North Shore Steam Ferry
This actuality footage shows a steam ferry docking at the Milsons Point Ferry Wharf in 1899. Workers prepare to receive the ferry as passengers on board ready for disembarkation.
Summary by Elizabeth Taggert - Speers
Frederick Charles Wills and Henry William Mobsby produced over 30 films for the Queensland Department of Agriculture using a Lumière Cinematographe, a camera which combined the functions of a moving image camera, printer and projector. An additional benefit of the camera was that it was hand-cranked and therefore was not dependent on electricity.
While filming in Sydney in 1899, Wills also shot Newtown Railway Station (1899).
North Shore ferry synopsis
This actuality footage shows a steam ferry docking at the Milsons Point Ferry Wharf in 1899. Bennelong Point, Fort Macquarie and Government House can be seen in the distance. The ferry may well be the wooden paddle ferry Cammeray, built in 1884.
North Shore ferry Curator's notes
This footage was taken by the official photographer of the Queensland Department of Agriculture, Frederick Charles Wills. Wills, and his assistant Henry William Mobsby, were commissioned by the department in October 1898 to capture aspects of Queensland agricultural and daily life using a Lumière Cinematographe camera. Besides filming in Queensland and Sydney, Wills also travelled to the Torres Strait.
For further information, see 'Australia’s First Films’ by Chris Long and Pat Laughren, Cinema Papers, 1993, No. 96, p 37.
Notes by Elizabeth Taggert - Speers