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Pyrmont, Barker’s Mills, Sydney1859

by Christie

Inscribed on the reverse, ‘by Christie 1859’, this is the artist’s only known work.

Looking west from Darling Harbour with Pyrmont in the background, Christie has shown the southern side of Barker’s Mills with weaving house and workshops. Businessman Thomas Barker had built his home on the south-west corner of Sussex and Bathurst Streets, now approximately 289 Sussex Street, and by 1829 had established a successful flour mill adjacent to his home. By the 1850s he had expanded and diversified into the weaving business. Tenter frames for drying fabric can be seen in the mid-ground with the millpond beyond.

Sydney’s first railway line was constructed during the 1850s, running from Sydney to Granville. A branch line, seen on the western side of Darling Harbour, opened in September 1855 and was the first link between railways and wharves for the shipment of the colony’s produce overseas.