Friday, April 25, 2014

A Professor on the goldfields,1855








"On stone by A J Stopps from a Daguerreotype by Acley and Rochletz.   Post Office, Beechworth 1856."   The original photographers appeared in the 1857 Ovens Directory, business rivals of Walter Woodbury - "Ackley & Rochlitz, Daguerrean Artists, Ford St, Beechworth".  This postcard copy of the lithographed daguereotype was included in the family photo collection.


  
Advertising. (1855, March 3). Ovens and Murray Advertiser (Beechworth, Vic. : 1855 - 1866; 1914 -1918), p. 6. Retrieved April 25, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article113013160


With the above advertisement George Griffith introduced himself and his talents and services to the diverse and growing community in the Ovens goldfields.  He was aged 31; his wife Susan was still only17 and on the verge of delivering her first child - which arrived on 14 April 1855, a fortnight after the ad.

Geoge announced multiple skills - a teacher of pianoforte, violin, harp, with a general wave in the direction of other instruments.  He could repair multiple instruments, and he could perform at private and public functions.

George also helpfully indicated his place of employment prior to coming to the Ovens goldfields - with Wilkie's Music Saloon in Melbourne.

It is difficult to imagine Susan travelling along badly made roads from Melbourne to Beechworth in an advanced state of pregnancy, which makes it seem likely that they had been in the area for a few weeks at least, or had travelled from somewhere closer.   George perhaps had been wearing himself out digging for gold, and erecting some form of home for himself and his young wife and coming child.  The advertisement signals a more focussed approach to earning a living. 


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