Australian Screen

Australia’s audiovisual heritage online

Titles from the 1900s

12 titles - sorted alphabetically or by year

1901

Inauguration of the Commonwealth documentary – 1901

This is possibly the first feature-length documentary made in Australia and the first Australian film to use multi-camera coverage.

1904

Chant Vénitien music – 1904

This is an early surviving commercial recording made by international opera star Nellie Melba in her London home in 1904.

1905

La Poule aux Oeufs d’Or short film – 1905

A fable of wealth and greed leads to disaster for a farmer and his wife. The Corrick family entertainers incorporated this early French film into their touring show.

1906

The Hand of the Artist short film – 1906

The artist’s hand gives a young man and woman a number of options for romance. This English short film was used by the Corrick family entertainers in their performances.

Living Hawthorn historical – 1906

Reminiscent of Workers Leaving the Lumiere Factory, this actuality footage is filmed by Millard Johnson and William Gibson, two pioneers of Australian silent film.

The Story of the Kelly Gang feature film – 1906

Audiences of the time loved this film’s boldness and, with its live sound effects and narration, to them it didn’t seem silent.

1907

Street Scenes in Perth, Western Australia historical – 1907

Leonard Corrick recorded actuality-style footage in places where the Corricks were currently performing.

1908

Boxing 1908: Johnson vs Burns historical – 1908

The Boxing Day fight between Canadian Tommy Burns and African American Jack Johnson drew an impressive crowd of 20,000 people.

Pathe Animated Gazette: Fire Breaks Out at Hornsby, Sydney newsreel – c1908

Topics in this Pathe Animated Gazette newsreel from 1908 range from a fire at Hornsby, in Sydney, to women modelling harem pants in Melbourne.

Training at Rushcutters Bay historical – 1908

American boxer Jack Johnson trains before an intimate crowd at Sydney’s Rushcutters Bay, only days away from becoming the first-ever African American to claim the heavyweight title.

1909

Fighting the Flames historical – 1909

Footage of the Adelaide Metropolitan Fire Brigade in 1909 featuring rescue and resuscitation demonstrations by firefighters.

Higgins, Bryce: Family and Holiday Scenes: 1909-1924 home movie – c1909

This beautifully filmed home movie contains some of the earliest examples of home movie footage held by the National Film and Sound Archive.