Not much of a Jewel

LambtonIn Google Maps, if you search for a suburb name, as well as the map result the page will show a photo from the suburb, which presumably is auto-selected by the Google-fairy-bots according to some secret algorithm. Mostly this works. For example for “Lambton NSW” you get a nice photo of Lambton Park and the rotunda.

But search for “Jewells NSW” and you get … a burnt out car and assorted rubbish on a beach track. The Google-fairy-bots might need a bit of help on this one.


NewJewellsUpdate 23 Jan 2016

Searching for Jewells now shows someone’s driveway. A step up from a burnt out wreck, but not exactly showcasing the suburb.

Long shadows in curious places

KahibaRd2015My latest article for the Lambton Local is out, this month exploring the topic of old maps. In the course of researching and writing this article I discovered amongst other things why this building has a kink in it, and the location of Occident Road, the counterpart to Orient Road Hamilton North.

Also I have put together a visual index to the historical real estate maps in the University of Newcastle Cultural Collections photo archive.

Spare words

Img_3604The last time I checked, salt is plain old sodium chloride (NaCl) regardless of country of origin, how it was collected, from what physical location, or who sells it. By that reckoning, this product has at least three superfluous adjectives and a needless genitive.

Anybody want to buy some spare words? They’re as cheap as (the salt on) chips.

Cutting the uncertainty

Way back in my very first “Lambton Then and Now” blog post on this old Ralph Snowball photo of the tramway cutting in Lambton, the date of the photo was uncertain. In a comment on the photo, Robert Watson helpfully narrowed down the date to the years 1887 to 1890, as the tramway was constructed in 1887, and the Lambton Park rotunda erected in 1890 was not visible.

Recently I had an “aha” moment when viewing this image again, as I noticed that the photo shows lots of freshly painted white poles along the streets. These were erected in readiness for the new electric lighting system that commenced in 1890. The contract for the erection of these poles was awarded in November 1889 and it wasn’t until 31 January 1890 that the paper reported that “the work of erecting the poles for carrying the wires is going ahead rapidly.”

The construction of the Lambton Park rotunda was commenced by May 1890 and completed in September 1890. There is no sign of any rotunda construction in the photo.

So putting these two pieces of information together, I would suggest that the photo is from sometime in the first six months of 1890.

Photo by Ralph Snowball. University of Newcastle Cultural Collections.

Update 22-Dec-2015

Paul Zuljan let me know that there is another version of this photo in the Hunter Photobank, that has the photographer’s initials “RS” and the year “1890” inscribed on it.