The Metropolitan Dental Company

Teeth of Charm and beauty slwa_b2034953_18

One would not normally associate a dental company with glitz and glamour, but during the first half of the 20th century Perth’s major dental firm had an image of modernity and high fashion without equal in Western Australia.

The Metropolitan Dental Company was established in 1908 advertising its aim to provide affordable dental care for all, including people on lower incomes.

2016-06-21_1503

Advertising for dental products from the ephemera collection of the Metropolitan Dental Company.

0005 (5)

Advertising for dental products from the ephemera collection of the Metropolitan Dental Company.

The State Library has a small but delightful collection of material relating to the Metropolitan Dental Company including photographs, a day book, scrapbooks, certificates, advertising mock-ups and other ephemera.

Metropolitan_Dental_Company_proposed_offices__2016-06-21_1651

Drawing of the (proposed?) exterior of the Metropolitan Dental Company 00716D

Hay Street, Perth premises of the Metropolitan Dental Company slwa_b3473316_2

Hay Street, Perth premises of the Metropolitan Dental Company 1927 100182PD

Metropolitan Dental Company

The building at 790 Hay Street, Perth today. [The Apple Store] Photo: Google Maps Street View.

The Company was described as the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere. The owners were Wolf Blitz, Alfred Kaufman, and Alfred Rogers, with notable dentists such as Edgar McGillicuddy, Thomas Wilson and Albert E. Ford working for the company at various times.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Metropolitan Dental Company advertised widely in newspapers, using the lure of a short anecdote or educational snippet followed by an invitation to use their services. In fact they made an art of the “advertorial”.  Some examples of marketing gems from Trove Newspapers include:

“Aseptic  Methods in  Modern Dentistry” – absolutely sterile instruments…

“Deadlier than Snake Venom” – food detritus and tooth cavities.

“Mental, Physical and Moral Degeneration” – the link between juvenile delinquency and bad teeth…“Private health really means public morals”.  [Yes! Really.]

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A day book from 1908 lists appointments, treatment and fees charged. It is noted that Mrs Townsend of Highgate Hill had to cut short her treatment on being called away to Albany “her child having broken its collarbone”.

Included in the collection are some original artworks for advertising and for the windows of the company’s offices. A mock-up for a Neon sign is so impressively bright that one is tempted to take it into a darkened room to see if it glows.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Also in the advertising ephemera are several metal printer’s engraving plates that are wonderful works of art in their own right.

0050 (5)

Metropolitan Dental Company collection ACC1863A/19

To associate an air of beauty and sophistication with a dental firm is no easy task, but the Metropolitan Dental Company achieved this by employing attractive young women to grace their colourful posters.

The full collection of photographs may be viewed here.

The Metropolitan Dental Company is just one of the private business archives in the State Library Collections. These records provide a view into a past that is so much more vibrant and interesting than we may have thought from viewing black and white photographs.

We are always pleased to hear from members of the community who may have private business records that they would like to be considered for the State Heritage Collections.

Pub puzzle

 

Unknown hotel 008497PD

Unknown hotel. 008497PD

Update!

This image has been identified as, most probably, the Mogumber Hotel. Now called the Mogumber Tavern. It has been extended and residential units added but original features still visible suggest that we have it right. More recent photographs of the tavern may be found here.
The image has now been added to our catalogue and  may be found here. We took another look at the number plate of the vehicle in an enlarged image and could make out that it ends with the numbers  “93”. The 1917-18 RAC Yearbook has a “Hudson 29” registered to the Swan Brewery  Reg. # P 293.  Perhaps Swan Brewery employees were visiting.

Thank you Joan Harvey!

——————————

This hotel photographed by E.L. Mitchell is held as a glass negative. From the women’s clothing it is probably taken between 1914 and 1920.

The trees suggest that it may be somewhere in the South West. Unfortunately the hotel’s name on the roof is obscured and the man at the car is standing in front of the number plate which might have given a clue.

Does anyone recognise this building?  After success with our last photographic challenge we have high hopes that someone out there can assist.

 

Behind the Wire: Images and Stories of Vietnam Veterans

This exhibition shares the stories of over 40 veterans, including 12 West Australians through contemporary photographs and interviews by Susan Gordon Brown. 

Behind The Wire: Images and Stories of Vietnam Veterans. Photos: Susan Gordon Brown. 7 August - 27 September 2015

Behind The Wire: Images and Stories of Vietnam Veterans. Photos: Susan Gordon Brown.
7 August – 27 September 2015

Politically and socially, the Vietnam War cut a wide swathe through Australian society and especially through the lives and families of those who served.

