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Negative - 'Big Tanks', Standard Vacuum Oil Petrochemical Refinery, Altona, Victoria, 1958 Image Reg. No: MM 56676

Black and white 5" x 4" negative showing large storage tanks and towers at the Standard Vacuum Oil petrochemical refinery in Altona, on 9 May 1958.

This image is part of the Laurie Richards Collection at Museum Victoria comprising approximately 85,000 negatives taken by the Melbourne based Laurie Richards Studio between the 1950s -1970s. These negatives are all mostly large format [5"x 4"/ 12.5 x 10 cm], black and white images, though a significant number are in colour. The many photographic jobs that were undertaken in the course of thirty years are itemised in a set of log books, copies of which are also held by Museum Victoria.

Laurie Richards was a professional photographer who began his career as a photo-journalist, working for the Advertiser newspaper in Adelaide, and the Argus and the Herald newspapers in Melbourne. In 1953, he opened his own business and set up a photographic studio at his home at 4 Tower Avenue, Alphington, an inner suburb of Melbourne. At its peak, in the late 1960s, the Laurie Richards Studio was one of Melbourne's pre-eminent commercial photographic studios, employing twelve photographers. The Laurie Richards Studio worked mainly in advertising and public relations, and had a broad clientele which included commercial companies, government institutions and the entertainment industry.
Black and white 5" x 4" cellullose acetate negative.
Statement Of Significance:
Because of the breadth of both the subject matter photographed and the diverse businesses which commissioned the work, and the excellent documentation that accompanies the collection, the Laurie Richards Collection at Museum Victoria is an invaluable record of Melbourne?s commercial and industrial past and as such gives an insight into the social history of that period.
Description Of Content:
A section of a petrochemical refinery in Altona, showing several large storage tanks, chimney stacks and a part of the processing area. The storage tank closest to camera shows a ladder curving around the tank, providing access from the ground to the top of the tank.
Laurie Richards Collection, Museum Victoria
Discipline: Technology
Dimensions: 100 mm (Height), 103 mm (Width)
Dimension Comment: Approximate dimensions

More information

Tagged with: chimneys, petrochemical storage, petrochemicals, refineries, staircases, tanks
Themes this item is part of: Laurie Richards Collection, Engineering Collection, Images & Image Making Collection, Working Life & Trades Collection, Laurie Richards Studio, Photographer, Melbourne, Victoria, Vacuum Oil Company, Australia
Primary Classification: MANUFACTURING & INDUSTRY
Secondary Classification: Petroleum Products
Tertiary Classification: storage tanks
Original Caption: Big Tanks
Format: Negative: Black & White; 5 in. x 4 in.
Place & Date Depicted: Altona, Victoria, Australia, 09 May 1958
Photographer: Laurie Richards Studio, Alphington, Victoria, Australia, 09 May 1958

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