Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving, 2009!

Kuaka wishes all his American friends - and those around the world - a Happy Thanksgiving! 

(Note, he seldom dresses up in a dress & bonnet or bakes pumpkin pie, so this is a special greeting! Based on this image, he may also need corrective surgery or therapy for his feet.)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

W Strange & Co, Department Store, Christchurch - Part I

 W Strange & Co's Store on High Street, Christchurch, just short of the High & Lichfield Streets corner circa 1863 (?) looking towards the South-East. From The Weekly Press, 15 Dec. 1900, p. 86. Christchurch City Libraries Image Collection.

The Old and the New: A northwesterly aspect of the original weatherboard Strange's store in November 1863 contrasted with the 4 storey building erected just a few doors down on the corner of High & Lichfield Streets in 1900. The bottom view taken in 1910 with store sign on the roof line. This was a business postcard mailed to Strange's customers to notify them their orders had arrived. Christchurch City Libraries Image Collection.

Friday, November 20, 2009

On the Wagon...

Truck advertising Australian Yalumba Wines & Port, Wanganui region. 
Photograph taken by Frank J Denton, circa 1920s  

And came home on the wine wagon.... Which explains the lapse in blog posts this week (?).

Been Deliverying the Milk...

Delivering milk cans to the factory somewhere in Northland, photo: Northwood.

Have been off delivering the milk.... but got a bit bogged down....

On the main road to Houipapa, circa 1910?

I'm still looking for the horses. Let me know if you see them.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Where Did You Get That Hat? Part II - Charles Hill & Sons, Wellington

 Hill & Sons Catalogue, showing Stetson Co hats. 
Alexander Turnbull Library

Hill & Sons Catalogue - showing navalofficer and seamen's caps, mortar board, and others.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Where Did You Get That Hat? Part I - Charles Hill & Sons, Wellington

Charles Hill & Sons Catalogue Title Page

Charles Hill & Sons, Hatters, Hosiers, and Gentlemen's Mercers, were located at 61 Lambton Quay, Wellington.

Charles Hill learned his trade with Dundo and Sons, of Castle Green, Bristol, England before emigrating to Melbourne, Australia where he set up business. After some years, Hill established the business of Hill, Fenton, and Hulbert in Auckland in 1871.

The Wellington firm, Charles Hill & Sons, was opened in 1877 with both manufacturing and retail facilities. By the early 1900s, the firm was acting as agents for hat firms such as Henry Heath, Woodrow and Sons, James E. Mills, I. and R. Morley, Tress and Co., Fownes Bros. and Co., Christie and Co., Ld., Dent Allcroft, and Welch Margetson and Co.

The firm's trade extended throughout New Zealand, with sales agents in various centres including Wanganui, Napier, and Nelson.

Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District], 1897, p. 638.

Charles Hll & Sons Catalogue, List of Agents.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Len Lye - Kinetic Sculpture

Len Lye talks about and demonstrates his kinetic sculpture in this 1987 documentary.

Hope you enjoyed this Len Lye mini festival!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Len Lye - The Peanut Vendor (1933)

A somewhat freaky peanut vendor...

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Len Lye - Art that Moves: The Work of Len Lye, Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland

Since it might otherwise be "buried" under comments and not be seen by readers, here is a note from Roger Horrocks on the Len Lye exhibition opening later this month in Auckland.

Sadly, this kuaka's wings have been clipped for the Southern summer months so no trans-Pacific flight in the offing to attend the Lye exhibition amongst other Kiwi treats in the next few months. We shall await reader reports instead, living vicariously through their experiences, with only fond memories of the homeland to tide us through the frigid Northern winter. What else is a poor kuaka to do?

Roger Horrocks wrote:

"You may be interested in this free exhibition of Lye's work opening soon in Auckland.

The Gus Fisher Gallery presents 'Art that Moves: The Work of Len Lye', an exhibition of films and kinetic sculptures, on display from 27 November 2009 to 6 February 2010. This is the first exhibition of Lye’s work at a public gallery in Auckland since 1980.

The exhibition explores Lye’s intense engagement with what he called the ‘magical mystery’ of motion. In addition to films and kinetic sculptures, there are paintings and photograms to represent other areas of his work and to illustrate the implied movement in his static images. Among the five kinetic sculptures in the show, there are two that have not previously been seen in Auckland.

The exhibition is linked with the publication of two new books: Art that Moves: The Work of Len Lye by Roger Horrocks (AUP), and Body English: Texts and Doodles by Len Lye (Holloway Press).

It's at The Gus Fisher Gallery, Kenneth Myers Centre, 74 Shortland Street, Auckland city. Admission free.

From Friday 27 Nov 2009 to Saturday 06 Feb 2010. (Closed Sundays and Mondays.)"

Len Lye - A Colour Box (1935)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Len Lye - A Mini Festival - Kaleidoscope (1935)

And now for something completely different.... A Len Lye mini-festival of kinetic art & film.

New Zealand artist, Len Lye (1901 - 1980) was an innovator in kinetic art and experimental film. Like many creative Kiwis, Lye moved abroad in 1925 to develop his talent, first to the UK, then more permanently to the US. A biography may be found at the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. The Len Lye Foundation and archives with more information about his work at the Govett-Brewster gallery in New Plymouth.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Have Piano, Will Travel - Oriental Parade, Wellington circa 1950

A Bradford truck owned by Howell Piano Co of 40 Taranaki Street, 
on Oriental Parade, Wellington, circa 1950. 
Photo: Gordon Burt. Alexander Turnbull Library.

The pianos probably served as ballast to hold this small vehicle to the road in the strong westerly winds that Wellington is famous for. One can imagine a clench-fisted driver perspiring as he struggled to get a full load up some of the steeper gradients around Wellington. Wonder if a verse of "Roll Out the Barrel" was ever sung as a piano cannon-balled back down a hill? And, for those who know Wellington, imagine home delivery of a piano up a 100 step flight of steps!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Winiata Railway Station on the North Island Main Trunk Line

Group on Winiata railway station, near Taihape, circa 1910. Unidentified photographer. 

Maori Farm at Winiata near Taihape, 1894.
 Photo: Edward George Child. Alexander Turnbull Library.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Drop Me A Line in Taihape, Mail Pick Up on the Main Trunk LIne

Now that KiwiRail has reintroduced a 2 minute stop at Taihape on the North Island Main Trunk Line (NIMT), the former means of dropping off & picking-up passengers at Taihape will no longer be required (see video).

The Illinois Railroad Museum and retired members of the USPO Railway Service show how it was done in the U.S. with mail, rather than people! (Warning to more sensitive viewers: don't be startled by the locomotive horn blasting you off your keyboard).

Mataroa Tunnel on the North Island Main Trunk Line

A man on a jigger on the approach to the Mataroa Tunnel, near Taihape. 
Railway work camp in left background, 1906. Photo: Albert Percy Godber.

The Mataroa railway tunnel on the North Island Main Trunk Line,near Taihape, 1906.
Photo: Albert Percy Godber. Alexander Turnbull Library.