The photographs of official war photographers, photojournalists and the personal photographic records of soldiers, provide an important account of this time. Vietnam, with its reputation as the “television war” saw the rise of the assertion of the ‘the public’s right to know’ where debates around the photograph fueled global politics.

Perhaps the most famous personal photographic records are those of soldier Andy Mattay and his Kodak Instamatic documentation of the 7RAR , a photographic collection held by the National War Memorial.

We know all to well that a photo only ever captures part of a story.  Experiences of war and conflict are not limited to the battlefront. So too, the need to document and capture the history of the Vietnam War is ongoing as previously untold stories come to the fore. It is important that the stories both the the war and its aftermath are told.

The American unit that I’d worked with closely gave me a farewell party the day before I flew out of Vietnam. I had tears in my eyes. I didn’t want to go home. In hindsight, the war was a great waste of life and money, but I wouldn’t have missed it for quids. HQ AFV Kevin Graham b.1936 Ammunition Technical Officer Vung Tau September 1968 – March 1969 Photo: Susan Gordon Brown

The American unit that I’d worked with closely gave me a farewell party the day before I flew out of Vietnam. I had tears in my eyes. I didn’t want to go home. In hindsight, the war was a great waste of life and money, but I wouldn’t have missed it for quids.
HQ AFV Kevin Graham b.1936
Ammunition Technical Officer
Vung Tau
September 1968 – March 1969
Photo: Susan Gordon Brown


Behind the Wire
presents the everyday, personal stories of veterans through portraiture and oral history extracts. To quote journalist and writer Alan Attwood, “They have a shared history as Vietnam veterans. But each story, each face, each perspective is different”.

“When you returned to Australia you stepped out of a very surreal environment. The experience there was one of wondering: will I be alive tomorrow? Re-establishing the old values was probably the hardest thing to do. It’s almost as if you were between reality and fantasy” Glenn Darlington b.1946 I Gunner Signalman I Nui Dat I June 1968 – March 1969 Photo: Susan Gordon Brown

“When you returned to Australia you stepped out of a very surreal environment. The experience there was one of wondering: will I be alive tomorrow? Re-establishing the old values was probably the hardest thing to do. It’s almost as if you were between reality and fantasy” Glenn Darlington b.1946 I Gunner Signalman I Nui Dat I June 1968 – March 1969
Photo: Susan Gordon Brown

This is one of the reasons why Susan Gordon Brown’s work through Behind the Wire is significant. It highlights that the history of the war is a living history, very present in the memories of veterans, their families and friends. The oral history excerpts featured in the exhibition capture personal perspectives, unrepresented in official sources or history books. It is important to recognise these stories and equally important to collect and preserve them.

“Maybe it dawned on me – one minute I was flying around in a helicopter doing God knows what; then I was going back to work.” HQ AFV, AATTV John Riley b.1946 Medic Saigon, Baria January 1970 – December 1970

“Maybe it dawned on me – one minute I was flying around in a helicopter doing God knows what; then I was going back to work.”
HQ AFV, AATTV
John Riley b.1946 Medic Saigon, Baria January 1970 – December 1970, Photo: Susan Gordon Brown

The Library holds many items from World War I within its heritage collections – diaries, letters, and photographs. They belonged to West Australians who served in World War I or who remained here in Western Australia on the home front. Items of this nature are essential to keep these important stories alive for generations to come.

Collection of such material both honours the individuals or organisations concerned, but also provides the building blocks for researchers and historians, both amateur and professional.

The same is true for the history of the Vietnam War. Without material such as that which libraries like the State Library collects – oral, photographic, written – a representative account of the war and its aftermath and the personal experiences of people affected by it will not be available for posterity.

Behind the Wire: Images and Stories of Vietnam Veterans is on display in the ground floor gallery until September 27 2015. For more information visit: www.slwa.wa.gov.au 

  • Information on donating heritage material to the Library’s collection
  • Explore Bill Bunbury’s interview series on the Vietnam war for the radio series‘Within our time’, held within the Library’s collection

Thank you WAGS!

WAGS volunteer Brian Stent assists a client

WAGS volunteer Brian Stent assists a client

In 1985 the State Library entered a partnership with the Western Australian Genealogical Society (Inc.) – affectionately known as WAGS – to provide ongoing assistance to family history researchers within the Library.

30 years later, the partnership is still going strong, with WAGS volunteers providing research assistance in the Genealogy Centre three days a week.

