Sunday, August 26, 2012

No ghost signs in Darwin...

...but that's not surprising really, given that the place was given a thorough once-over by the Japanese Imperial Airforce in WWII, then by Cyclone Tracy in 1974.

This is what the main street (now the Smith St mall) used to look like though in the late 1930s. Note the Plume/Mobiloil signs. This was taken through the window at the Darwin Archives.

Monday, August 13, 2012

A few more from Melbourne town

Here are some more beauties, taken on another meander through the Melbourne CBD, plus a few from the inner 'burbs. It's one great thing about this city: it always has the ability to surprise and throw up new things in its hidden corners:

city lane

city - not a ghost sign, but a ghost house, haunting a building site?

hats anyone?



Same corner in Brunswick


Signs from the gold country

On the weekend our band played a show in Castlemaine, the gold rush town north of Melbourne. So took the opportunity to take some snaps here, and in the nearby hamlet of Maldon, a well-preserved tourist town full of overpriced antique shops. Taking ghost sign shots in Maldon felt odd, like shooting fish in a barrel - the whole place had had its past preserved and preened, and in some cases reinvented (see the fake - and uncraftsmanlike - Bushell's sign). A strange and vaguely disconcerting experience: the past here was dead, like some stiff, taxidermed museum animal with glass eyes.

First, Castlemaine:

This one was interesting...the guy in the antique shop had stripped it back 20 years before to reveal a ghost sign that read: THREE COURSE MEAL and a price. But now, he lamented, it was nearly gone after exposure to the elements. A re-ghost sign?

Three three are from what is now a hipsterish cafe.

taken through a gate

And now, Maldon:

the fake sign, perhaps painted on top of an old one...seems to have original window signs

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A new more references to Lewis & Skinner in old newspapers

Going through Trove (the National Library's online collection of digitised newspapers and other historical material), I found a few references to Lewis & Skinner. I'm posting them here, as well as another pic of the pile of documents as they ended up in my house, so I can link to them from the L&S website:)




Monday, August 6, 2012

Latest article in the papers, and news on the Lewis & Skinner project

The third of the articles about the Lewis & Skinner project has now come out in the local papers:

As a result of the articles, I received a call today from a local who said he has lots of photos and newspaper articles about the history of Footscray that he wants to show. So I'm going to see him in a couple of days.
The project is also employing a computer science grad, Hughie, who is getting back into the workforce after a break. He's continuing the scanning and sorting work on the Lewis & Skinner website, including fixing up duplicate archive entries, entering geolocation data and putting more jobs into the system. It's tedious work (sorry Hughie) but we really need his help - 500 signwriting jobs (or about 1500-2000 documents) are already in the system and I would say we're only one-third of the way there.