Saturday, September 20, 2008

Most Southern in the World #1 ... Hansom Cab & Gas Lamp

click image to enlarge

Most Southern Gas Lamp & Hansom Cab in the World, Invercargill, New Zealand, Muir & Moodie, postmarked 1907.

At the turn of the 20th century, during the Golden Age of postcard sending & collecting, pakeha New Zealanders delighted in sending postcards back to the British Isles where most of them had come from or across to Australia to show the recipients that they had indeed started to carve out a new Britain in this far flung bastion of the British Empire.

What could be more convincing evidence than images of symbols of British technology and civilization at the furtherest reaches of the red coloured parts of the world map?

Thus, with a range of postcard views captioned "The Most Southern...", citizens of the new country plied their families and friends "back home" with the proof of their civilizing ways.

To be "most southern" in New Zealand meant to be in Invercargill, the southern most city at the southern tip of the South Island - or to go a further 30 km south to Bluff, the port serving Invercargill.

This postcard shows that one could catch a Hansom cab and read one's newspaper under the glow of a gas street lamp.

Don't be fooled by the scene, my friends, into thinking that this cab and lamp were in the middle of nowhere for across the foot trail to the right of the image there are further "most southern" delights awaiting you. Watch out for the next "thrilling" installment...

No comments: