An AIM Patrol documentary – 1927
This film documented outback life in the 1920s and may have been made to accompany a written report.
Albion, Douglas: Children’s Birthday Party home movie – c1925
This short segment is one of three reels of nitrate film chronicling significant events and celebrations in the Albion family during the early 1920s.
Albion, Douglas: Children’s Party home movie – c1921
This beautiful example of early movie making in 1920s Australia was rediscovered by Douglas Albion decades after it was filmed.
Albion, Douglas: Wally’s Fifth Birthday Party home movie – c1921
Douglas Albion was about to throw this footage out when he heard of a search for source material to be used in the production of Our Century (1998).
Archibald Family: Noorong Gazette: Parts I - IV home movie – c1927
The Noorong Gazette is a series of seven film gazettes compiled between 1927 and 1932 by the Archibald family of Strathfield, Sydney.
Archibald Family: Noorong Gazette: Parts IX - XII home movie – c1928
These gazettes made by members of the Archibald family are some of the earliest examples of home movie making.
Austin Hospital at Heidelberg, Vic: The Only Hospital for Chronic Diseases in Australia documentary – 1928
This is a remarkable visual record of what hospitals were once like — and the treatments used for some ailments in the 1920s.
Australasian Gazette – Maoris Give Their War Cry newsreel – c1922
In this 1922 newsreel footage, a Maori rugby league team perform a haka war dance before playing a game against New South Wales.
Australian Cement in the Making documentary – c1926
Everything you wanted to know about cement making — in the 1920s — but were afraid to ask.
The Australian Steel Works sponsored film – c1920
This Made in Australia Council documentary, made circa 1920, tours a steel works factory in Newcastle to promote the Australian steel industry.
Berlei Corsets: Beautiful Lines of Woman Triumphant advertisement – c1920
This advertisement shows the fuller figures of the models as compared with models of today.
Boots and Shoes sponsored film – c1924
This film shows the inner workings of a boot and shoe factory, following the manufacturing process from cutting shoe patterns to the finished product.
Bushells Tea: The Charmed Cup advertisement – 1929
Divided into three parts, this advertisement was screened like chapters of a dramatic fairytale plot.
Camp-Berlei Foundation Garments: Physiological Support advertisement – c1927
Today Berlei remains one of the most recognisable names in the manufacture and design of lingerie and underwear in Australia.
Charles Ulm documentary – c1928
Historical footage such as this of Charles Ulm, hints at the challenges early aviation pioneers would have faced.
Children’s Party, Boys Wrestling and Outdoor Performances home movie – c1925
Cameras were relatively expensive in the 1920s and mostly confined to families who could afford the new technology.
This Christmas 1928 newsreel includes a hint of the economic hardships of the time by contrasting well-dressed women with two homeless swagmen.
City Traffic in Variable Moods newsreel – c1920
This newsreel item is an example of how simple camera techniques can dramatically alter the appearance and mood of scenes that are filmed.
Commonwealth Film Laboratories documentary – c1928
The provenance of this film fragment is unclear, but it could have been promoting the lab’s services.
A Day at an Engineering Works sponsored film – c1926
This Made in Australia Council documentary details work at the largest engineering works in South Australia at the time.
Death Defying Acts feature film – 2007
Filmmakers often tell imagined stories to explore a famous figure or incident and this love story involving Harry Houdini in 1926 is a good example.
Delegates to the Australian Labor Party’s Easter Conference at the Trades Hall Melbourne newsreel – 1928
This is rare footage of key historical figures of the ALP and trade union movement at a 1928 conference at Melbourne Trades Hall.
The Evolution of a Chocolate sponsored film – 1925
The chocolate factory which features in this film employed over 2,000 people and – according to the intertitles – was one of 'the best producers of chocolates’.
The Exploits of the Emden feature film – 1928
A reconstruction of Ken G Hall’s composite film about the destruction of the German warship Emden in November 1914.
Factory to Farm: Making Agricultural Implements in Australia sponsored film – c1925
This film provides a visual record of the inner workings of an agricultural implements factory as well as the role of sheet metal workers and fitters and turners.
Federal Capital Commission: Anti-Fly Campaign sponsored film – c1928
This public relations film explains an anti-fly campaign. It depicts a series of familiar situations in which flies are present and demonstrates acceptable methods of dealing with them.
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.
Hinkler’s Message to Australia; Incidents of My Flight spoken word – 1928
‘Now I want to tell you a few things about flying …’
Honest Toil March music – 1924
Award-winning Australian brass band puts Newcastle on the map.
Hoyts and Studebaker Cinema Advertisement: Touring Talkie Show advertisement – c1929
This advertisement positions the joint Hoyts, Shell and Studebaker venture as a service which audiences in country areas both need and deserve.
This newsreel novelty item from approximately 1920 features boys riding on the back of goats and children in billycarts on the streets of Rockhampton, Queensland.
Life Guards at Bondi Beach documentary – c1929
From around 1929, this fragment of actuality footage shows a Surf Life Saving carnival at Bondi Beach.
Marvellous Melbourne: Queen City of the South documentary – c1910
Spencer believed cinema patrons wanted to see their own people and country. He went on to produce feature films, some with director Raymond Longford.
Maxonol Gramophone: Buy a Good Gramophone and Keep Her at Home advertisement – 1925
Typically for a cinema advertisement of the time, it takes a narrative style and is shot like a slowly paced short film.
My Brother Jack television program – 2001
This acclaimed mini-series is based on the classic Australian novel, a record of the changing social mores of the restless time between the First and Second World Wars.
The Origin of Oil sponsored film – c1923
Made for the Shell Company of Australia, this industrial documentary traces the path of oil from its initial extraction to the petroleum relied on by consumers.
Overland Whippet Motor Car: Advertisement advertisement – c1926
The Overland was an American motor vehicle company acquired by John Willys early in the 20th century.
Peach Growing and Canning in Australia sponsored film – c1926
At the time the film was made, the Leeton State Canning Factory employed approximately 250 people and processed 120 tonnes of fruit a day.
Pearls and Savages documentary – 1921
This 1979 reconstruction of Frank Hurley’s 1921 adventure film Pearls and Savages showcases the peoples and cultures of the Torres Strait Islands and Papua New Guinea.
The Picture Show Man feature film – 1977
The comic performances from John Meillon and John Ewart as the last of the itinerant vaudevillians are superb.
Picturesque Portsea Provides Perfect Pageant newsreel – c1926
This clip of the popular beach and pier at Portsea in Victoria vividly captures the beach fashions and social customs of the 1920s.
The Popular Sport of Surfboarding newsreel – 1925
An early newsreel of pioneering surfboard riders at Bondi Beach in Sydney in 1925.
Rebetika: Songs of Greece music – 1986
Rebetika music evolved in the 1920s, combining jail songs and hashish-smoking songs of the Greek underworld with music brought to Greece by refugees from the Greek-Turkish War.
Round About Townsville documentary – 1926
Thought to be one of the Know Your Own Country series from the 1920s, Round About Townsville positions Townsville as a veritable paradise.
The Sailors spoken word – 1927
A theatrical comedy routine by vaudeville performers Stiffy (Nat Phillips) and Mo (Roy Rene) recorded in 1927.
Sewerage of a Great City: Melbourne sponsored film – c1922
By the time this sponsored documentary was made, over 166,000 homes and 70,000 people were, according to its intertitles, 'enjoying the benefits of sewerage’ in Melbourne.
Sheep to Shop: Hosiery and Knitted Goods sponsored film – 1924
At one point in this promotional documentary, a machine miraculously 'absorbs yarn at one end and discharges socks at the other’!
Sheep to Shop: Woollen Goods sponsored film – 1924
Made inside a wool mill, this film covers making the yarn, weaving the fabrics, pressing the finished goods and packaging them for distribution nationwide.
A Shining Example sponsored film – c1920
Unlike other films produced by the Made in Australia Council, A Shining Example juxtaposes a tour of an Australian factory with a fictional narrative.
Snapshots around ‘Madras’ home movie – c1926
This is a good example of how, in the early days of moving images, people would often pose for the camera as if they were posing for a still photograph.