Roma Street Station
This actuality footage shows a train pulling up to Roma Street Station, Brisbane in 1899. Commuters disembark and exit the platform via a side gate or walk up the stairs towards the camera.
Summary by Elizabeth Taggert - Speers
Frederick Charles Wills and his assistant Henry William Mobsby were funded by the Queensland Department of Agriculture in 1898 to record agricultural processes with a Lumière Cinematographe camera (see Wheat Harvesting with Reaper and Binder, 1899). They shot over 30 films, many of them snapshots of daily life like this one, that were not concerned with agriculture.
Roma Street Station is a major Brisbane railway station and also the oldest, having opened in 1876, so it was an obvious place to film. Wills and Mobsby also shot a short film of commuters on a ferry coming in to dock at Sydney (see North Shore Steam Ferry, 1899) and passengers waiting for a train at Petersham Railway Station (1899) in Sydney.
Roma Street Station synopsis
This actuality footage shows a train pulling up to Roma Street Station, Brisbane in 1899. Commuters, many of them wearing boaters and suits, disembark from the train and walk up the stairs towards the camera.
This actuality footage was filmed by the official photographer of the Queensland Department of Agriculture, Frederick Charles Wills, and his assistant Henry William Mobsby. According to Chris Long and Pat Laughren ('Australia’s First Films’, Cinema Papers, 1993, No. 96, p 37), it was screened to the Queensland Amateur Photographic Society in May 1899, along with Wills’s footage of Queen Street and Victoria Bridge and the Opening of Queensland Parliament (both 1899).
Notes by Elizabeth Taggert - Speers