These dedicated, enthusiastic and knowledgeable volunteers have worked quietly, efficiently, and patiently through all of the many changes the organisation has undergone over the years. They have put up with noise, disruption, changes in location of materials, staff restructures, all manner of clients and, sometimes, grumpy Subject Specialists. They have handled all with efficiency, humour and grace.

Each year The State Library and WAGS have also partnered in presenting talks tours and workshops for National Family History Month.

We have joined in hosting several successful family history fairs with support from other government agencies such as the National Archives and State Records Office, Local Studies Centres, and historical and family history societies.

Western Australian Genealogical Society volunteers have made a considerable contribution to the public of Western Australia through their commitment to providing information and research assistance to family historians.

WAGS volunteer Elizabeth Rummins in action

WAGS volunteer Elizabeth Rummins in action

On behalf of staff and patrons of the State Library of Western Australia we would like to congratulate and express our thanks to the volunteers of the Western Australian Genealogical Society (Inc.) for 30 years of volunteering in the Genealogy Centre.

Genealogy Centre

Genealogy Centre

WAGS volunteers continue to be available to assist you in the Genealogy Centre on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9:30am – 1:00pm.

National Family History Week 2013 at the State Library of Western Australia

Whether you’re a complete beginner or an experienced family history researcher, now is your chance to gain new insights and skills to help you learn more about your ancestors.

National Family History Week

To celebrate National Family History Month (August), the State Library of Western Australia has put together a special program of free workshops, tours and talks from Tuesday 6 to Thursday 8 August 2013.

Are you just starting out on your family tree and need some help with your research? Do you have a shoebox full of photos and letters that you need to sort? Want to learn how you can use apps to enhance your research and save time? Experienced guides and experts will be on hand to help you make the most of the wealth of resources available.

Have a shoebox of records that needs sorting?

Does this look familiar? Learn pointers on how you can start organising your family records and photographs at our special “shoebox” session.

You can also gain deeper insights by attending some of the many fascinating talks and topical sessions on offer. With subjects ranging from British migration, bride ships, Samson House and ANZAC records to collecting in a regional centre, these sessions will appeal to advanced researchers and professionals as well as those with a general interest.

Women on bride ships.

Thousands of young women were brought out to WA in the late 1800s in order to address the imbalance of the sexes in the population. What was it like to be a woman on board a “bride ship”? Find out from Tricia Fairweather on Thursday 8 August.

We encourage you to check out our full events program and pass it on to colleagues, clients, family and friends.

All sessions are free, but bookings are essential. Call 08 9 427 3111 to secure your place for the sessions of your choice.

The State Library wishes to thank staff of the State Records Office and the National Archives of Australia, and the volunteers from the Western Australian Genealogical Society (Inc.) for their generous support.

About National Family History Month

This year, celebrations for National Family History week have been extended to the whole month of August. With chilly temperatures keeping most of us inside this month, it’s the perfect time of year to bunker down in your library and discover new connections to the past. 

New exhibition: Majority Rules

At the opening ceremony of Majority Rules.

Visit our new exhibition in The Gallery on the Ground Floor of the State Library of Western Australia. 

How do you vote?

Discover how political parties and candidates persuade you to support them in the polls by exploring fascinating items from our collections: how-to-vote cards from 1904 to the present, newspapers covering Australian elections and much more.

A how-to-vote card from 1915

A how-to-vote card from 1915

Reflect on milestones in Australian election history, and discover some of the issues that have affected voting from the past to the present. Witness how campaigning has changed over time and decide what influences YOU at election time.

1996 X files inspired Labor Party campaign material

1996 X files inspired Labor Party campaign material

When: 8 July – 21 October 2013
Where: The Gallery, Ground Floor
Entry is FREE. Open during State Library hours.

Professor David Black and Professor Brian De Garis at the opening ceremony of Majority Rules.

Professor David Black and Professor Brian De Garis at the opening ceremony of Majority Rules.

Honouring our ANZACs

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
– Laurence Binyon

To honour the ANZAC legacy, the State Library of Western Australia’s Data and Discovery team have curated a special Top 10 list of photos from our collection especially for ANZAC Day. By preserving and treasuring the social and documentary history of the ANZACs we ensure that they will never be forgotten.

Returning soldiers.

1. Returning soldiers.

1914 - C. Longmore and his brother H. Longmore, killed in action at Gallipoli.

2. c1914 – C. Longmore and his brother H. Longmore, killed in action at Gallipoli.

