Monday, February 25, 2013

Fab Feb Photo Collage Festival - Day 25

Tom McLoughlin c 1898

Without a doubt, this has to be my all-time favourite family photo.

It used to produce howls of derision at family gatherings.

My poor grandfather - although I think he could take a joke and found it quite funny too.

He really does look a teensy weensy bit like an alien doesn't he?

ET certainly wants to phone home.

You can imagine all the comments.

Anyway, my maternal grandfather was born 7 July 1898 in William Street, Bathurst to John and Margaret McLoughlin.  He was the eldest of nine children.

Did the family come down to Sydney for this photo?  They must have.

According to this site Eden George had his studios in George Street Sydney.

I think this is what is called a carte-de-visite.  It measures 4.5 inches wide and just over 6.5 inches long.  Or 10.7 x 16.7 cm in metric.

If you conduct a search on Trove, but take out "society", you get 243 results for "Eden Studios" in the SMH just between 1890 and 1899.  Most of them are ads of course.  But there is quite an enchanting description of the studios here  and here which were opposite Anthony Horderns...and I quote..

"furnished and carpeted in the most luxurious fashion"...and

"the appointments of the establishment are of the most modern description"

Just like the language in the article!

Sydney Morning Herald courtesy of Trove Monday 22 August 1898 Page 2

What fun!

I have other photos of Tom through the ages....

Back of photo says J. Burns, T.McLoughlin

I like this one.  I'm not sure who J. Burns is...I hear my mother saying Jack Burns.  Was he a cousin who owned a photographic studio in the western suburbs of Sydney???? Put that on my investigate list.  Tom looks about 10 years old don't you think?  According to a comment on a photo on Flickr Bursle had a studio in Orange from about 1894 until after 1900.

But this is how I really remember him

Tom McLoughlin 44 Toxteth Road Glebe c. late 1970s or early 1980s

We have lots of photos of Tom reading.  I'm thinking this photo would have been taken at Christmas time.  Note the bowl of licorice allsorts and toffees and glass of beer.  And the all important magnifying glass.  He would have been about 80 in this photo.  Grandad, as I called him, died 2 November 1982 at Ashfield when I had already moved to Brisbane.

I must have inherited my love of reading from him, I think.  And he loved libraries - particularly the Mitchell Library.  He didn't have very much money but he was always subscribing me to stuff or buying me sets of books - Australian Heritage magazines on Australian History....all sorts of Readers Digest editions of things, encyclopaedias.  You name it...he knew about it.

He loved chess but I couldn't play for peanuts.  He loved Maths.  I was hopeless at Maths.

He was stone deaf (I understand from working in the De Havilland factory during the war making aircraft engines).  And a bit embarrassing to be with because you had to shout all the time.

I was always frightened to see him off at the station in case we got stuck on the train - my mother would always insist on going in to the carriage with him to make sure he was set up properly with a newspaper etc.

But he loved me to bits and I'll never forget that he dutifully bought me my first LP - Meaty, Beaty, Big and Bouncy by The Who from DJ's Record Bar in Canberra for my birthday.

Thanks to Julie, Pauleen and Kristin for their inspiration for this months's meme.


Kristin said...

I'm glad he outgrew the alien look!

Alex Daw said...

Yes, just imagine looking that stunned and surprised all your life!

Cassmob (Pauleen) said...

What wonderful memories you have Alex! And what an inheritance he bequeathed you with a love of books. I agree with Kristin that he looked a tad weird in that baby photo...but then it probably wasn't his fault, rather the photographers. I've been enjoying your stories even though I've got behind.

Alex Daw said...

Yes Pauleen - you wonder what on earth they did to make the baby look that way - pop a balloon? bang a drum? I've enjoyed your memories too....I'm so glad we participated in this meme. It has been so rewarding.

Mary-Ann said...

Its interesting your grand father valued books so much - so did my father (Patrick - his brother). Your gand father gave me a beautiful baby grand piano when I was 4 years old. I still have it - a special gift as I love music.

Alex Daw said...

Dear Mary-Ann

What a beautiful story. I remember my grandfather as being very loving and kind. A baby grand - what a lovely gift and so special that you still have it. I wish I knew more about him and his life. Thank you for sharing that with me.