and wasposted to France, where he was shot in the back on 11 August 1918, resulting in paraplegia. He returned to Australia, married Dorothy Caswell of Murwillumbah, but spent the rest of his life in a military hospital in Brisbane, where he died in 1934.

Left top to bottom: Group at Byrill creek US000035, Iris Solomons on a horse US000041, Iris and Kenneth Solomons and the ruins of Kunghur Castle US000187.
Right top to bottom: 'Kunghur' Brusher US000054, Dingomere brush cutters US000038, Christmas card US000191.
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