Monday, 13 December 2010

Hanging over back fences


A few days back, I stumbled across the rear garden of a house on Harris Street (the lower part) being renovated. For mine, it has a very French ambience; not Parisian, but rural France.

As I hung over the rotting palings, I wondered what on earth that was below the flooring, heating perhaps. However, Sydney’s weather does not warrant this style of heating. I was reminded very much of the stove that my mother used in the 50s, both in colour and in design. The signing says it is a ‘Parkinson Sunray Minor’ – but what exactly is that?

A quick Google unearthed digitised editions of old Australian newspapers advertising something similar. The West Australian advertised ‘Parkinson Sunray Minor Gas Stove, as new £4/10/-‘ on Saturday 18th May, 1935. And the SMH advertised ‘GAS STOVE Parkinson Sunray Minor cream and green enamel’ at an undisclosed price on Wednesday 25th June, 1947.

But, what did this part of the stove do? This looks like it is the door to a furnace, wherein one shoves split logs. What part of a gas stove requires logs to get it started, I hear you ask?

Any ideas?

Note: 6:30pm Monday ... I have found some more info on the Powerhouse Museum site and have emailed then my query.

11 comments:

J Bar said...

An interesting relic from the past.

Andrew said...

Interesting find. Was there a chimney or flue above? It could have just been used as a storage box for say kindling. Some of the brickwork looks like it may have not been exposed to the weather for as long as the rest of the brickwork.

brattcat said...

I'm not certain what I love most about this post, the photography, the research, the mystery, or your curiosity taking us back in time on a journey of inquiry and wonder.

Ann said...

I love this, there is something tactile about the scene, it really appeals to me.

Mark Bellamy said...

This type of urban decay really appeals to me. Great picture Julie, my Grafton eye was drawn to the Sunray straight away. I have a beautiful old Kookaburra gas upright stove in the same colours.

Tulsa Gentleman said...

The house I grew up in had an old fireplace with a hinged opening in the floor. When the firebox was full of ashes you could flip the opening up and shove the ashes into a space below the fireplace. On the outside was was a door which allowed the ashes to be removed outside. It was one of my chores to empty the ashes when the box was full. I doubt very much that your green and white door served the same purpose but it gave me an excuse for recalling this little anecdote which I had not thought of in years.

diane said...

It is amazing how you can make a tumbled down back yard look amazing and find a mystery to boot. Sleuth Julie!

Joan Elizabeth said...

Aren't 9old messy places a delight ... just so long as it isn't yours. I too was thinking of the Koockaburra which is common in old houses.

Jayne said...

It looks like the firebox for a chip heater to heat up domestic water.

Jilly said...

You are so right, it does make one thing of rural France. A beautiful shot, and story of course.

Julie said...

Indeed, Jane, that is the information that I am receiving.

I have spoken with two people from the Powerhouse Museum who cannot tell me chapter and verse so now I get in touch with the State Library and Historic Houses Trust.

Shall do another post when I know more facts.

Thanks for the confirmation though. I appreciate that.