Australian Screen

Australia’s audiovisual heritage online

Titles from the 1890s

22 titles - sorted alphabetically or by year

1896

Melbourne Cup 1896 historical – 1896

This film documenting the 1896 Melbourne Cup is one of Australia’s oldest surviving films. A horse gallops into the foreground and blocks our view until the film’s producer gives the horse a pat on its rump.

Patineur Grotesque historical – 1896

This footage of a man performing on rollerskates for a crowd in a park is thought to be Australia’s earliest surviving film.

1897

The Hen Convention music – 1897

The oldest surviving Australian sound recording is a novelty song featuring chicken impersonations.

1898

The Cambridge Anthropological Expedition to the Torres Strait music – 1898

Yamaz Sibarud is a traditional song performed by ‘Maino of Yam’, recorded during an anthropological expedition to the Torres Strait in 1898.

Torres Strait Islanders historical – 1898

A national treasure: the oldest film made of Torres Strait Islanders and of Aboriginal people. This film deserves national and international cultural icon status.

1899

Boer War Transvaal Contingent historical – 1899

Using a hand-cranked Lumiere Cinematographe, photographer Frederick Charles Wills captured the Queensland contingents departing for the Boer War.

Building Construction historical – 1899

The official photographer of the Queensland Department of Agriculture, Frederick Charles Wills, films a building construction site in 1899.

Darnley Islanders Pay Tribute historical – 1899

Early footage documenting a visit to the Torres Strait by the Queensland Home Secretary, the Hon. Justin FG Foxton, and his wife.

Dipping Sheep historical – 1899

This short clip shows sheep being dipped in arsenic on a Queensland farm in 1899.

Fanny Cochrane Smith’s Tasmanian Aboriginal Songs music – 1899

These are the earliest recordings of traditional Tasmanian Aboriginal songs and language.

Government Party Boards SS Lucinda historical – 1899

In this actuality footage from 1899, Queensland politicians board the paddle steamer Lucinda, moored at a wharf on the Brisbane River.

Loading Horses on the SS Cornwall historical – 1899

Horses board the SS Cornwall on 31 October 1899, prior to the ship’s departure for the Boer War.

Newtown Railway Station historical – 1899

This actuality footage from 1899 shows a train arriving at Petersham or Newtown Railway Station in Sydney’s inner west.

North Shore Steam Ferry historical – 1899

This short clip from 1899 shows a steam ferry docking at the Milsons Point Ferry Wharf in Sydney.

Opening of Queensland Parliament historical – 1899

This short clip shows the Queensland Governor arriving by horse-drawn carriage to open Queensland Parliament on 18 May 1899.

Queen Street and Victoria Bridge historical – 1899

Using an original Lumière Cinematographe, Frederick Charles Wills and his assistant, Henry William Mobsby, capture a busy Brisbane intersection in 1899.

Roma Street Station historical – 1899

This short clip shows a train pulling up to Roma Street Station, Brisbane in 1899.

South Sea Islanders Cutting Cane historical – 1899

Photographer Frederick Charles Wills and his assistant, Henry William Mobsby, capture Melanesian labourers cutting cane in Queensland in 1899.

SS Katoomba Unloading historical – 1899

This actuality footage from 1899 shows the unloading of timber spars from the SS Katoomba at a busy wharf in Brisbane.

Sugar Mills, Nambour historical – 1899

In this actuality footage from 1899, a horse drags a load of cane to a sugar mill where it is fed onto a conveyor belt for crushing.

Threshing at Allora historical – 1899

This 1899 actuality footage shows workers tossing wheat sheaves into a threshing machine on a Queensland farm.

Wheat Harvesting with Reaper and Binder historical – 1899

The official photographer of the Queensland Department of Agriculture, Frederick Charles Wills, films a farmer and his wheat harvest on a property in Jimbour.