Monday, 26 May 2014

Cazneaux's cabbies

Bridge Street, in the centre of Sydney's CBD, has always been an important street. The original "bridge" was across the Tank Stream, but neither the bridge (its heirs and successors!) or, indeed, the stream, is still in existence.

Once again, the black'n'white image was made by Harold Cazneaux in 1904, and shows Sydney's horse cabs. Phillip Geeves tells me that the peak year for Sydney's hansom cabs had been in 1892, when there had been 1,299 cabs clip-clopping around the city. The decline of Sydney's cab population over the 1890s was, primarily, driven by three causes:
  • the depression of the 1890s
  • the advent og the cable tram over the Edgecliff routs which had been the most lucrative route for the cabbies, and
  • the increase in popularity of the bicycle.

The cabbies are sitting on the low stone wall having a chin-wag, and puffing on their pipes. That low stone wall on which they are perched - and its high gate pillar a little way down - are still there today, around Macquarie Place. Opposite the horses - note the nose bag! - is the Lands Department building. To its right is The Royal Exchange Building, and the next building (with the small dome) is the Exchange Hotel.
I tried to replicate from memory. I enjoy the challenge, but agree it would be better to take the book with me! See the stone wall? Not, across the road the old Royal Exchange has been replaced with a modern monstrosity.

Now let's look the OTHER way along Bridge Street. Let's look east, rather than west. In the modern view, after the Lands Dept Building is the Education Department, and on the corner of Bridge and Macquarie Streets is the magnificent Chief Secretary's Building.


Joe said...

Hi Julie.
How fascinating to see the black and white image from the early 1900's contrasted against today's urban centre. How foreign it would seem to me to hear the thud and clop of horse hooves on the cobblestones and the urgent hollers which must have echoed through the streets to control the traffic instead of the flicker of red and green devoid of sound.

Joan Elizabeth said...

I love the top shot. It is hard to imagine our city reverberating to the clip clopping of horses. Wouldn't it be fun to be a time traveller. You are doing your best as a substitute.

diane b said...

That is great to see the old and the new. You did well to replicate from memory.

Rose ~ from Oz said...

The last shot really depicts how well old and new can live together.