H. Phil Fry mounted on horse in front of the Sphinx in Egypt, 10th Light Horse, 1915.

3. H. Phil Fry mounted on horse in front of the Sphinx in Egypt, 10th Light Horse, 1915.

16th Battalion AIF, originals left after Gallipoli, 1915.

4. 16th Battalion AIF, originals left after Gallipoli, 1915.

ANZAC Day, Perth, 2007.

5. ANZAC Day, Perth, 2007.

Gordon Reid laying a wreath at Anzac Day ceremony , 1957.

6. Gordon Reid laying a wreath at Anzac Day ceremony , 1957.

Bunbury War Memorial, Anzac Day, 1956.

7. Bunbury War Memorial, Anzac Day, 1956.

Ex-servicemen marching in the 1930 ANZAC Day Parade, Perth.

8. Ex-servicemen marching in the 1930 ANZAC Day Parade, Perth.

Hugo Throssell, James Woods and Thomas (Jack) Axford, VC winners at the 1928 ANZAC Day ceremony .

9. Hugo Throssell, James Woods and Thomas (Jack) Axford, VC winners at the 1928 ANZAC Day ceremony .

Elevated view of crowd in the Esplanade Perth. Swan river and South Perth in the background, 1928.

10. Elevated view of crowd in the Esplanade Perth. Swan river and South Perth in the background, 1928.

How times change – the view from 1962

How times change – sandwiched between UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA and  PUBLIC GOLF COURSE in Places to See (p.155) of the Official guide to the VIIth British Empire and Commonwealth Games Perth 1962  we find:

KWINANA FREEWAY: Perth’s pride and joy.  The Freeway is a 45-50 m.p.h.double-laned highway running from the Narrows Bridge over the Swan at the foot of King’s Park to Canning Bridge four miles to the south, and links the city with suburbs to the south of the river, and Fremantle.  It is part of a master plan which will ultimately give Perth the finest access road system in Australia.  The Freeway is barred to pedestrians, cycles, learner-drivers, agricultural or power machines, outsize vehicles and animals and you are requested not to drive on it unless you can maintain 45-50 m.p.h. in safety and confidence. 

It is fenced off throughout its length, with strikingly designed footbridges to give pedestrians crossing places from the roads of South Perth to the river beaches.  The roundabout system which controls traffic at each end of the Narrows Bridge — one of the most modern structures of its kind in the world — is on a semi-cloverleaf system wihch employs a give-way and weaving method to merge the traffic flows rather than the overway-underway method.  It is simple to follow if care is taken to read the signposting.

Lights of Kwinana Freeway, 4.5.60

Lights of Kwinana Freeway, 4.5.60 - Battye Library 133458PD

(You can find more about the history of the freeway, including more photographs, by doing a subject search on Kwinana Freeway (W.A.) on the library catalogue.)
On a more poignant note under History (p. 145) we read:
In 1829 , 1003 people came to an empty land [my emphaisis] to establish a colony of the British Empire
 
Times have changed…

Fashion through the decades

Fashion lovers of Perth have been busy this week, spoiled by a choice selection of events as part of the 2010 Perth Fashion Festival.

There is no question that the Western Australian fashion industry is making a name for itself with the talent and innovation of local designers showcased through world-class catwalk shows, exciting retail events, inspiring workshops and vibrant performances throughout the city and metro area.

Interested in the history of the fashion industry in Perth? Let’s take a journey back down the catwalk via the State Library’s pictorial collection to discover the trends throughout the decades (and find out how far we’ve come!).

1950s

1960’s

1970s

1980s

Wool fashion parade possibly at Royal Show 1987

For more information on browsing the State Library’s Pictorial Collection, click here.

Wanted! 2010 election campaign material!

Are you being bombarded with campaign material for the upcoming federal election?  Most of us will quickly send this material to our recycling bins, but this ephemeral material is also the stuff of history. 

 The State Library is endeavouring to collect as much Western Australian – 2010 Federal Election ephemera materials as possible for its WA Heritage Collection.   

Polling booths 1940

Polling Booths 1940

 

So, if you have received candidate or party leaflets/flyers, letters, campaign materials, how-to-vote cards, posters, etc for your local candidates or electorate– don’t throw them out— we would love to receive them. 

 Items can be forwarded to:- 

Collection Development Team
 State Library of Western Australia
25 Francis Street  
PERTH WA 6000

(one copy only of each item please!) 

And if you’ve got extra copies you can always send them to the National Library.