Vintage: Historic views of Melbourne (1800s)

Vintage: Historic views of Melbourne (1800s)


The decade of the 1880s was one of extraordinary growth, when consumer confidence, easy access to credit, and steep increases in the price of land, led to an enormous amount of construction. This ‘land boom’ was followed by a severe economic crash in the early 1890s which lasted until the end of the century. During the boom, Melbourne had reputedly become the richest city in the world, and the largest after London in the British Empire.

The decade began with the Melbourne International Exhibition in 1880, held in the large purpose-built Exhibition Building. In 1880 a telephone exchange was established and in the same year the foundations of St Paul’s, were laid; in 1881 electric light was installed in the Eastern Market, and in the following year a generating station capable of supplying 2,000 incandescent lamps was in operation. In 1885 the first line of the Melbourne cable tramway system was built, becoming one of the worlds most extensive systems by 1890.

Visitors to Melbourne Zoo, 1895

Visitors to Melbourne Zoo, 1895

Ballarat railway station, ca. 1800s

Ballarat railway station, ca. 1800s

Melbourne's first cable tram service; between Bridge Road, Richmond, and Spencer Street via Flinders Street, 11 November 1885

Melbourne’s first cable tram service; between Bridge Road, Richmond, and Spencer Street via Flinders Street, 11 November 1885

Pier Port Melbourne, 1871

Pier Port Melbourne, 1871

Swanston Street, Melbourne, ca. 1890s

Swanston Street, Melbourne, ca. 1890s

Swanston Street, Melbourne, 1872

Swanston Street, Melbourne, 1872

The eastern end of Collins Street from the Treasury Building, ca. 1880s

The eastern end of Collins Street from the Treasury Building, ca. 1880s

Bourke Street from Parliament House, 1885

Bourke Street from Parliament House, 1885

The Melbourne Terminus in the mid 1800s

The Melbourne Terminus in the mid 1800s

The Menzies Hotel, corner Bourke and William Streets, Melbourne, ca. 1870s

The Menzies Hotel, corner Bourke and William Streets, Melbourne, ca. 1870s

the Queens Arms Hotel, Swanston Street, Melbourne, 1880

The Queens Arms Hotel, Swanston Street, Melbourne, 1880

Bourke Street, Melbourne, 1888

Bourke Street, Melbourne, 1888

Corner of Collins and Russell Sts., Melbourne, 1879

Corner of Collins and Russell Sts., Melbourne, 1879

Elizabeth Street, Melbourneca, 1800s

Elizabeth Street, Melbourneca, 1800s

Flinders Street railway station, 1885

Flinders Street railway station, 1885

Flinders Street railway station, ca. late 1800s

Flinders Street railway station, ca. late 1800s

Flinders Street Station (left of pic) on the south-west corner of Flinders and Swanston Streets stood the Old Fish Market, ca. 1880s

Flinders Street Station (left of pic) on the south-west corner of Flinders and Swanston Streets stood the Old Fish Market, ca. 1880s

Melbourne Docklands in the 1800s

Melbourne Docklands in the 1800s


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