Friday, October 30, 2015

Nevin's coal mine stereograph for Messrs Sims and Stops

COAL MINES NEW TOWN Tasmania
CITY AGENT Thos NEVIN



Detail: Stereograph of coal mine operation, Kangaroo Valley, 1870s
Photographer: Thos Nevin, New Town (stamped verso).
TMAG Collection Ref: Q16826.11.

1871: Messrs Noble and Smart defrauded
From the notice below, which appeared in the Mercury, February 1871, it would seem that inferior coal or pit refuse from abandoned pits was being sold to the public as the property of the New Town coal mines owned by Messrs Noble and Smart. The fraud included falsified weigh-bridge tickets.



Fraudulent Imposition: Noble and Smart advertisement
Mercury, 4 February 1871

1873-4: Tasmanian coal taken to London
The former Commandant at Port Arthur, James Boyd, incumbent to the position prior to the appointment of A.H. Boyd (who was NOT a photographer), had left Tasmania by the 29th December 1873 on the barque Ethel, bound for England (per The Mercury, 29 Dec 1873). On board were specimens of Tasmanian coal, minerals, blue gum and other specimens of Eucalyptus of interest to the British Royal Colonial Institute. The Ethel was due to arrive in England on April 4th, 1874.



State Library of Victoria
Barque Ethel ca, 1873, New Wharf, Hobart, Tasmania
Unattributed.
Identifier(s): Accession no(s) H91.108/2316; H99.220/773
Alan Green Collection Shipping Photographs in Picture Collection.



The Mercury, 8 May 1874
Extract from mail received from the Royal Colonial Institute

TRANSCRIPT

"... through the exertions of the corresponding secretary of the Institute in Tasmania - Mr Hugh Munro Hull - a valuable contribution to the museum has been despatched from that colony, consisting of specimens of its coal ...
....
"It will be remembered that Mr. and Mrs. [James] Boyd, late Commandant of Port Arthur, were passengers by the Ethel."
The year 1874 was a busy one for Thomas Nevin. He was under contract to the Municipal Police Office and Prisons Department to provide mugshots of prisoners received and discharged at the Hobart Gaol for the MPO registers, photo books and police gazettes at the Town Hall, while continuing to operate full-time as a commercial photographer from his studio at 140 Elizabeth-Street in Hobart. His second child, Thomas James "Sonny" Nevin, was born on 16th April 1874. His membership of the Loyal United Brothers' Lodge annual Anniversary Ball committee entailed the provision of photographic services on the night of the ball, and extended to placing advertisements in The Mercury to procure professional services for Lodge members and their family, including medical services. And he worked closely with the printers at the Hobart newspaper offices of The Mercury, producing miniature photographs of the front pages for sale as Christmas visiting cards (measuring 3 inches x 2 inches).

1874: Sims and Stops' Coal Mine



Horse-drawn whim at Mr Sim's Excelsior Coal Mine, Kangaroo Valley, New Town, Tasmania
Stereograph on arched buff mount by Thomas J. Nevin, 1870s
"Thos Nevin New Town" studio stamp on verso
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery Collection
TMAG Ref: Q16826.11



Verso: Horse-drawn whim at Mr Sim's Excelsior Coal Mine, Kangaroo Valley, New Town, Tasmania
Stereograph on arched buff mount by Thomas J. Nevin, 1870s
"Thos Nevin New Town" studio stamp on verso
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery Collection
TMAG Ref: Q16826.11

Thomas Nevin was a city agent for coal deliveries from Messrs Sims and Stops coal mine, located at Kangaroo Valley New Town, close to the family farm where John Nevin snr had built their cottage and orchards on land in trust to the Wesleyan church above the Lady Franklin Museum.  The Nevin family were closely associated (related even) to the Hurst family of surveyors resident of New Town and the Saltwater coal mines (on the Tasman peninsula). As stakeholders in the coal business, and probably shareholders in several other profitable businesses, Thomas Nevin, unlike several other members of his photographers' cohort in Tasmania and Victoria, escaped bankruptcy when they didn't (e.g. Alfred Bock, George Cherry, Stephen Spurling, Harold Riise, and Charles Nettleton in Victoria etc), and managed to keep his wife and children (six survived to adulthood) in comfortable circumstances.

Mr Nevin, photographer, Elizabeth-street, appears in this advertisement as an agent able to take orders for the delivery of coal from the Excelsior Coal Mine which was located on Mr Ebenezer Sims property at Kangaroo Bottom (Kangaroo Valley New Town), in close proximity to the home of Nevin's parents. This coal was for domestic use but may have been included in the coal specimens which were exported to the Royal Colonial Institute, accompanied by James Boyd on board the Ethel in 1874.



The Mercury, 22 December 1874
COALS! DOMESTIC COALS!
EXCELSIOR MINE, NEW TOWN
SIMS and STOPS' NEW SEAM
... N.B. - When from the situation a second horse is necessary, a small extra charge will be made.
ORDERS will be received by the undermentioned persons:-
...
Mr Nevin, photographer, Elizabeth-street ...
Members of the Stops family were close friends of Thomas Nevin and his father John Nevin snr at Kangaroo Valley. Frederick Stops was clerk to the Attorney-General  W.R. Giblin when Nevin was the contractual photographer for police and prisons records for Giblin. His brother Henry Stops was an orchardist living at New Town until his death in 1908, and leasee of Mr Ebenenzer's coal mine. Ebenezer Sims' coal mines and other property at Kangaroo Bottom had been advertised for sale earlier, in January 1874, and the "late Mr E. Sims" was presumably departed from the partnership with Mr. Stops, or even deceased. However, the Excelsior Coal Mine continued to operate on his property and in his name, together with the stakeholders and agents listed in the advertisement with Nevin's name:



The Mercury, FOR SALE, 23 January 1874
Auction advertisement for the sale of the late Mr E. Sim's coal mines leased to Mr H. Stops at Kangaroo Bottom.

1883: dense basaltic dykes



The Mercury 23 December 1883:

"Mr Ebenezer Sim's coal mine ... is wrought by means of a horse-whim ..."
A lengthy geological report was published in The Mercury, 23 December 1883, on the coal mines and seams around Mt Wellington, including a description of the methods of mining at Mr Ebenezer Sim's Excelsior Coal Mine and an account of the formation of anthracite, shale and sandstone in the Kangaroo Valley area.

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Stereograph of coal mine operation, Kangaroo Valley, 1870s
Photographer: Thos Nevin, New Town (stamped verso).
TMAG Collection Ref: Q16826.11. Taken at the TMAG November 10, 2014.
Photos © KLW NFC Imprint ARR