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Looking north: Sydney's Upper North Shore

Follow the development of this region from isolated bush and farmland to a prosperous residential area.

Picture perfect

Ku-ring-gai’s impressive 'gentlemen’s residences' and private gardens compare favourably with other exemplary garden suburbs in England and America. The area was a pleasant retreat for those citizens who could afford to escape crowded, grimy inner-city living.

Photographers such as Harold Cazneaux (1878-1953) were captivated with the elegance of the architect-designed houses and their picturesque gardens. Quaint picture postcard views of the leafy streetscapes, churches and railway stations were extremely popular around the turn of the 20th century, produced by companies such as the Broadhurst Photo Company.

Harold Cazneaux

Photographer Harold Cazneaux (1878-1953) lived in Roseville and was captivated with the elegance of the architect-designed houses and picturesque gardens of the North Shore. He photographed many of the local houses and gardens in his distinctive pictorialist style. One home which features in the collection of images below is Eryldene, Gordon. Eryldene was designed by William Hardy Wilson for Professor E.G. Waterhouse. Although Waterhouse's professional field was modern languages, his hobby was gardening and he specialised in the propagation of camellias in his garden at Eryldene.

Many of these photographs were reproduced in Domestic architecture in Australia, edited by Sydney Ure Smith and Bertram Stevens in collaboration with W. Hardy Wilson. Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1919, ML Q728/7A2.

> View more images of domestic architecture by Harold Cazneaux


Broadhurst postcards

Picture postcard views of the North Shore’s leafy streetscapes, churches and railway stations were very popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A typical example are the charming views by the Broadhurst Photo Company. William Henry Broadhurst (1855-1927) began publishing postcards from around 1900. Many of the photographs were hand coloured by his daughters before sale. To secure his photographs Broadhurst is said to have travelled by train and then continued on foot to his intended destination.

Below is a selection of Broadhurst's postcard views of various North Shore suburbs, ca. 1900-1927.

> View full record for the Broadhurst collection of postcards


Made possible through a partnership with Geoffrey & Rachel O'Conor