It’s time to continue my love affair with the stunning Holtermann Collection – a 3,500-strong collection of glass plate negatives developed (see what I did there?) in the 1870s.
The Holtermann Museum in Gulgong celebrates the images that were captured during Gulgong’s roaring goldrush days in 1872. An extension of this excellent museum is a small brochure that takes you outside the museum’s walls and onto the historic streets.
Grab your camera and join me on the Holtermann Trail…
The life of the swagman in Australia has long been romanticised through the famous ballad, Waltzing Matilda. Almost our unofficial anthem, Waltzing Matilda, celebrates the life of a man down on his luck (the swagman or swaggy), who decides to steal a sheep (jumbuck) from a rich farmer (squatter). The underdog has always been popular in Aus.
For the uninitiated, a swaggy was a man who had left home, predominantly in search of work. Often living a true hand-to-mouth existence, these men walked huge distances throughout rural Australia, knocking on farm doors, seeking food, work or both.
The term ‘swaggy’ referred to the swag that they carried strapped to their backs. The swag may have included an old blanket, wrapped in a strip of canvas that was then wrapped around any bare necessities they were carrying.
Rather than Waltzing Matilda, in reality the life of a swaggy was often cold, hard and hungry.