Where is it from?

Association locations map

Similar items over time

Photograph - Victorian Railways Offices, Melbourne, Victoria, circa 1890 Image Reg. No: MM 109769

Monochrome photograph of the Australian Club, William Street, Melbourne, taken by the studio of Nettleton & Arnest circa 1890.

This photograph is part of a collection of 47 photographs of Melbourne taken in the late nineteenth century by the commercial photographic studio of Nettleton and Arnest. The collection features significant Melbourne buildings and streets including Parliament House, the Treasury Buildings, St Patrick's Cathedral, the Royal Exhibition Building and Melbourne University Colleges. Few people feature in the photographs, which are predominantly focused upon architecture. The collection is significant as it provides a visual record of Melbourne's early development, and also reveals the work of an important local photography studio.

Charles Nettleton was a prolific outdoor photographer who worked over a period of forty years in Australia, after moving to Melbourne from the United Kingdom in 1854. In 1867, he was appointed official Royal photographer in Australia and he also worked as the official police photographer for over 25 years in the 1860s - 1880s. His photographs were exhibited at international exhibitions in Dublin in 1865, Paris in 1867 and Sydney in 1879. Nettleton retired in 1890, as new dry plate photographic technology made the wet place process he employed redundant. His photographs are held by major institutions around Australia.

John Mond Arnest's history and association with the firm of Nettleton and Arnest is more obscure. Arnest emigrated from America to Melbourne in the 1880's and was employed by the large photographic firm of William Nutting Tuttle and Co in Elizabeth Street. He operated a photographic studio in Hamilton, before settling in Colac where he lived and worked as a photographer until his death in 1920.
Monochrome albumen photograph
Description Of Content:
Exterior of the Victorian Railways Offices, Spencer Street, Melbourne. Comprising a large, three-storey stone building which is highly decorated with sculptured figures and other carvings along the roofline and above the entrance doors. A railway bridge, a number of moored sailing ships and the Robur Teahouse building are visible in the background.
Image courtesy of Michael Friend & Andrea Hughes.
Discipline: Technology
Dimensions: 151 mm (Height), 203 mm (Width)

More information

Tagged with: bridges, buildings, fences, government departments, horsedrawn vehicles, rail transport, railway lines, railways, roads, state government of victoria, viaducts
Themes this item is part of: Information & Communication Collection, Sustainable Futures Collection, Transport Collection, Victorian Railways (VR), Spencer Street, Melbourne, Victoria, Victorian Railways - Refreshment Services Branch
Primary Classification: RAIL TRANSPORT
Secondary Classification: Railway Operations
Tertiary Classification: (to be classified)
Inscriptions: Handwritten in grey pencil on the back of photograph: '17'

Printed handwritten text in white on photograph: 'RAILWAY OFFICES.'
Format: Photograph: Monochrome
Place & Date Depicted: Victorian Railways (VR), Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, circa 1890
Photographer: Nettleton & Arnest Photographic Studio, Victoria, Australia

Add your comment

  • Museum Victoria does not provide valuations, for more information please visit the valuation infosheet
  • Please note that Museum Victoria staff will not normally respond to comments posted on our website.
Yes No