Sunday 22 April 2018

The Convict Built Commissariat Store Brisbane

I had been longing to visit The Commissariat Store Museum in Brisbane for some time. I had found it difficult to be able to do this as I still work 5 days a week and the museum wasn't open on the weekends. So the end of my Christmas holidays turned out to be the perfect opportunity for a visit . Thankfully, the reopening date of the museum after their Christmas break coincided nicely with the last week of my holidays.

The Commissariat Store is one of only two convict built buildings remaining intact in Brisbane. It was built over two years, 1828 to 1829. The other remaining convict built building is the Windmill up on Wickham Terrace which was built in 1828. The Commissariat Store was originally built with only two floors but a third floor was eventually added in 1913.

We were warmly greeted at the door by one of the volunteer staff members who kindly arranged for one of the guides, Fred, to show us around. I highly recommend that if you do visit this museum that you take up the offer of a personal guided tour. Fred was studying archeology at university and working as a volunteer at the museum in his spare time. His passion for history and his depth of knowledge was invaluable to our whole museum experience. Below are some photos of a few of the things that caught my attention as we were shown around.

Queens Wharf Road facade of the Commissariat Store facing the Brisbane River

Lovely volcanic rock, Brisbane tuff, stone paving. Just look at all those colours.

William Street facade clearly showing the 2 original floors differing from the later top floor. 

Original iron barred window. Probably to keep people out rather than in as this building was built as a store house.

William Street retaining wall

View from William Street entrance

William Street facade

Details of the roof accessories.

Internal floor structure showing steel bracing

Support post foot detail

Support post floor structure detail

Top of support post detail

Very nice cedar grandfather clock on the top floor

Old cannon. Probably a signal gun.

Original Gallows Beam from Boggo Road Jail

Old ships wheel
Campbell Brisbane brick

Earlier Campbell Brisbane brick

Convict straight jacket from St Helena Island Penal Settlement

The Famous Convict Fingers. A gruesome reminder of the harsh life of a convict.

Vintage Ads - 1912 "Life" magazine

I was looking through an antique "Life" magazine the other day and was fascinated with some of the old advertising. The magazine dates from the 1st September, 1912 and is labeled as "Life - A Record For Busy Folk". Unfortunately it is missing the front cover.  I don't know much about this magazine except that it is an Australian production, published in Melbourne by Fitchett Brothers Proprietary Ltd. It contains a small section that touches on some world news and an even smaller section devoted to Australian news items. Much of the magazine is filled with human interest articles and fictional stories as well as some articles about science and sports with the remainder being allocated to advertising. It was the advertising that caught my interest so I thought I would share some of the ads below. Many of the ads are on a slight angle as they were not printed square to the page. Hope you enjoy the old ads as much as I did.

 "Cough gone"

(23cm tall)

"A strong tonic" "keeps the bowels regular"

Large AYER'S SARSAPARILLA bottle from Lowell, Mass., U.S.A.
(21.5cm tall)

for the "manly appearance" and long beard apparently.

"The Habit is Expensive and Extremely Dangerous to Health". Some good advice.

"A Delightful Family Medicine". No more constipation!

A never ending problem for all men folk.

HEARNE'S Bronchitis Cure
Great graphics.

"No Blade so keen - no shave so clean"

Allenbury's DIET
"In Health or Sickness" "complete food .... for the Invalid and Robust"

Apparently preferred over soft drinks and strong drinks according to the ad.
This was the back cover of the magazine.

The Edison "Opera" Phonograph
Still on my want list to own one day.

Union Steam Ship Co of New Zealand Ltd.
 Fancy a trip to the South Sea Islands aboard a steam ship "equipped with every convenience for comfortable travel".
 Even electric fans and plenty of bananas!

Everylady's Cook Book
Not too sure about allowing the little kid to carve the turkey though!

W. JNO. BAKER, The House of Steel
Nice pocket knives.

Farmer's Friend Oil Engine & KODAK Folding Brownie
Both nice collectable items.

Anthorny Hordens' Triumph Pipes
"the Pipe for connoisseurs"
NB: The position of the apostrophe is as per the ad.

FREE Coloured and Artistic POST CARDS
Look at all the cool stuff you can have if you just sell some postcards.
I wonder how many people took them up on their offer.

Ideal Bedroom Arm-Chairs
"Roe's Wicker Combination Bedroom and Commode Chairs"

"Best Tyres that Money Can Buy"
not "Cycle Tyres of the cheap and nasty order"

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